The Lightning (199) were 12 points behind with Chris Andras (15:53) and Cameron Knollenberg (15:55) leading the way at 34th and 35th, respectively. Dylan Thies (16:05) and Ryan Fishel (16:07) took 42nd and 43rd for Sage Hill, which had Alexis Michaca (16:44) finish 73rd.
While Costa Mesa High also came close to advancing before finishing 10th in Division IV, the experience alone was something to celebrate.
The Mustangs had a good shot at keeping its season alive after Brett Bermudez (17th, 15:10) and Dakota Alford (22nd, 15:15) placed in the top 25. Costa Mesa finished with 246 points — 33 behind seventh-place Harvard Westlake — with Jorge Jeronimo (53rd, 15:46), Anuare Magana (65th, 15:59) and David Alcala (109, 17:29) scoring.
"The team making it here [is] the first time ever, so this is already history," Bermudez said. "There definitely was nerves the entire week leading up to this. None of us have gone this far before, so it's all something new to us."
The Sea Kings also finished 10th as a team in Division III girls competition. They finished with 233 points, just 16 behind No. 7 La Cañada (217).
Corona del Mar's top finisher Lilly Schmidt (34th, 17:51) just cracked the top 35 and the rest of the Sea Kings weren't too far behind with their final four scorers — Kirsten Hansen (45th, 18:09), Hannah Crane (55th, 18:25) Elin Wolker (59th, 18:31) and Darcie Marshall (69th, 18:48) — finishing within 40 seconds of each other.
Although it was a disappointing end to the season, Sumner said he was proud of both his teams Saturday.
"I would have liked to show them next week's stage," he said in reference to State. "We've been to Fresno like 23 years in a row and this is the first year we won't be going with one team or another. That day has to come."
Sage Hill's girls took 12th in Division V with Lili Mora (28th, 18:52) and Sophia Witte (35th, 19:08) both finishing the top 35 for the Lightning, which had 269 points with Brittany Andressoo (72nd, 20:24), Alyssa Anderson (74th, 20:25) and Coral Lee (80th, 20:40) scoring.