Junior Mike Esparza of Newbury Park High opened the cross-country season in convincing fashion Saturday, romping to an easy victory in the Nipomo Classic at Dos Pueblos High.
Esparza, who placed third in last year's Southern Section 4-A cross-country championships, surged into the lead with three-quarters of a mile remaining in the three-mile race. His winning time was 15 minutes, 17 seconds.
Louie Quintana led Arroyo Grande to the team title with a second-place effort (15:42) as the Eagles scored 66 points. Canyon of Anaheim placed second with 92 and Newbury Park finished third with 100.
Joe Devine of Saugus placed fifth (15:58).
In the girls race, junior Jamie Park of Santa Barbara won in 18:12. Heather Scobie of Saugus placed second (18:36) and Amy Nesbitt of Newbury Park was fifth (19:40).
Arroyo Grande, runner-up in the 1986 3-A championships, scored 37 points. Canyon of Anaheim (87), Lompoc (102), Newbury Park (108) and Saugus (113) followed.