The Alhambra girls were expected the win the Almont League, they’ve more than fulfilled expectations all year, capping it with a big win Wednesday at Legg Lake in South El Monte. The boys side was more wide-open, with ten of the first fourteen finishers from the 2017 final graduated, but Schurr reloaded the best and defended their title.
Coming into 2018, the Alhambra girls returned four of their five scorers while nearest rival Schurr graduated four of their five. Plus the Moors had Serena Duenas, the defending champ, and they lived up to that promise, winning both clusters and the final. Serena repeated as individual champ in 18:59, a nearly 30 second win.
Schurr’s Marai Atanacio repeated her second place finish from 2017, running 19:25, and led her team to claim 3rd place on the day and third place in league, earning the final CIF spot. Alhambra showed their strength by taking the next three places, Alyssa Romero was 3rd/19:29, Palmoa Sanchez 4th/19:34 and Milan Cambon 5th/19:43.
Jimena Vaszquez 6th/19:55 was the best for Bell Gardens, who narrowly edged out Schurr for second, while Mark Keppel senior Kelsey Bustamante, who was sixth in the first two meets, fell to 7th/20:18, earning the final All-League, but falling one short of advancing individually.
Montebello was just two points shy of Schurr and finished a heartbreaking fourth, and out of the CIF spots. Their best was junior Victoria Frausto in 9th/20:54. San Gabriel, led by senior Tiffany Chung – 13th/21:14 was fifth and Mark Keppel was sixth.
While the girls season-long competition was pretty stable, the boys was more volatile, with the exception of the rise of Schurr soph Armando Morales. Frosh/Soph champ last year, Armando completed an undefeated league season with a commanding 29 second win in 16:28, and led the Spartans to the team title after a small stumble in the second meet.
Senior Jonathan Maya in his first and only season of XC for Montebello was second in 16:57, and he led the Oilers to second in the meet and second for the season. Third place went to San Gabriel soph Jason Phung in 16:59. His team was also third on the day, capping a season long rise from fifth in the first meet.
But the Almont League (like most leagues) counts all three meets in determining the final standings, so Bell Gardens, who placed fourth here, finished third in the league standings and will advance to CIF over the Matadores, while Jason will advance individually. Senior Emmanuel Valencia – 15th/18:04 was best for the Lancers.
Last year’s champ, Dustin Vu (Sr, Schurr) missed most of this season, but returned in time to finish 4th/17:08. The final three All-League spots went to Edson Arias (Jr, Montebello) – 5th/17:21, Adam Alvarez (Sr, Mark Keppel) – 6th/17:26, and Richard Flores (Sr, Schurr) – 7th/17:26.
Arias had a nice rise from 30th here last year, and moved up from 16th in the first league meet, while Alvarez qualified for CIF individually, as he did last year, by out leaning Flores for sixth.
Alhambra was 5th in the team standings – their best was senior Bryan Albarran – 9th/17:41 and Mark Keppel was sixth.