The Saddleback men's cross country team recorded its second straight top-10 finish at the Southern California Finals on Friday by finishing ninth at Irvine Regional Park. Ronen Skarsten was the catalyst for the Gauchos.
Skarsten was 24th overall in a field of 197. He crossed the finish line of the 4-mile run in 21:14.7, which was just 21 seconds from a top-10 finish. Skarsten was 47 seconds quicker on Friday then when he ran the same course in mid-September at the SoCal Preview.
The top five runners for Saddleback all finished in the top-100, with seven runners finishing in the top 125. Jacob King finished 60th overall with a time of 21:53.4, Bryce Callender 65th (21:58.9), Karl Garrison 80th (22:18.6) and Michael Kabbout 92nd (22:29.4).
Saddleback's ninth place finish ranks fifth all time in the history of the program, following a fourth place finish in 1997, fifth place finish in 2015 and eighth place finishes in both 2012 and 2008.
Saddleback will now compete in the state meet in Fresno on November 19 at Woodward Park.