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
I’ve long been bugged by the inequities of our CIF Division and league systems. The Southern Section has tried to solve this in ball sports with the competitive equity approach, but for me, that only rewards mediocrity and punishes success. And the process of league classification, while accounting for geography and school size, seems driven largely by schools’ relative success in football and basketball.
Schools of the same size can face very different demographic realities. Coaching for success is hard in every situation, but it’s certain that kids who are recent immigrants and students from families facing economic hardship are much less likely to participate in sports than those who do not. No one can coach kids they never see.
What follows is a new system of classification that adjusts school enrollment numbers downward in relation to two readily available school statistics: the percentage of English Language Learners and the Percentage of students who qualify for Free or Reduced Lunch (Economically Disadvantaged). This system also tries to account for the different circumstances of private schools. You can read about this in greater detail after the jump
I’ve also divided the schools of the San Gabriel Valley into three divisions for cross country, enabling us to make like to like comparisons, and to honor teams that have done well in the actual circumstances they face.
Here are the new divisions, along with each school’s enrollment (CBEB) and % of students who are eligible for Free/Reduced Lunch (Econ) and the % of English Language Learners (Eng L) and the school’s new, adjusted size rank among SGV schools.
Eighteen boys teams and nineteen San Gabriel Valley cross country girls teams have advanced to Saturday’s CIF-SS Divisional Finals, while SGV athletes recorded 16 All-Time Top 50 times on The Riverside Cross Country Course last Friday and Saturday.
This year’s total was just below the forty-three that moved on the Finals last year, the highest total since the Final field was expanded (temporarily – one hopes) to 24 in 2016. The SGV’s biggest total when sixteen teams made the finals of the CIF-SS’s five divisions was twenty-three in 2010
Ramona Convent in Div. 5 and San Dimas in Div. 4 and Nogales in Div. 3 all qualified for the girls Final for the first time. There are no first timers among the boys, but South Hills (Div. 3) made their first final since 2009 and St. Francis (Div. 4) their first since 2010.
In an analysis of the past ten years, 31 of the SGV’s 71 boys teams have made at least one Final. Arcadia and Flintridge Prep have advanced in every one in those ten years, followed by California with nine, and Claremont, Poly and Webb with eight.
In that same time, 30 of the SGV’s 75 girls teams advanced to the country’s strongest sectional meet. Bonita, Flintridge Prep and Mayfield have been 10 for 10 over this time, followed by Claremont and Poly at 9, and Arcadia with 8.
The Southern Section has been racing at The Riverside Cross Country Course since 2015, and has used it for CIF finals since 2016. Most of the top teams ran controlled races in the Prelims (with the exception of Div. 1 boys), so we can expect many more additions in the Finals.
The Prelim Race heat sheets have been released for the CIF-Southern Section, the strongest sports region in the country. The CIF-SS divides its schools into five, enrollment based divisions, the fewest of any sport in the SS, and the SS is so big, making CIF finals is equal to or superior to making the state final anywhere else in the country.
The prelims and finals will be held again this year at the Riverside Cross Country Course, and because of the larger starting area on this course, twenty-four teams will advance to the Championship Finals instead of the traditional 16.
Here’s a quick lookin on the league championship/dual meet standings for the leagues of the San Gabriel Valley…
The Valle Vista league finished up last week, with Covina Boys extending their streak of league titles to six, and their 14th in 15 years! The girls of the VVL traded wins and losses, so Covina, San Dimas & Rowland are Tri-Champs. This is the sixth straight year Covina has had at least a share of the championship.
Arcadia usually wins the Pacific League and both the boys and girls clinched another undefeated season when they beat Crescenta Valley last Wednesday.
The new Palomares league was decided yesterday, with another split. The Bonita Boys defeated Claremont to finish 5-0 and win their first league championship since 1953! On the girls side, the Bearcats fell to the Wolfpack, so both those teams will share the championship with Ayala.
