The Saddleback men's cross country team finished in third place at the Orange Empire Conference Finals on Thursday in Mission Viejo. In addition, the Gauchos had two harriers named all-conference.
Saddleback was running neck-and-neck with Santa Ana for second place before the Dons edged them out in the final standings. It was a step up from last season when the Gauchos finished fourth.
Saddleback was led by freshman Brody Ray, who finished 10th overall in the race. Ray crossed the finish line of the 4-mile trek in 21:55.3 and was fifth among freshmen in the race.
Ray was followed closely by another Gaucho, Jacob King, who finished 13th among team competitors with a time of 22:11.5. Both Ray and King were named to the All-Orange Empire Conference Second Team following the meet.
Saddleback had runners finished in the top-25 in team competition. Dale Neumann was 15th (22:23.7), Nicholas Dorsett was 16th (22:34.8), Michael Kabbout was 17th (22:49.9), Adam Good was 21st (23:11.1) and Scott Hickman was 22nd (23:14.0).
Saddleback will run again in the Southern California Regional Finals next Friday in Santa Clarita.
Santa Ana, 59
Orange Coast, 123
Golden West, 176
Santiago Canyon, DNQ