ATASCADERO — All the teams that make up the PAC 8 league made the trip to the North County to compete in the league championships at Atascadero High School last Thursday. Although the Hounds might have had the home field advantage, they did not end the night with a league championship in any event.
The boy's varsity finished in sixth place overall with 53 total points while the Paso Bearcats took first with 245 points. The Greyhound girls placed seventh in the PAC 8 with 44 points. The San Luis Obispo Tigers girl’s team quite literally ran away with the title, scoring 319 points, which is more than 100 more than Arroyo Grande who finished second. For just a small example of the Tigers’ dominance, in the women’s 3200-meter final they swept not only first through third, but first through fifth place.
While the Hounds did not have any league champions on Thursday, they did have three runner-ups. Senior Austin Erb, Junior Xavier Gonzales, and Sophomore Wyatt Hasch each finished second in their best events.
Erb has been one of the top 400-meter runners in the PAC 8 this season and set a personal record in the prelims last week when he ran a 51.90. The senior ran a little slower in finals, crossing the line with a time of 52.28 and was beaten by Righetti Sophomore Fabricio De La Cruz with a 51.66.
Gonzales has spent much of the year running the 1600-meter run for the Greyhounds but competed in the 3200-meter at the PAC 8 Finals and set a personal record with a time of 9:34.63 while also ruining a chance for the Bearcats to take first a second in the race.
Hasch had a shot at the league title in the high jump but placed second behind Arroyo Grande’s Justice Fair with a jump of 5’10. Fair finished as the league champion by setting a new personal record clearing 6’00, but according to athletic.net the highest Fair had cleared this season, prior to the finals, was only 5’6”.
Blake Rose finished fourth in the discus with a mark of 133’11.50, a new personal record, and the 4x400-meter team of Kyle Spurgeon, Austin Erb, Tyson Fischer, and Max Bontenbal finished third.
Katie Kershner and Claire Livengood both finished third in their events on Thursday. Both girls set personal bests in their races, Kershner ran in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 48.87 and Claire Livengood finished the 1600-meters with a time of 5:18.30.
To qualify for CIF Prelims, which will take place Saturday at Moorpark High School, an athlete must be the league champion or finish second or third in their event while meeting the minimum qualifying mark.