3-mile course includes a trek through the sands of Morro Strand State Beach

By Neil Farrell

NORTH COUNTY — Paso Robles High School’s senior cross country runner, Charlotte Castelli, was the top North County runner, taking first place in the Girl’s Varsity race at the Morro Bay Invitational held Sept. 11, out-pacing second-place finisher, Templeton senior Madeline Bobbitt, by over 30 seconds. Paso’s Sydney Moore, a junior, came in third.

Castelli clocked 19 minutes, 11.5 seconds on the challenging 3-mile course that includes a trek through the sands of Morro Strand State Beach, a stretch that makes Morro Bay as tough as any course, anywhere. Castelli’s time was an average of 6:23.9 per mile.


Bobbitt crossed the finish line at 19:40, and Moore’s time was 19:36.5. Atascadero High’s Isabela Ward, a senior, was 16th in the race, which had 157 runners from schools throughout San Luis Obispo County and several Central Valley Schools as well. That’s important because the local schools compete in the CIF playoffs against Central Valley schools, and one never knows who they will meet at the State Championships in Clovis at the end of November.

Templeton freshman, Kylie Bell, was 23rd in 20:51.6. Atascadero junior Amelie Lovo finished 29th in 21:23.5, and Kylie Troy, a freshman from Paso Robles, was 51st in 22:12.4. Atascadero’s Quinn Dubrul was 57th in 22:34.

Junior Kelsey Hammond of Paso Robles finished 59th in 22:36, and Templeton senior, Ava Lawrence was 65th in 22:50.8, with Paso’s Molly Came, a senior, hot on her heels in 22:54.4 to take 66th place.

Boys race Atas HS

Paso’s Xochlit Luis Lopez, a senior, was 73rd in 23:03.2 and Templeton’s Ashlyn Estes 90th in 23:49.8. Templeton senior Marianna Perez was 95th in 23:49.8. Paso sophomore Kalani Gaviola clocked 25:49.

In the boy’s varsity race, Clovis High’s Nathaniel Avila, a senior, won the race in 15:16.8—posting an impressive time of 5:05.6 per mile—with Templeton sophomore Joshua Bell a close second in 15:18.8. Paso’s Diego Ortega was 21st in 16:31.2.

Senior Cameron Leclair of Paso Robles was 34th in 17:10.4, with Kilian Pankowski, a senior from Templeton 47th in 17:40.5. Templeton freshman Silas Buchanan was 52nd in 17:51.9, and Joseph Martinez, a junior from Paso Robles, took 53rd in 17:54.8.

Boys race THS No1

Nicholas Jansen, a sophomore from Templeton, was 56th in 17:58.9, and Atascadero junior Kyle Shatwell took 58th in 18:03.9.

Nikita Norton of Templeton, a sophomore, was 60th in 18:05, with Paso senior Manuel Cruz 65th in 18:15.9. Atascadero junior Karl Walrod was 69th in 18:20.4 and Templeton senior Zach Gonzalez 85th in 18:52.3. Atascadero junior Dane Hardy was 89th in 18:56.8, with Paso junior Tristan Poggi, taking 92nd place in 18:59.6.
Rounding out the North County runners were Lincoln Leavitt, a Templeton senior clocking 19:02.2; Atascadero’s Keadon Knight, a senior crossing the line in 19:42.9 and Atascadero sophomore, Alexander Fonseca 117th in 20:16.4 out of a total of 169 runners.

The early season meet is popular among local and valley schools as it gives the kids a good challenge just as the season gets underway. And schools from hot climates—like the North County—get a chance to run in Morro Bay’s cooler environment. The morning of Sept. 11 saw the typical morning fog make the air heavy with moisture but no doubt a welcome respite from the stifling heat of the inland areas.

No team scores are kept at the Morro Bay Invitational, and many schools split their teams up so their younger harriers can compete against their peers in junior varsity and freshman races.

Of note, the top North County finisher in the boy’s JV race was Templeton’s Cohen Wallace, a sophomore who clocked 18:57.2, good for 22nd place. And in the girl’s JV race, Paso’s Kimberly Morales Torres, a junior, was 18th in 24:27 to lead North County runners.

Armando Saavdera, a freshman from Paso Robles, won the boy’s freshman race (2 miles) in 13:17.5, with Paso’s Bishop Morsette fifth in 13:37.6.

In the girl’s freshman race, Atascadero’s Frannie Perry was third in 15:43.7, with Paso’s Jordan Hammond 19th in 18:16.5 to l4ead the North County runners.