St. Mary's High's Spencer Moore didn't waste time getting to the front of her cross country race on Nov. 1 at the Tri-County Athletic League championships.
The junior led by three seconds at approximately the 600-yard mark of the 2.9 mile girls race at Point Pinole Regional Shoreline-Richmond. Moore opened up a sizeable lead over second place by approximately the two-mile mark and won in 18 minutes, 7 seconds.
"I wanted to get out hard for the first mile and just focus on myself and staying relaxed," said Moore, a junior who won Bay Shore Athletic League individual titles the past two years. "At (North Coast Section) and state, its good to got out fast ... I wanted to get that pace in my mind."
St. Mary's High placed four runners in the top seven and won the girls team title with a score of 29. Besides Moore, its other scorers were Chloe Jenkins (third, 19:12), Josie Smale (sixth, 19:44), Natalia Riccardi (seventh, 19:49) and Lianne McKinney (12th, 20:54).
Albany's Annabel Driussi placed fifth to lead the Albany girls team to a second-place finish. Driussi produced a time of 19:28 as the Cougars had a team score of 51. Suzanne Becker (20:03) added an eighth-place finish for Albany.
St. Joseph Notre Dame's Gabe Arias-Sheridan won the boys race in 15:40. St. Mary's, which placed second as a team with a score of 38, was paced by a third-place individual finish from Patrick Mariolle (15:56). Guy Forte (16:25) and Jovani Barajas (16:35)
Chris Mills led El Cerrito with a 17th-place finish (17:43), and Albany's top runner was Hannon Ayer (19th, 18:07). Albany placed third as a team (119 points).
WACC championships: Berkeley sophomore Diribe Abdo won the West Alameda County Conference girls cross country championship race on Nov. 3 at Hayward High. She won by more than 40 seconds with a time of 18:15.3. Biritu Abdo added a third-place finish for Berkeley (19:06.4), and teammate Eva Townsend was seventh (19:36.9) as the Yellowjackets placed third as a team with a score of 70.
In the boys race, Tariku Abdo's sixth-place finish in 16:03.7 led the Yellowjackets to a fourth-place team finish (96).
Berkeley 15, Castro Valley 13: Marlon Walker intended to take up space so a teammate could make a play, but instead it was the Berkeley linebacker's own hands that made the difference.
Walker slipped through the Castro Valley offensive line and blocked a 32-yard field goal attempt as time expired to help Berkeley secure a win over the visiting Trojans on Nov. 2 and the inaugural WACC-Foothill Division title.
"We are not out there playing for stats," said Walker. "We are out there to make plays and to play for each other."
Walker hoped to occupy two defenders so teammate Akil Bordelon could make the play. But when the Trojans focused on Bordelon, Walker slipped through.
The Yellowjackets will travel to face sixth-seed Freedom (8-2) on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. in the first round of the North Coast Section Division I playoffs. Berkeley is the No. 11 seed.
Berkeley (5-4, 5-0 WACC-Foothill) trailed for all but 7 minutes and 12 seconds of the game on Nov. 2, but took the lead with 1:22 left on Doug Stewart's 1-yard run that capped a 10-play, 60-yard drive and set the stage for Walker's heroics.
Castro Valley (5-5, 3-2) drove 65 yards on 10 plays, keyed by quarterback Luke Huerta's 19-yard pass to Robert Taylor and Patrick Cheek's 10-yard run to put the ball at Berkeley's 15-yard line with 4 seconds left.
The Trojans scored first on Demareyeh Lane's 5-yard run with 6:50 left in the first quarter to give Castro Valley a 6-0 lead.
Stewart responded for Berkeley with a 2-yard run midway through the second quarter to tie the game at 6-6.
Castro Valley's Huerta added a 16-yard touchdown run with 3:20 left in the first half to give the Trojans a 13-6 lead.
Berkeley capped the scoring with a 42-yard field goal by Samuel Boyden in the third quarter and then Stewart's touchdown run in the fourth.
-- Robert Jordan
St. Mary's 28, Pinole Valley 17: Senior quarterback Kevin Flemer completed 11 of 18 passes for 167 yards and three touchdowns in the first half as the Panthers beat host Pinole Valley 28-17 on Nov. 2 in the TCAL-Rock Division finale for both teams.
Flemer threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Caleb Coleman for the game's first score, then fired two touchdown passes to Liam Godfrey in the second quarter as St. Mary's (5-5, 3-3 TCAL Rock Division) held a 21-3 lead at the intermission.
Flemer finished with 19 completions in 25 attempts for 219 yards. St. Mary's will travel to No. 8 Middletown (7-3) for a first-round NCS Division IV playoff game on Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. The Panthers are the No. 9 seed.
Pinole Valley (3-7, 2-4) fought back in the second half and scoring on a 85-yard kickoff return to start the third quarter by Isiah Lewis. The Spartans scored again in the quarter when receiver Max Lovelle connected with fullback Josh Powell on a 15-yard touchdown pass with 56 seconds left in the third quarter.
St. Mary's put the game out of reach on a 1-yard plunge by Aiden Shockley midway through the fourth quarter. The Spartans tried to rally, but St. Mary's utilized the clock well and held off the host team.
Coleman led all receivers with seven catches for 103 yards. Godfrey had three receptions for 73 yards.
-- Joe Wolfcale
El Cerrito 60, St. Patrick-St. Vincent 6: The visiting Gauchos took a 26-0 first-quarter lead and led 47-0 at halftime on Nov. 2 to finish their regular season with a perfect 10-0 record. The Gauchos earned the No. 1 seed in the NCS Division III playoffs. They will face No. 16 John F. Kennedy-Fremont (4-6) at De Anza High on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m.
Albany 26, John Swett 15: The Cougars came back from an 8-0 first-quarter deficit to defeat the host Indians on Nov. 2. Albany won its final two games of the season and finished with a 2-8 overall record and 2-3 mark in the TCAL-Stone Division.