The Half Moon Bay High School cross-country team finished its regular season schedule last week with the third Peninsula Athletic League meet at Crystal Springs cross-country course.

Once again led by senior stars Claire Yerby and Kendall Mansukhani, Half Moon Bay finished fourth with 109 points. Carlmont completed the three-meet sweep and the meet with 61 points. 

Yerby was third overall in 18 minutes, 40 seconds in the 2.95-mile race. She was 10 seconds behind the winner, Yvonne Brien Miller, of Sequoia. Mansukhani, fresh off her fifth-place finish at the Mount San Antonio College Invitational, was fifth again in 19:30. 

Jayda Bodas was 29th in 21:29. Layne Faust, Natalie Curthoys and Olivia Foster finished together in a pack in 37th through 39th, respectively.

On the boys side, senior Charlie Vail, who’s been the Cougars’ main frontrunner the entire season, had an uncharacteristic race and finished 35th in 17:47. Josh Warner-Carey was the first runner across for the Cougars, finishing 23rd in 17:22. Kohei Tanaka was 27th in 17:32, Erik Garcia was 36th in 17:48, Owen Wooliever was 41st in 17:55. Arthur McKenzie was 49th in 18:05 and Kenny Jones was 65th in 18:30. 

Now the postseason races begin, and the Cougars are going to have to get comfortable at Crystal Springs, where the next two big meets are set. First, it’s the PAL League Championship at 10 a.m. this Saturday morning. Then next up is the Central Coast Section Championships on Nov. 16. That meet will be the qualifier for the CIF State meet in Fresno, which will take place on Nov. 30.

The Cougars must get in the top three to qualify for the state meet, as the girls varsity team did at Toro Park in Salinas on Nov. 18 last season. If Half Moon Bay does not make the podium, the top 12 individuals on nonqualified teams will go to the state meet.

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