Mitty's McKayla Plank ended an excellent sophomore season of cross country by finishing seventh in the state championships at Woodward Park in Fresno on Saturday.

It was an outstanding race for West Catholic Athletic League runners. Presentation's Melissa Grelli won the race, St. Ignatius' Clara Viehweg finished second and Sacred Heart Cathedral's Michelle Gallagher was third.

``That was like a meteor shower,'' said Mitty Coach Chris Schenone. ``To have four girls from the same league finish in the top seven at state, that has to be unprecedented.''

Plank, who finished fourth in the Central Coast Section championship, came in 25th as a freshman. She turns 15 on Monday, and Schenone says Plank has a bright future. Saturday, she finished the 3.1-mile course in 18 minutes, 34 seconds.

``She had an excellent individual season with wins at the Artichoke Invitational in Half Moon Bay and the Monterey Bay Invitational at Toro Park,'' Schenone said. ``She is so easy to coach. It's rare to find someone who enjoys the sport, is very focused and is also an excellent student. She has continued to improve, and her best years are definitely in front of her. I look forward to coaching her in the next two years.''

MENLO: Ashley Lipton, a Saratoga resident who attends Menlo School in Atherton, has signed a letter of intent to attend Syracuse University next fall. She will receive a full athletic scholarship to play tennis.

Lipton has a USTA national ranking of No. 26. She played the No. 1 singles position throughout her high school career and led Menlo School to three straight CCS and Northern California titles. During that period, Menlo had a NorCal record 92-match winning streak. She was selected as the top Northern California high school player by in 2000.