Claremont are once again the San Gabriel Valley’s top boys cross country team for 2019.
The Wolfpack ended their season with a strong, third-place performance at the State Meet, moving up from fourth at CIF Finals in a year when the Southern Section dominated Div. II
These rankings were determined by doing an actual merge of each team’s final Southern Section performance – either CIF Finals, Prelims or League Finals. The top 15 teams by time were merged, five were taken out, and then the top 10 were merged again.
Four of the ten best were new this year (see 2018’s rankings here) with one huge surprise. Wilson followed their Valle Vista League championship with their first ever trip to CIF Finals, where they were fourth, and to the State Meet, where they ended up 12th. They finished 2019 ranked 8th among the seventy-seven schools of the SGV
Walnut (#3), Flintridge Prep (#9) and Damien (#10) were also new to the Top 10 in 2019, after finishing just outside the top group last year. The Mustangs were Hacienda League Champs and advanced to CIF Div. II Finals for the first time since 2013, where they finished 16th.
Flintridge Prep had a huge day to defend the Div V CIF Championship, their eighth in the five division era. Damien, stuck in the big school Baseline League used their at-large entry to finish a solid 11th in Div. III in the first trip to CIF Finals since 2011.
The Claremont boys earned the SGV’s only podium place in Saturday’s California State Cross Country Championships at Woodward Park in Fresno, while the Covina girls had the top girls performance with their fourth place finish in Div IV.
It was a bit of a rough day for our local teams, with only three of the nine, the above two plus the La Serna boys performing ahead of the average for Southern Section teams in their race.
Three SGV athlete’s made the State Meet’s ten person podium. Audrey Suarez (Jr, Mayfield) was the only girl, finishing 3rd/17:53 in Div. IV, 9 seconds off of her winning time in 2018. On the boys side, Claremont junior Jack Keough-Lansford led his team’s strong Div II effort with a 7th/15:14 finish, while Eduardo De Paz (Sr, Baldwin Park) was 3rd/15:31 and the top CIF-SS athlete in Div III. Jack and Eduardo’s times rank them =17th and =48th, respectively, among the SGV All-Time Top 50 Performers on this storied 5000m course.
After two second place finishes her first two years of high school XC, Mayfield soph Audrey Suarez made it to the top of the podium with her 17:24 win in the Div IV race as Saturday’s CIF Divisional Championship Finals in Riverside. Audrey’s time was short of her course PR and #2 All-Time SGV 16:54 from last year, but it was a solid three second win.
Audrey was the SGV’s only podium athlete this year, but she led a group eight girls to All-CIF (Top 15) Honors in the biggest & strongest regional meet in the world. This was Suarez’s third All-CIF award, and she is joined in that honor by Lily Miller (Jr, Vivian Webb) who was 5th/18:49 in Div V – her third straight fifth-place finish! Here’s the full list…
Three other SGV girls earned their second All-CIF honor – Maddie Coles (So, Claremont) – 7th/17:16 in Div II, Azalea Seguara-Mora (Sr, Claremont) 9th/17:21 and Ellaney Matarese (Jr, La Canada) – 15th/18:30 in Div IV
Div II – 17:16 – Maddie Coles (So, Claremont) – 7th
Div II – 17:21 – Azalea Segura-Mora (Sr, Claremont) – 9th
Div II – 17:24 – Angie Gushue (Jr, Claremont) – 11th
Div IV – 17:24 – Audrey Suarez (Jr, Mayfield) – 1st
Div IV – 18:09 – Sydney Morrow (So, South Pasadena) – 6th
Div IV – 18:30 – Ellaney Matarese (Jr, La Canada) – 15th
Div V – 18:49 – Lily Miller (Jr, Vivian Webb) – 5th
Div V – 19:22 – Alessia Checcone (Jr, Poly) – 10th
All eight girls advanced to the California State Meet, Morrow, Matarese, Miller and Checcone as individuals and the rest with their teams.
Performances were slower overall this year, so there were few additions to the SGV All-Time Performers list on the Riverside Course. Here the athletes who joined or moved up the list at Finals or Prelims.