The Baldwin Park Boys have won the Montview League with a 4-0 record. If Sierra Vista defeats Duarte tomorrow, they will be the Girls Champions
The Mission Valley League will be decided today when Arroyo travels to Rosemead. The Knights and Panthers are both 4-0 on the boys side, so the winner is the champ. The Arroyo girls are 4-0, while Gabrielino and Rosemead are 3-1 – so if Rosemead wins, there will girls tri-champs.
In the Miramonte League, the Pomona, La Puente & Edgewood Boys all have one loss, so if they all win, there is 3-way tie for the league championship. Pomona is a likely win from the Girls League Championship.
Also today, Damien is very likely to win the non-SGV Baseline League against Rancho Cucamonga.They are 4-0 and defeated Los Osos, their biggest challenge, last week.
Two Three more leagues will be decided tomorrow. In the Almont, Schurr is at Montebello, and the winner will be the boys Champ. Bell Gardens has the girls title all but sewed up.
In the Del Rio league – four undefeated teams will meet Thursday. Santa Fe at California will decide the boys champ, and El Rancho will run at Whittier to determine the girls champs.
Walnut are the defending champs of the Hacienda League, and the girls have the title in hand. But in another great match up, the undefeated boys will meet undefeated Los Altos for the championship.
We haven’t heard from the Rio Hondo, Montview, Miramonte and Prep leagues, but we’ll update if we do.
We got a bit behind on SGV meet week and it’s time to catch up. The performer of Week 9 is Bishop Amat’s Jessica Gallardo – who was Athlete of the Meet at the SGV Champs on the strength of her 1600/800 double.
But we wanted to be sure honor our week 8 best performer, junior Malia Avila of Walnut. Malia dropped a huge PR 44.39 while finishing second in the Seeded Race at the Mt.SAC Relays. Her time was 2.01 seconds better than her previous best, and she now ranks #19 All-Time in the SGV.
In other All-Time Performances at Mt.SAC, just behind Malia in the same race, La Salle senior India Hines’ 44.61 moves her to #23 AT SGV, and her 36-09.75 triple jump ranks her #41 AT. In the 800, Gallardo ran 2:14.65 to move to #16 AT SGV, while her soph Amat teammate Ally Palomino is now #17 AT SGV at 10:49.94 in the 3200.
The best performance at Mt.SAC came from the Arcadia 4×400 relay. They won the Invite race in a school record and #10= All-Time SGV performance of 3:48.90. They are currently ranked #5 in California for 2015.
Most of the best marks from the SGV Champs are covered above, but we should take special note of the 1600 – it had three All-Time SGV Performances and Five School Records! Gallardo and San Dimas soph Trinity Ruelas were followed by Stephanie Cortez (Sr, California) at 5:04.41 – a school record and #25 All-Time SGV. Next across were Demi Marine (Jr, Covina) – 5:07.71 and Rochelle Viramontes (So, Whittier) – 5:07.80 – both new school records. And then came Brenda Dorantes (Jr) – 5:08.35, also under the old Whittier record. It was really a great race.
The final two All-Time marks came in a dual meets, and it shows the value of auto-timing these meets. Last Thursday against Gabrielino (and SGV Champ Helen Tade) Rosemead junior Tammy Vien ran 15.03 in the 100 hurdles – a school record and #40 All-Time SGV. Temple City’s Karlly Feng (Jr) reached 11-00 in the pole vault vs. San Marino, and now ranks #12= All-Time.
Here is the updated 2015 All-San Gabriel Valley list for the girls. The long jump has the most, with 11 athletes reaching the All-SGV standard, and the throws each have two. 86 athletes and relays have hit the standard, and average of 5.3 per event.
When Monrovia senior Cravon Gillespie crossed the line, second!, at the California State Championships, the 2014 season ended for the athletes of the San Gabriel Valley. And it was an extraordinary year.
Cravon ran a wind aided 10.45, after his wind legal 10.54 in the prelims, and he now ranks 10th All-Time among San Gabriel Valley performers. Earlier, he combined with Aubrey Mosley, Octavious Spencer and Seth Raines to finish third the 4×100 relay in 41.45 – a Monrovia school record.
