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Petersen qualifies for cross country state meet

Warriors girls sixth as team

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Fallbrook junior Abby Petersen qualified for the CIF state cross country meet Nov. 26 at Woodward Park in Fresno.

The three Division II girls cross country teams with the highest team scores at the CIF San Diego Section meet Nov. 12 at Morley Field in San Diego qualified for the state meet as a team, and the five fastest individual runners not affiliated with a school which qualified as a team also qualified for the state meet. Fallbrook placed sixth as a team, but Petersen was seventh among the 109 individual runners and was the third individual qualifier.

"I'm very excited," Petersen said. "I was really determined to make it this year," Petersen added. "I ended up in seventh, which was really better than I thought."

"We're excited for her," said Fallbrook co-coach Ciera Holland. "We knew she was going to do amazing things today."

"She's been working hard," said Fallbrook co-coach Ana Nabor.

Last year Petersen also qualified for the state meet but was unable to participate. Petersen placed 13th overall among the Division II girls in 2021 and was fifth among the Division II girls whose team didn't qualify.

The 2022 Division II girls race included 17 schools with the minimum five runners to obtain a team score. Cross country team scores add the positions of a school's first five finishers. The sixth and seventh runners are not scored but can add points to other teams' totals.

Scripps Ranch won the Division II girls championship with 53 points; Mount Carmel had the second-place total of 66 points, and a score of 84 points made San Dieguito Academy the final state qualifier. Steele Canyon finished fourth with 101 points; Vista was fifth with 175 points; Fallbrook had 202 points, and San Pasqual placed seventh with 206 points.

"Happy with sixth," Nabor said. "I think it's great," Holland said. "We're excited that we were able to take them this far."

Neither Nabor nor Holland had previously coached the Warriors, and the 2021-22 academic year is the second for both as Fallbrook High School staff members. Nabor, who is an English and English Language Development teaching assistant, is from Poway and ran in middle school as well as at Poway High School before subsequently competing for Palomar College and Cal State University San Marcos. Holland, who is a Fallbrook High School physical education teacher, played soccer for Pacifica High School in Garden Grove but did not run for the Mariners and made her competitive running debut with half-marathons while attending Cal State University Long Beach.

There was no CIF section meet in 2020, nor was there a state meet two years ago. Three Fallbrook runners including Petersen competed at the 2021 section meet. "They ran this last year, so a lot of them know the course already," Nabor said. "I think that helped a lot. They know what to expect."

Mount Carmel senior Breea Selbrede was this year's Division II individual champion and had a time of 18:41.1 on the 2.96-mile course. A time of 19:31.4 gave Scripps Ranch sophomore Ally Van Duren sixth place. Petersen finished in 19:52.4.

"I was in 12th the whole race until the last 800 meters. I kicked in and ended up in seventh," Petersen said. "I was really determined," she said. "I just came through in my last 800 meters."

The first 10 finishers at the section meet received all-CIF first team recognition, so Petersen also became a member of the all-CIF first team.

"She's having a really strong season and she's been consistent," Holland said. "We're just excited for her," Nabor said.

In last year's CIF meet Petersen had a time of 19:56.6.

Current junior Avery Lynas ran for the Warriors both as a freshman and a sophomore, but she was injured last year and did not compete at the CIF meet. This year her time of 21:42.7 placed 39th.

Fallbrook's next two finishers, sophomore Lucia Mochel and senior Jade Boltinghouse, both ran in last year's CIF race. This year, Mochel had the 49th-place time of 22:03.9; Mochel was 44th last year with a time of 21:34.2. Boltinghouse ran this year's race in 22:13.4 for 55th place; she was 64th last year with a time of 22:27.5.

A school is allowed up to seven runners at the CIF meet, although Fallbrook only entered six girls this year. A time of 22:13.7 gave sophomore Cynthia Mills 56th place. The 104th-place time of 26:31.3 was posted by junior Yohanna Chavez.

"Just proud of my team," Petersen said.


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