6th/17:21 – Azalea Segura-Mora – Sr, Claremont
=7th/17:24 – Angie Gushie – Jr, Claremont
20th/17:48 – Isatu N’Daiye – Sr, Claremont
31st/18:09 – Sydney Morrow – So, South Pasadena
36th/18:18 – Abbie Laurel – So, Walnut
=50th/18:31 – Milo Santiago – Sr, Walnut (at Prelims)
Claremont’s streak of CIF Championships ended with their second place finish in the loaded Div II at Saturday’s CIF Southern Section Divisional Championships, but they remain the SGV’s dominant team, and their finish was the highest for our area’s 23 teams that advanced to Finals.
Four teams will move on to this weekend’s California State Championships in Fresno, led by Claremont and Div IV perennials Mayfield, who were 4th in their division. The Cubs have advanced to state in every year of this decade save 2013, while the Wolfpack have moved on seven straight years.
Covina who finished 3rd in Div IV, returns to the State Meet for the first time since their three-year streak that ended in 2016. The fourth SGV team in Fresno is newcomer Arroyo. This was their fourth straight year making Finals, but they will move on to State for the first time ever after a 4th place finish in Div III.
And one notable streak ended, as many-time Div V champ Flintridge Prep finished 9th and did not advance to State for the first time this decade, and I believe the streak is much longer.
Twenty-Three SGV girls teams advanced to this year’s Finals, the most ever for our area in this era of expanded Finals at the Riverside XC Course. The decade’s best for the years with 16 team Finals was 12 in 2011.
Bonita (19th in Div. III) Claremont, Flintridge Prep, Mayfield & Poly (10th in Div V) advanced to the Final every year of this decade, a strong achievement for those programs.
Among the twenty-three, Gabrielino (22nd/Div III) Wilson (15th/Div IV) and St Paul (21st/Div V) advanced to the Final for the first time in the decade -and maybe ever! San Dimas (14th Div. IV) and Ramona Convent (17th Div V) made it again after advancing to the Final for the first time last year.
Jack Keough-Lansford (Jr, Claremont) was the San Gabriel Valley’s top performer at Saturday’s CIF Southern Section Divisional Championships in Riverside. Jack ran 14:53 – 4th best All-Time SGV on this 3-mile course. He finished 12th in Div. II and 14th overall while leading the Wolfpack back to Fresno for the California State Meet.
SGV athletes earned two podium finishes, both in Div. III. Pasadena soph Isaiah Givens was 2nd/15:02 and Saket Sama (Jr, Arroyo) was 3rd/15:07 – both lifetime bests that rank them 9th and =15th All-Time SGV on this course.
These three were among eleven SGV boys to earn All-CIF (Top 15) Honors in the biggest & strongest regional meet in the world. Baldwin Park senior Eduardo De Paz repeats the honor from 2018. This was the most to earn All-CIF status since 2015 and an excellent performance by our region. The SGV makes up about 12% of the CIF-SS, so we’d expect 9 All-CIF Honors. Here’s the full list…
Div I – 15:13 – Jared Alderfer (Sr, California) – 13th
Div I – 15:14 – Gerald Baltzer (Sr, La Serna) – 14th
Div II – 14:53 – Jack Keough-Landford (Jr, Claremont) – 12th
Div III – 15:02 – Isaiah Givens (So, Pasadena) – 2nd
Div III – 15:07 – Saket Sama (Jr, Arroyo) – 3rd
Div III – 15:21 – Eduardo De Paz (Sr, Baldwin Park) – 8th
Div IV – 15:26 – Johnathan Zavala (Sr, Wilson) – 6th
Div IV – 15:34 – Jonathan Phieffer (Sr, Wilson) – 10th
Div V – 15:50 – Hudson Billock (Jr, Flintridge Prep) – 9th
Div V – 15:51 – Bennett Oakes (Jr, Flintridge Prep) – 11th
Div V – 16:01 – Dean Wolfe (Jr, Webb) – 14th
Ten of the eleven advanced to the California State Meet, Givens, De Paz and Wolfe as individuals and the rest with their teams. Alderfer of Cal was unlucky to be the sixth individual from a non-qualifying team in Div. I (five advance), so his fine performance will be his last this year.
Jared did, however, leave his mark on the SGV All-Time Performers list for the Riverside course, improving from 16:04 last year to 15:13 to rank #24 A-T SGV. Here’s a list of athletes that either joined or improved their place on the list at Finals or Prelims.
