The Atascadero and Templeton High School, Cross Country teams, kicked off the 2021 athletic on Feb. 12 in a dual meet ran throughout the high school campus on the hill. Since that time, all three North County schools have officially kicked off their long-distance seasons and competed over the weekend in local dual meets.

Paso Robles High School

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The Paso Robles Bearcats competed in their first meet of the season on Saturday morning when they traveled to Los Osos to face off against the San Luis Obispo Tigers. After months and months of training, the crimson cats were finally able to compete against someone and did so on a 2.4-mile course at Los Osos Middle school.

The Tigers team was too strong on Saturday, claiming victory on both the boy’s and girl’s sides, but the Lady Bearcats put together a strong race, only losing by five points, 25-30. Tiger’s senior Grace Rubio took the top spot on Friday with a time of 15:41.01, followed by Bearcat junior Charlotte Castelli in second with a time of 16:12:53.

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The Tigers and Bearcats each placed five girls inside the top ten; however, SLO finished with three girls in the top four, giving the Tigers a slight edge. PRHS sophomore Sydney Moore finished fifth overall with a time of 17:14.17, followed by two seniors in Jaiden Anguiano and Madeline Loff, whose times were 17:17.95 and 17:20.43, respectively. Junior Sophia Berry rounded out the Lady Bearcats’ top five, finishing tenth with a time of 17:43.61.

The Bearcat boys placed two runners in the top ten on Saturday, with junior Cameron LeClair crossing the line in fifth place with a time of 13:59.64. Junior Diego Ortega led a pack of five Bearcats across the finish line, placing tenth through fifteenth. Ortega came in with a time of 14:47.94, followed by Tristan Poggi, Joseph Martinez, Manuel Cruz Cavaro and Ethan Short.

Josh Bell, THS. Photo by Matt MacFarlane

Templeton High School

The Templeton Eagles made a trip to Nipomo on Saturday morning for their second race of the season and split the duel with the boys defeating the Titans 25-31 while the girls fell in a tight race 30-26.

Ashlyn Estes, THS. Photo by Matt MacFarlane

Eagles’ Josh Bell took first place overall in the race throughout the Titans’ campus, making that two races in a row he has placed first after his victory in Atascadero in the previous dual, with a time of 11:55. Templeton placed five runners inside the top ten, which ultimately led them to victory. Nick Jansen finished in third (13:32), Max Chalekson placed fifth (13:40), Bandy Smith placed seventh (14:03), and Nikita Norton crossed the finish line in ninth (14:07).

Maddie Bobbit also took first overall for the Eagles on the 2.5-mile track for the girls with a time of 15:01. Hannah MacFarlane finished in fifth place (16:44), followed by Ava Lawrence in sixth (17:12), Ashlyn Estes in seventh (17:24) and Mariana Perez in eleventh (18:09).

Atascadero High School

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Photo by Roger Warnes

The Greyhounds hosted their second dual meet of the season on Friday, welcoming in the Morro Bay Pirates. The two teams raced a 2.44-mile course that took them around the track and upper practice fields and the campus itself. Both the boys and girls team cruised to victory.

The boys charged through the course, taking four of the top five spots. Senior captain Tyson Rigby placed first overall with a time of 13:07, followed closely by his teammate Kyle Shatwell in second at 13:19. One Pirate crossed the line in second, followed by three more Greyhounds in Owen Fang (14:02), Karl Walrod (14:03) and Nathan Cooks (14:13).

The girls were also dominant on Friday, placing their top five within the top seven places in the dual. Faith Rocha blazed ahead of everyone finishing with a time of 15:09. Anna Archibald finished second at 15:50, and captain Bella Otter finished in fourth at 16:23. Kelsie Rigby (16:23) and Chelsea Stilts (16:35) rounded out the Hounds’ top five.

Upcoming Athletic Events

Each of the three North County cross country teams will continue their seasons this upcoming week. Templeton will welcome in the Mission Prep Royals on Friday afternoon, while Atascadero and Paso Robles will hit the road on Saturday morning. The Greyhounds will be heading to Arroyo Grande to take on the Eagles while the Bearcats will be in Santa Maria facing the Righetti Warriors.

Friday will also bring swimming back to the North County with a bang as Atascadero and Paso Robles will keep the rivalry alive. The Bearcats will be making the trip to Atascadero that will host the event in their pool facility on campus. The dual is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m.