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St. Helena XC

St. Helena junior Harper McClain, shown racing at the Flat Sac cross country meet earlier this season, won the Coastal Mountain Conference individual title at Spring Lake on Wednesday, running the 3.05-mile course in 17 minutes, 18 seconds.

St. Helena junior Harper McClain began her first ever cross country postseason with a bang at the Coastal Mountain Conference championship meet at Spring Lake in Santa Rosa on Wednesday.

The Saints’ star distance runner completed the 3.05-mile race in 17 minutes, 18 seconds to win the CMC girls individual title. The second-fastest girls time was 19:01, clocked by Sonoma Academy’s Lucy Gott.

McClain’s time was a CMC meet record and the ninth-fastest ever run at Spring Lake.

McClain, who is now bound for the North Coast Section championship meet in Hayward on Nov. 23, wasn’t satisfied with her performance. She told the Press Democrat that her goal for the race was to break 17 minutes.

“I think it goes to show that I set my goals pretty high for myself and when I don’t reach them, it makes me want to push harder,” McClain told the PD.

She’s been the top girls runner in the section, and one of the top in the state, this fall, her first season running cross country. She’ll be the favorite to win the NCS meet next Saturday, and another strong performance there will likely have her bound for the CIF state meet in Fresno at the end of the month.

The eight other girls runners who have posted historically faster times at Spring Lake than the one McClain did on Wednesday all went on to win either section, state or national titles.

St. Helena’s Florence Schlatter also finished with the ninth-fastest time in the girls race on Wednesday, 22:21.

As for team races, the Middletown girls won the North Central League I title, while Sonoma Academy won the North Central League II title. St. Helena finished second in the NCL I team competition.

On the boys side, St. Helena senior Jordan Reilly finished third overall with a time of 16:19. Jude DeVries of Victory Christian (16:08) and Paden Collard of Cloverdale (16:11) took the top two spots.

St. Helena freshman Cleo McClain turned in the team’s second-best finish with a time of 17:33, good for 11th overall.

Sonoma Academy won the boys’ NCL II team title while Middletown won the NCL I title. Like the girls, the St. Helena boys took second in the NCL I team race.

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Contact Gus via phone at 707-304-9372 or email at gmorris@napanews.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustGusMorris.

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Sports Reporter

Gus Morris covers St. Helena and Calistoga sports for the Napa Valley Register. Before joining the Register in 2018, he covered collegiate sports for the student publication at the University of Oregon.