Eastlake’s Williams named to All-CIF cross country first team

Eastlake freshman Jaelyn Williams finished with first team All-CIF honors.Photo by Phillip Brents

The San Diego Section All-CIF cross country team includes one prominent member from the Metro Conference for the 2022 fall season: Eastlake freshman Jaelyn Williams.

The All-CIF cross country first team is comprised of the top 10 runners by time across all five divisions from the section final Nov. 12 at Balboa Park’s Morlery Field The next 10 runners by time denote the second team.

Williams recorded the third-best time in the Division I girls race and the fifth best overall to make the first team cut.

She subsequently competed at the state championship meet in Fresno, placing fourth among Division I runners. The place-finish is the highest for an Eastlake runner.

Her season didn’t end there. She won her 14U division at the USATF San Diego Imperial Association Junior Olympic cross country championships Nov. 14 at Chollas Lark Park. She timed 16:10.20 over the 4K distance to win by one minute, 12 seconds.

That advanced her to the USATF Region 15 Junior Olympic championships Nov. 21 in Central Park in Saugus where she placed second with a time of 16:11.24 for the 4K distance.

She placed 90th out of 323 entrants at the National Junior Olympic championship Dec. 11 at the Bourbon Cojunty Cross Country Course with a time of 17:25.60.

Liberty Charter High School senior Micah Sanchez received honors as the San Diego Section Male Runner of the Year based on his top time at the section championship meet and an abundance of other post-season accomplishments.

Sanchez won the Division V section title with a time of 15:08.6 on the 2.96-mile Morley Field course to advance to the state championship meet Nov. 26 in Fresno. He won the Division V title there as well with a time of 15:13.6 in the 5K race at Woodward Park.

He returned to Balboa Park’s Morley Field on Dec. 10 to compete in the Champs Nationals Cross Country Championships, placing 25th with a time of 15:40.9 in an elite field of 40 runners from four regional qualifiers. Sanchez placed fifth out of 180 runners with a time of 15:33 in the boys championship race at the Champs West qualifier on Dec. 3. Only the top 10 place-finishers advanced from each regional to the national meet.

Sanchez, who will continue his cross country career at Northern Arizona University, finished at No. 68 in the top 100 boys cross country rankings at DyeStat.com.

La Jolla freshman Chiara Dailey earned the female section runner of the year award after placing runner-up in the Division IV races at both the section and state finals (third fastest time on the day). She placed third at the Champs West regional to join Sanchez and La Costa Canyon junior Gionana Lopizzo as three San Diego Section runners in the posh national championship race.

Dailey earned third team All-American honors with a 14th place showing (17:51.7) at the Dec. 10 event while Lopizzo, the top section finisher, placed 29th (18:30.2).

Dailey chalked up the No. 37 ranking among the top 100 high school girls runners while Lopizo was ranked at No. 79. Poway junior Tessa Buswell, the Divsion I state champion, finished at No. 63.