To no one’s surprise, Palisades High senior Marissa Williams was the fastest girl at the 41st annual Bellarmine-Jefferson Invitational on Saturday morning in Griffith Park, completing the hilly 2.94-mile course in 16:59 in the Red Division varsity race.
Senior Natalie Marsh ran 19:41, JJ Wittbrodt ran 20:30, Chelsea Levi ran 20:32, Nicole Figueroa ran 22:35 and Aileen Figueroa ran 23:16 to round out the varsity girls, who were fifth in the team standings with 135 points, 23 behind Granada Hills, which lost to the Dolphins by one point in the City Section finals last year.
Williams, who was second to Bethan Knights of Northwood last year, crossed the finish line one minute, 37 seconds ahead of runner-up Krista Beck from Quartz Hill. The course record of 16:31 was set by another City Section runner, Natalie Stein of North Hollywood, in 2000.
“I wasn’t aware of my splits, but I wanted to break the [course] record,” Williams said. “When I’m out in front I don’t have as much pressure.”
The Dolphins’ frosh/soph girls were second, the junior varsity girls were fourth, the frosh/soph boys took sixth and Palisades was eighth in the boys’ seeded race. Junior Emma Ulfvengren was second in the JV girls race, Anna Bohuny and Zoe Camporaso were third and fourth, respectively, in the frosh/soph girls race and sophomore Jakob Pollack was 19th in the boys’ seeded race with a time of 16:03.
Led by Palisadians Cate Rozelle and Malia Verge, who placed sixth and fifth, respectively, Marymount High took first place in the girls frosh/soph White Division. Rozelle, a freshman who went to Corpus Christi School, clocked 22:24. Verge, who lives in the Highlands and went to Calvary Christian School, finished in 22:36.
Click here for complete results.
— Steve Galluzzo