Tierra Adams (Muir) finished her HS career with a 7th place/43-09 effort in the shot – her best in recent weeks. She ends up 2nd AT SGV with her 48-10.25 throw at the Pacific League Finals.
And so here is how the season went, by the numbers
One – SGV Record Set: Claire Kieffer-Wright (Sr-South Pasadena) equalled her own record with a 6-00 jump at the Arcadia Invite
Two – Boys San Gabriel Valley Top Ten All-Time Performers
100m – Cravon Gillespie (Sr-Monrovia) #10/10.54
3200m – Esteban De La Rosa (Sr-Arcadia) #9/8:56.55
Three – State Finalists
Six – Girls San Gabriel Valley Top Ten All-Time Performers
Team Winners: Los Altos won the boys title for the first time and Glendora defended the girls title. The Conquerors edged Arcadia 78-74. The started the day with a solid win in the 4×100 and sealed the deal with a 2nd place finish, just behind the Apaches, in the 4×400. They were led by wins from soph Hunter Muncie (49.86 – 4th SGV) and Gabriel Aceves (300 hurdles). The Tartan girls piled up a big 121 points for a 28 point gap over Arcadia. Glendora posted five wins, with doubles from Brittney Johnson and Emily Hoey and a high jump win from senior Hannah Nelli.
Glendora won the girls Frosh/Soph Trophy and Arcadia won the boys Frosh/Soph Event, both by large margins.
Athlete of the Meet (Girls) Kyra White – the Arcadia junior went home with four first place medals. She posted strong wins in the 200 and 400 and contributed a leg to the Apache’s meet record win in the 4×400 as well as their #2 AT SGV 4×100 win. Kyra’s win in the 400 (58.16 – #3 AT SGV) came in only her second attempt in the event, and her 25.33 200m is #2 AT SGV.
Athlete of the Meet (Boys) Josh Ji – massively improved in the 2013, the Arcadia junior’s double win in the throws narrowly edged out the 100/200 double from South Hills senior Shawn Cutkelvin. Josh’s winning marks of 53’5-1/4″ in the shot and 150’8″ rank #3 and #5 respectively AT SGV
The Top Sprinter Awards go to Kyra and Shawn
The top Distance Awards go to Glendora junior Emily Hoey and West Covina senior Tyler Potts. Emily rode big kicks for a 1600/800 double. Her 5:05.73 was a ten second PR and ranks #3 AT SGV and her 800 win ranks her 9th AT. Tyler, just the 13th seed in the 1600, made a strong move over the last 400 to win the 1600 with a 7.54 second PR and now ranks #10 SGV.
The boys Field Event Award goes to Josh, and the girls award goes to Glendora junior Brittney Johnson on the strength of her Long Jump/Triple Jump double. Brittney had a big PR 17’5-1/4″ in the LJ, which ranks her #4 AT SGV, and her TJ win ranks #10.
There were no repeat winners in the Varsity events, but thirteen of this year’s winners were juniors, sophs and one frosh, so we’ll have a lot of athletes looking to repeat next year.
The Frosh/Soph division grows stronger and stronger, with 10 Meet Records, including all six distance events
Results and All-Time Performers Lists
Full Results in One Column Format (pdf) – 13 SGV – 1
Full Results in Two Column Format (pdf) – 13 SGV – 2
A record 45 schools will contest the 2012 San Gabriel Valley Championships, including newcomers (or returning from an absence) Bassett, Bell Gardens, Bonita, El Rancho, Mayfield, John Muir, Pomona, Pomona Catholic, San Dimas, South El Monte, and South Pasadena.
Last year saw a number of extraordinary performances, with Varsity records set in 14 events. This year’s entries look just as promising, with 12 entries with marks equal to or superior to the meet record, and another 10 within range. And that’s not counting the athletes that come up a special performance out of no where, something that always happens at this meet.