4th/14:53 – Jack Keough-Lansford – Jr, Claremont
9th/15:02 – Isaiah Givens – So, Pasadena
=10th/15:05 – Jesse Alvarado – Sr, Walnut
=15th/15:07 – Saket Sama – Jr, Arroyo
=18th/15:08 – Matthew Mora – Sr, Santa Fe
=22nd/15:12 – Yoon Cho – Sr, Claremont
24th/15:13 – Jared Alderfer – Sr, California
=25th/15:14 – Gerald Baltzer – Sr, La Serna
=25th/15:14 – John Sesteaga – So, Glendora
=25th/15:14 – Lukas Amare – Sr, Diamond Bar (at Prelims)
Flintridge Prep claimed the San Gabriel Valley’s sole championship while Claremont were again easily the region’s best team at Saturday’s CIF Southern Section Divisional Championships at the Riverside Cross Country Course.
Five teams will move on to this weekend’s California State Championships in Fresno, led by Div. V champions Flintridge Prep. The Rebels ran a great final and earned the title for the first time since 2015 and continued their many many year streak of advancing to the State Meet. Five teams is the third best for our region from 2009 on. The best years were 2009 and 2015, when our the SGV sent seven to Fresno. See a chart of SGV XC CIF Finalists + State at this link
Claremont fell to fourth this year in the loaded Div II, after a runner-up finish last year and a championship in 2017. Astonishingly, they were also fourth best overall in the entire Southern Section. This will be their sixth straight year finishing their season in Fresno.
The three other State Meet teams are newcomers – two were expected and one was a big surprise. Arroyo and La Serna just missed moving on last year but this year finally punched their tickets with 6th place finishes in Div. III and Div I, respectively. This is the Knights first time back at the State Meet since their Championship in 1987, and the Lancer’s fist time ever.
But the biggest come through was the performance from Wilson. Heat winners in Prelims with a bunch of strong performances, they were a solid fourth in the Div. IV Finals. This is a huge turn around for the Wildcats – earning their first spot in Finals and the State meet after failing to even advance to Prelims the last three years.
Twenty-One SGV boys teams advanced to this year’s Finals, the second most ever for our area, after 2017’s, in this era of expanded Finals at the Riverside XC Course. The best for year with 16 team Finals was 14 in 2016 and 2013.
Along with Wilson, La Salle was back in the Finals for the first time in at least 11 years (that’s how far back our records go) and Marshall advanced for probably the first time ever (at least since 1998). Damien made the Final for the first time since 2011 and Glendora and Walnut advanced for the first time since 2013.
Arcadia joins Flintridge Prep as the only SGV teams to make the Finals every year since 2009. California has made every Final since 2012, Claremont since 2013 and Bishop Amat since 2014.
We will do our best to provide results and photos from the San Gabriel Valley’s Championship Finals meets, which begin this Saturday.
Here’s the schedule (with links to live results)
Send photos to email@example.com
Wednesday, October 30
MiramonteLeague@ Bonelli Park in San Dimas – Bassett defended their league championship in both the boys and girls races. Individual champs were Nicolas Castillo-Davidson (Sr, Edgewood) and Claudia Gonzalez (Sr, Bassett), with Nicolas repeating from 2018. In the boys race Edgewood and Garey advance to CIF, along with Efrain Carrillo of Ganesha. For the girls, Ganesha and Edgewood move on.
Saturday, November 2
PalomaresLeague @ Whittier Narrows (Legg Lake) in South El Monte Live Results – Claremont defended both titles, with Glendora moving up to advance to CIF on both sides for the first time in several years. Jack Keough-Lansford led a 1-2-3 Wolfpack finish, and Daniel Echeveste (Jr, Bonita) advanced individually. Soph Maddie Coles crushed the field and the League course record to lead the Claremont girls. .
Prep League @ Pierce College in Woodland Hills. Full ResultsAudrey Suarez (Jr, Mayfield) easily defended her title and led the Cubs to a big win. Just as big was Flintridge Prep finishing fourth behind Poly and missing CIF for the first time in a looonng time. The FP boys were champs again and advance to CIF along with Poly. FP junior Hudson Billock was the individual champ in 16:05 on this tough, hilly course.
Tuesday, November 5
Almont League @ Whittier Narrows (Legg Lake) in South El Monte Full ResultsSchurr (boys) and Alhambra (girls) defended their league titles. Spartan junior Armando Morales won his third championship, while the Moors Milan Cambon won the girls race. Alhambra (making a big jump from 5th last year) and Montebello and Jason Phung (Jr, San Gabriel) will advance to CIF on the boys side, while Schurr, Montebello and Gloria Lu (Sr, Mark Keppel) and Jimena Vasquez (Sr, Bell Gardens) will move on from the girls.
