It was a record-breaking day for the Davis High girls as the Blue Devil cross country teams competed in the Clovis Invitational on Saturday.
Paced by sophomore Fiona O’Keeffe’s great time, which was a program and Sac-Joaquin Section record, DHS placed second out of 24 girls teams in the powerhouse championship race, behind only Simi Valley, the top-ranked squad in the state.
In a close race where second through fourth places were separated by just three points, the Devils finished ahead of three other teams that came in ranked in the top five in California.
“This was another important step toward the team’s end-of-season goals of capturing a Sac-Joaquin Section title and a top-three finish at the state championship,” said Davis coach Bill Gregg.
The Blue Devils’ team time of 92:23 was the fastest ever run by a DHS squad on the course, which has been the site of the state championships each November since 1987. The time is also the fastest team time ever by a Sac-Joaquin Section squad, breaking the record of 92:42 set by St. Francis at last year’s state meet.
Individual results also were impressive. O’Keeffe (17:17) placed second to Sarah Baxter of Simi Valley (17:00), who is considered one of the top high school runners in the United States. In setting the Devil team record, O’Keeffe eclipsed Laurynne Chetelat’s 2007 time of 17:18.
Freshman Sofia Castiglioni also ran an outstanding race, placing 10th in 18:16, the fifth-fastest time ever by a DHS girl. Pooja Tripathi had a breakthrough race, finishing 22nd in 18:41, which places her seventh on Davis’ all-time list.
Sophie Meads (49th, 19:04) and Giulia McIsaac (52nd, 19:05) finished close together for the final team points, while Maggie McManis (60th, 19:14) and Claire Dicker (112th, 20:02) also ran well.
The Blue Devil boys, hampered a bit by illness and injury, still ran some best times on the state meet course. DHS placed 13th out of 23 teams in the championship race.
Brian Song led the way for the locals, using a personal best of 15:58 on that course to take 43rd. Jasper Laca placed 48th, also with a course best of 16:03, while Charlie Harris (7th, 16:19) improved his time from this meet last year by almost two minutes.
Sophomores Nick Borowsky (103rd) and Ben Roberts (104) both crossed the line in 16:40, with Gavin Monges (108th, 16:42) and Blake Croft (147th, 17:10) finishing out Davis’ top seven.
DHS girls water polo
The Blue Devils won four of five games — and their only loss came by one goal — to take third place at the Western States tournament in Modesto this weekend.
DHS won its bracket by capturing Friday victories over Ukiah (10-3) and Sonora (11-2), a pair of teams Devil coach Doug Wright said were surprisingly solid.
Davis’ Colby Stapleton combined for seven goals in the two wins, Lauren Owens contributed five and Heather Johnson scored four. Haley Blackwell, Mara Dominguez, Jessica Hughes and Kinsey Van Deynze each found the net once on Friday.
The next day, the locals beat St. Mary’s, 8-3, running away in the second half behind four goals from Johnson. Alyssa Alvarez added a key goal for the Blue Devils, who will meet the Rams again on Thursday at Arroyo Pool.
“That was big because St. Mary’s is a team we will likely see in the section playoffs and maybe even in the section finals,” Wright said.
The Devils lost their next game, 13-12, to Miramonte, a team that DHS had beaten earlier this season. The Blue Devils were up 6-5 at the half when a medical issue caused the game to be delayed nearly an hour. After the break, the locals weren’t themselves for a few minutes, still shaken from the incident, and fell behind.
Davis, however, bounced back as the second half went on and, as the final moments ticked away, Van Deynze’s half-court shot for the tie forced the Miramonte goalie to make a good save to preserve the win.
The Devils’ late game-heroics were more successful in the third-place matchup with Oakdale, as Dominguez got a steal and sped up the pool with 15 seconds left. With just a couple of seconds remaining, Dominguez passed to Kendall Doten, who drilled a shot into the top left corner of the goal for a 6-5 victory.
DHS junior Emme Van Vorhis, who came off the bench to play well in the fourth quarter, had tied the game at 5-5 with a goal just one minute earlier.
DHS boys water polo
Playing at the S&R Sport Cup this weekend in Irvine, the Blue Devils got off to a slow start, then turned up the defense to finish strong.
DHS dropped two games on Friday, then came back to win both of its Saturday outings to take 13th place.
“At this point in the season, we really need to develop some more consistency with our defense,” said Devil coach Tracy Stapleton. “When our defense is strong, everything else falls into place.”
Davis struggled in the first five quarters of the tournament, losing its opener 13-1 to Foothill (Santa Ana) then falling behind 5-2 in the first period against Irvine.
The locals began to turn things around in that contest — getting hat tricks from Graham Fullerton and Conrad McCarthy, two goals from Garrett Fisk and single tallies from Cameron Wright and Nick Masson — but didn’t have quite enough, losing 11-10.
Fisk then scored five goals on Saturday to lead the Blue Devils to an 11-6 victory over San Clemente. Wright added two in that game, while single goals came from Brad Nicholson, Sam Burke and Tyler Ujifusa.
DHS wrapped up the event with a 10-6 win over rival Jesuit. The Devils actually trailed 3-2 after one period, but the resurgent local defense held the Marauders without a goal for the next two quarters.
Nicholson poured in four goals in the win, Fisk and Wright added two apiece and single scores came from McCarthy and Fullerton.