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Two LA ’84 Clinics Coming to the SGV

The LA 84 sponsors free coaches training seminars every year for track and XC, and the next two are here in the SGV.

The Beginning/Intermediate Level Clinic will be held on Sunday, January 12 at San Dimas HS.

The Advanced Clinic will be at Mt.SAC on Sunday, January 26

These clinics feature long-time, successful high school coaches like Brian Fitzgerald of perennial sprint power Rio Mesa and Kent Reaves who has built State level XC programs at multiple schools.

You can also hear great former athletes who’ve become coaches like US triple jump great Willie Banks, and Harry Mara, who was Ashton Eaton’s coach.

You can download more information here:

Claremont Tops the SGV One More Time

Claremont are once again the San Gabriel Valley’s top boys cross country team for 2019.

Claremont with their State Meet Trophy

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.

2019 All-San Gabriel Valley Boys Team Rankings

Claremont Boys and Covina Girls Lead SGV at State Meet.

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.

The SGV’s results, by division, are after the jump Continue reading Claremont Boys and Covina Girls Lead SGV at State Meet.

Keough-Lansford Lead Eleven SGV Boys to All-CIF Honors

Jack Keough-Lansford – Fastest SGV Athlete for 2019

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)
  • =34th/15:19 - Tianyuan Pei – Jr, Arcadia
  • =47th/15:26 - Johnathan Zavala – Sr, Wilson

You can view the updated list here: SGV XC Top 50 Riverside

Fastback: Arroyo Doubles Up

Diamond Bar’s Lukas Amare – off to a hot start!

On a day of partial teams running on a short course, Arroyo were the top finishers in both the girls and boys races at the Fastback Invitational.

Complete Results

Running one more year at Arcadia Park while the Mt.SAC renovations are wrapping up, the host Knights were the top SGV teams on this flat and fast 2-mile course, both finishing 7th overall against a bigger field than previous year.

Diamond Bar senior Lukas Amare and Arroyo junior Saket Sama had impressive performances to lead the SGV boys. Lukas was 3rd overall, and his 9:30 bested his track 3200m PR! CIF 1600m finalist Sama was 4th overall in 9:36, a huge improvement from last year.

Lily Miller (Jr, Vivian Webb) was the top local girl, her controlled 11:46 was 8th overall.

These opening meets also give us a peak at promising frosh – tops among the girls was West Covina’s Maya Garcia – 12:41 for 5th in the frosh race, 60th overall and tenth best among all SGV girls. Owen Hayden (St. Francis) was just as impressive, finishing 3rd/10:29 in the 9th grade race, 78th overall and 14th best among all SGV boys.

SGV top tens, team rankings and team leaders after the jump. Continue reading Fastback: Arroyo Doubles Up

Two Big Seasonal Debuts & a Big Jump Lead the SGV Girls in Week 7

Two sophs got their seasons going this week, and between them took over the SGV leadership in four events, and a senior jumped really high – and they share Athlete of the Week honors for Week 7

Bonita’s Alisha Wilson – in her first year in the sport, had All-Time in SGV performances in the 200, 400 and LJ last year, advancing to the State Meet in the latter event and running a leg on Bearcats State Champ 4×400. At Saturday’s Covina Invite, Alisha opened with big marks in all three events, (25.23, 56.59, 18-04) taking over the SGV lead in each.

Covina soph Maya Rush (a transfer from Serra in her first meet for the Colts) ran the sprint triple at the Covina meet, winning the 100 after taking the SGV seasonal lead in a dual meet two days before in 12.39. She was third behind Alisha in both the 200 & 400 and all of her times narrowly missed breaking the Covina records.

Also at Covina – Bonita senior Jocelyn Hipwell leaped to a big 5-08 mark in the high jump, extending her seasonal SGV lead and now ranking equal 5th All-Time for our area. A Masters Meet Qualifier in 2018, she currently ranks 2nd in the Southern Section and third in the State.

All told, there were 12 new athletes or relays that met the 2019 All-SGV Standards this past week, and 8 improved their marks.

You can view the updated All-SGV lists here: 19 All SGV Girls 3-30

Montview: Azusa Boys & Gladstone Girls Grab the Championships

The Montview League is unique in the SGV by holding three cluster meets, all on the hilly, 3-mile course at Schabarum Park in Rowland Heights. The league also gives more weight to the cluster meets than others, and that made the difference in the girls championship.


Nogales were the clear winners in the girls Final race over Gladstone. The Nobles put three in the first five to score just 20 points to the Gladiators’ 50. But Gladstone had the better cumulative results to edge Nogales for the league championship. Sierra Vista was third, taking the final CIF spot.

