Tartan Cross Country Teams Finish Season with Top-10 Results at CIF-State Championship

The 2021 cross country season came to an end on Saturday, with both St. Margaret's teams finishing in the top ten at the California State Championships in Fresno. The girls team finished 5th after a runner-up performance at the CIF Southern Section Finals, and the boys finished 8th.
"These are two very young teams, each with only one senior on the varsity roster," said head coach Patrick Bendzick. "The future is very bright for both, and the race experience the freshmen gained today will pay dividends down the road. Few teams will be able to enter next season with this level of championship race experience."|
Sophomore Everett Capelle once again led the boys, running to a 7th place finish and time of 15:41, earning him All-State honors. The finish puts Everett just seconds behind 2019 State Champion Jackson Adelman '21 on St. Margaret's all-time list. Billy Gaudreau '12 still holds the school record at 15:28.
Down their number four runner to illness, the Tartans put three freshmen boys on the line in the biggest race of the season. Jared Botuchis, Ethan Stolper, and Evan Causee did a tremendous job shoring up the middle of the Tartan rotation. 
"This race goes out so fast that it usually requires strength and speed that runners their age haven't developed yet, but these three were fantastic," said Bendzick.
The girls team ran the 5th fastest team time in school history behind the stellar performances of Liesel Blau and Amelia Kang. Blau earned All-State honors with a 3rd place finish. It is the second time she has earned the coveted distinction in her career. 
"Liesel is simply one of the most competitive runners I have ever seen," remarked Bendzick. "The amount of time she made up on the front group in the last mile was extraordinary, and it's always so impressive how she is at her best in the biggest moments."
In her final cross country race as a Tartan, Kang displayed the leadership and poise needed from a senior in a race of this caliber. Her 20:18 finishing time pulled freshmen Sarah Bendzick and Coco Johnson into position while keeping the team locked in a close battle for a podium spot.
The Tartan cross country season concluded with a 5th straight trip to the state championships, an undefeated league title, a CIF Runner-Up honor, three All-CIF award winners, and two All-State designations.
An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County, California
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St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
31641 La Novia Avenue
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
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