JUAN GONZALEZ (EL TORO, SR.)
JEFF THIES (EDISON, SR.)
Outlook: Trabuco Hills, the defending Division 1 champion, has put together two straight solid performances leading up to the state meet. The Mustangs were third at last week’ CIF-SS finals, seven points behind second place Vista Murrieta. Senior Noaki Omatsu was fourth, as all five scoring runners finished in the top 50. Dana Hills claimed the final automatic qualifying spot, 11 points better than fellow South Coast League rival El Toro. The Dolphins had four scoring runners in the top 50, led by freshman Jake Ogden. Southern Section stalwart Arcadia, which won the CIF-SS title, boasts a formidable lineup and is a favorite to bring home their second title in three years. In the individual title competition Gonzalez (the CIF-SS champion) will look to become the first El Toro runner to win a state title since former star Brandon Bethke claimed the honor in 2004. Thies, the Sunset League champion, was eighth at the CIF-SS Finals, and should challenge for a top-15 placing. The Arcadia duo of Estevan De La Rosa and Mitchell Pratt were both in the top five at the CIF-SS finals and should also be in competition for the individual title. Pratt is the only runner to defeat Gonzalez this season, with a head to head win at the season-opening Laguna Hills Invitational.