Gladstone’s Hannah Eubanks was the big, 32 second winner in 19:05. Teammates Crystal Cipriano - 6th/21:41 and Ryleigh La Raue – 7th/21:52 earned All-League honors. Nogales was led by a trio of All-League performances: Alexis Maldonado – 2nd/19:37, Jeanette Salcido – 3rd/20:52, and Jenny Morales – 5th/21:12. Jacqueline Rosie Campos of Azusa took the final All-League spot at 4th/21:07 and will advance to CIF as an individual.

Sierra Vista was led by Aris Carmona – 9th/22:16. Azusa was fourth and Duarte was fifth. Naiden Ceja, 4th last year in the Mission Valley League when she was at Arroyo, was best for the Falcons at 8th/22:04. Workman did not score – their best was Jennifer Reyes - 17th/25:47.

Nogales senior Osvaldo Cervantes was the repeat champion with a huge, 70 second, 15:49 win, and led the Nobles to a second place finish. Azusa put all five in the first 10 to take the team title with just 25 points, while  Sierra Vista was a clear third. The finish at the Finals meets mirrored the league standings, so these three teams will advance to CIF.

Osvaldo was joined in the All-League honors by teammate Ricardo Garcia – 7th/18:08. The Aztecs had four boys among the Montview’s best seven: Angel Medrano – 2nd/16:58, Saul Mora – 3rd/17:08, Eddie Prestegui – 4th/17:22 and Andrew Bazan – 6th/17:44. Alejandro Arenas of Sierra Vista took the final All-League spot at 5th/17:32.

Workman was fourth, led by Ivan Molina – 9th/18:13, and Jake Baena 11th/18:18 was best for fifth-placed Gladstone. Duarte’s best was Brandon Lou – 28th:21:21 but the team did not score.

Pacific League: Arcadia Books Two CIF Spots – As Does Pasadena Wonder Frosh

Arcadia had been chasing in the Pacific League all year. The boys were looking to take back the championship, while the girls, losing six of seven from their 2017 team, were looking just  to return to CIF.

Final Results

Senior Joyce Wu was the only returner from Arcadia’s 2017 League Champ and CIF Finals team. Fourth at last year’s Pacific Final, she led league competition all year, and finished with a dominating 41 second win in 18:31. Her team, struggling all year with injuries and illness, finished a solid fourth and earned the league’s final CIF spot.

Karina Langley led seventh-placed Pasadena all year, and turned in an especially strong performance here, moving up from 23rd and 21st in the first two league meets to finish 14th/20:12, second best among the SGV athletes.

The Arcadia boys fell short of Crescenta Valley on the hilly, 3-mile course at Crescenta Valley Park. The Apaches were led by a 4-5 finish from junior Jacob Hsu (15:49) and soph Tianyuan Pei (15:57), but could not reach a CV team that put four in the first seven.

The two Arcadia runners ran in the frosh/soph race last year, so this finish was a really great advance for them. But their improvement paled compared to Pasadena frosh Isaiah Givens. Isaiah won the frosh/soph race in the first league meet, then moved to Varsity in the second race, finishing 14th. He was was 6th/15:59 Thursday on this course that runs similar to Mt.SAC. He’ll advance to CIF as an individual and get at least one more week to test his talent.

The Bulldogs were sixth in the team standings. Muir did not score, Ronnie Winn – 35th/18:04 was their best.

Almont Final: Schurr & Alhambra Finish the Job

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.

Complete Results

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.

Mt SAC Saturday: Two Screamers – Hibbard 15:08 and Walnut 93:08 – Lead the SGV

Most of the SGV’s schools are in Divisions 3 & 4, so only eight local schools competed on Saturday, but those schools are some of our best, and the performances showed it.

Running in the Boys Individual Sweeps: Noah Hibbard (Sr, Arroyo) was 6th/15:08 and the Knights were equally good finishing 3rd/79:33. Noah is now =31st best All-Time SGV at Mt. SAC. (The A-T best is 14:24, #50 is 15:16)

In the Boys Team Sweeps: Arcadia turned a strong effort, finishing 9th/79:43. La Serna was unable to hold their usual tight 1-5 grouping, and finished 11th/80:16.  Marco Perez  – 25th/15:37 was best for the Lancers and Jacob Hsu 29th/15:38 led the Apaches.

In the Girls Team Sweeps: Walnut was 4th/93:08 and Arcadia 11th/100:13. Chloe Arriaga again led the way for the Mustangs with a 3rd/17:21 finish. Walnut just missed putting four under 19:00, but their 4-5 gap grew a little bigger, which could hurt them in the post-season. Joyce Wu was solid up front for the Apaches at 10th/18:02, but the rest of the team had a big of rough day.

SGV Top 10’s and Team Rankings After the Jump Continue reading Mt SAC Saturday: Two Screamers — Hibbard 15:08 and Walnut 93:08 — Lead the SGV