Los Altos High’s Lauren Soobrian runs toward a sixth-place finish at the CCS meet.

At Saturday’s Central Coast Section cross-country championships, the Los Altos High girls’ sixth finisher proved just as important as their first-place runner.

At the conclusion of the Division I race at Crystal Springs, the Eagles found themselves tied with Menlo-Atherton for second with 56 points (earned by each team’s top-five finishers). Only one of these schools could qualify for state – joining champ Los Gatos – so it came down to a tiebreaker: the sixth-fastest runner among Los Altos and M-A.

Shelli Lewis put the Eagles ahead with a 25th-place time of 19 minutes, 49.1 seconds, which was more than a minute faster than the Bears’ Madeline Boyle, who came in 44th.

“Don’t let anyone ever try to tell you cross-country is not a team sport!” Los Altos coach Steph MacKenzie told her squad after the meet.

Lauren Soobrian, who missed the early part of the season with an injury, paced the Eagles with a sixth-place time of 18:31. Fiona Bodkin, surging in the final 5 meters, finished seventh with a personal-record time of 18:40. Maddy Randall “had the race of her life,” MacKenzie said, and placed 13th with a PR of 19:03. Jasleen Sidhu took 15th with a 19:22 that nearly broke her personal best and was almost 10 seconds faster than what she ran at the league meet. Riley Capuano placed 19th with a 19:35, despite feeling under the weather, the coach said.

The state meet is slated Nov. 27 at Woodward Park in Fresno.

On the boys side, three Division I teams advance to state – and that last spot went to Mountain View. The Spartans finished only four points behind Palo Alto and Bellarmine, which tied for first at CCS.

Three Mountain View runners placed in the top 10: Emmanuel LeBlond (second, 15:10), Evan Markelz (sixth, 15:48) and Nicholas Trepanier (seventh, 15:53).

The St. Francis girls and boys advanced to state by placing first and third, respectively, in Division II.

The St. Francis girls’ five scoring runners finished one after another: Lillian Kaelber (seventh, 18:55), Christel Elkins (eighth, 18:56), Anna Fawcett (ninth, 19:01), Sabrina Zanetto (10th, 19:05) and Hinako Yamato (11th, 19:06).

Jack Sloan led the St. Francis boys with a 14th-place time of 16:11.

Girls golf

Los Altos High sisters Sophie and Cami Thai qualified for this week’s state girls golf championships in Pebble Beach by posting solid scores in what coach Abe Roof called “very tough” conditions at the NorCal finals Nov. 9 at the Berkeley Country Club.

Senior Sophie shot a 4-over-par 76 to seize the seventh individual berth in Tuesday’s state tournament at Poppy Hills Golf Course (played after the Town Crier’s deadline), while freshman Cami shot a 77 to nab the ninth and final bid.

“The course was wet and was playing 5,750 yards with lots of elevation changes,” Roof said of NorCal, where the best score was a 73.

Cami was forced to play an extra hole after tying two other competitors for the last spot at state. She won the sudden-death playoff by draining a 5-foot putt, “with the ball pausing briefly on the lip before falling in the hole,” Roof said.

The Thai sisters led the Los Altos team to a sixth-place finish at NorCal, where the Eagles shot a 429. Only the top three teams advanced to state.

Girls tennis

Sixth-seeded Los Altos exited the CCS team playoffs in the quarterfinals, falling 6-1 to No. 3 St. Francis Thursday at Cuesta Park.

“St. Francis was really tough and clearly the better team,” Eagles coach Hung Nguyen said. “We had to play really well to make it close, and we did somewhat.”

Nguyen described three of the matches as “really, really close,” but his team wasn’t able to pull out any of them. Visiting Los Altos’ lone win came at No. 3 doubles, where Tyra Bogan and Sania Rashid prevailed in straight sets.

A day earlier, Los Altos cruised to a 6-1 second-run win over Burlingame. The host Eagles (16-8 overall) won at every spot but No. 1 singles, with all their victories coming in straight sets.

St. Francis (17-2) advanced to Saturday’s semifinals against No. 2 Menlo at Lynbrook, where the Knights topped the Lancers 5-2.

Menlo beat No. 7 Mountain View (9-7) in the quarterfinals.

Girls volleyball

After stunning top-seeded Marin Catholic on the road in five sets to open the NorCal Open Division playoffs behind 15 kills from Madison Pietsch, No. 8 St. Francis swept No. 4 Menlo in Saturday’s semifinals in Atherton. That put the Lancers (21-11) in Tuesday’s final against a familiar foe – No. 2 Mitty (35-7).

St. Francis beat the Monarchs twice in West Catholic Athletic League play but lost to them in the CCS Open Division semifinals. Tuesday’s match at Mitty was played after the Town Crier’s deadline.

No. 11 Mountain View won the first set of its NorCal Division II opener Tuesday in San Anselmo, but sixth-seeded Archie Williams rallied to win the next three.

“This was another tough ending to what otherwise was a very overachieving season,” said coach Dave Winn, whose Spartans (23-7) were upset by Monta Vista in the CCS Division I semifinals the week before.

Winn described the NorCal match as “winnable” but acknowledged that host Archie Williams exposed “several weaknesses” in his team.

After jumping to a 19-10 lead in the first set, the Spartans “let our foot off the gas and let them back into the match,” the coach said. “Even though we won 25-20, we lost our momentum.”

Archie Williams (27-2) took advantage, prevailing 25-19, 25-18, 25-21 to advance to the quarterfinals.

Field hockey

St. Francis played Los Gatos to a scoreless tie in regulation and two overtimes, but the Wildcats won Saturday’s CCS final in a shootout, 7-6. The Lancers ended the year with a 14-3-1 record.

Girls water polo

St. Francis’ season didn’t end with last week’s 18-10 loss to Sacred Heart Prep in the CCS Open Division semifinals. The Lancers (17-10) have qualified for the NorCal playoffs as the fifth seed in Division II and were slated to visit No. 4 Granite Bay (24-6) Tuesday. The winner advances to Thursday’s semifinals.