Baseline League @ Central Park in Rancho Cucamonga – Live Results Damien finished 5th in this tough league of Div. 1 schools but the Spartans will advance to CIF through their rankings in the Div. III polls. St. Lucy’s was 6th but Alexis Corvese (7th/19:17) will advance individually
Hacienda League @ Bonelli Park in San Dimas
Wednesday, November 6
Camino Del Rey Association @ La Mirada Regional Park – Live Results
Mission Valley League @ Whittier Narrows (Legg Lake) in South El Monte – Live Results
Mission/Sunshine Leagues @ Crescenta Valley Regional Park – Live Results
Valley Vista League @ Bonelli Park in San Dimas
Thursday, November 7
Del Rio League @ Whittier Narrows (Legg Lake) in South El Monte
Horizon League @ Griffith Park in Los Angeles
Montview League @ Schabarum Regional Park in Rowland Heights
If you’ve been coming back to this spot looking for the coverage we were able to do last year – sorry.
I started again this Fall, thinking I’d be able to maintain the coverage of San Gabriel Valley Cross Country again. But starting a new job in September took all of my available time and I had to let things lapse. I’m hoping to pick things up again for the Championship season.
I am excited, though, about that new job, and the way it connects to SGV Track & XC. I am now a full time Coach (sprints and long & triple jumps) and the Recruiting Coordinator at Whittier College. I’m happy to join the resurgence of the Poet program and would love to talk with local athletes and their families about our school and team. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Championship cross country for SGV schools is run over two courses. The State Championship has been held since its beginning in 1987 on the rolling 5000m course at Woodward Park in Fresno. For many years, the Southern Section Championships and several league championships were held on the hilly 2.93 mile course at Mt.SAC. But with Mt.SAC’s prolonged renovations and the apparent preferences of Southern Section officials, the CIF meets have, since 2016, been held on the mostly flat 3 mile Riverside Cross Country Course.
We’ve created the San Gabriel Valley All-Time Top 50 Performers lists for all three of these courses. The lists include times from all the meets held on these three courses, so they include results from CIF Prelims, and the Mt.SAC, Riverside and Clovis Invites, and from the years when the National XC champs were run at Woodward Park.
SGV athletes all made their first visits to the three courses this month, with five athletes joining the All-Time Top 50 for the first time, and one improving his place.
At the Clovis Invitational at Woodward Park in Fresno on October 12, South Pasadena soph Sydney Morrow announced her arrival among the SGV elite with 18:21/4th place finish in the Medium Schools race. Sydney now ranks =34th All-Time SGV on this course.
At the Riverside Invitational last Saturday, Gerald Beltzer (La Serna, Sr) moved up to 21st A-T SGV on this 3 mile course with his 15:16/7th place finish in the Div. 1 race. Previously ranked on this course with his 15:25 from CIF Finals last year, Gerald moves up to #21 A-T SGV. He’s joined in the top 50 by Wilson’s Jonathan Zavala, whose big senior year advanced with another big step – a 15:30 finish, good for =46th A-T SGV.
Also at Riverside, La Serna senior Maddie Franco – able to compete in Varsity races this year after transferring last year, made up for lost time with a 18:23/9th place finish in the D1 race. She now ranks =39th A-T SGV.
This past weekend at the Mt.SAC Invitational, South Pas soph Sydney Morrow earned her second spot on the All-Times lists. She was 3rd/18:14 in the Div. 3/4/5 Sweepstakes race in the heat of Friday afternoon and now ranks =39th A-T SGV.
Also on Friday, Arroyo junior Saket Sama took a huge step forward with a 2nd/15:09 finish in the boys Div.3/4/5 sweeps. He’s now =34th SGV on the course. Pasadena soph Isaiah Givens was the winner of the Div. 3/4/5 individual Sweepstakes in 15:11, and now ranks =41st All-Time SGV here.
You can view the All-Time Lists for all three courses here:
Since most schools do not maintain all-time lists, these lists are the best I can do by scouring the internet for available results. Please send additions or corrections to the lists to Bob Ramsey at email@example.com
Your source for SGV track & XC news and home of the SGV Track & Field Championships