The seventy-eight schools of the San Gabriel Valley competed in their League Championship Finals meets, beginning Saturday, October 27 through Friday, November 2.
Unless a team has earned an at-large qualification through the CIF-SS rankings, they will need to finish in the top half of their league to advance to CIF Prelims. Individuals whose teams fail to move on can also advance if they finish in the top six at their League Meet.
After the jump is a list of all the league meets with a link to our coverage.
This week begins the second cycle of league cluster meets. In most leagues, with two cluster meets and then the finals, the first two meets each count for 25% of the team standings and the league finals meet accounts for the remaining 50%.
Tuesday, October 2
Mission Valley League #2 – Bonelli Park, San Dimas
Preview: Arroyo took both sides in the first meet, followed by Rosemead and Gabrielino. The Knights are likely winners again, with the biggest question is whether El Monte on the boys side and South El Monte on the girls can make it into the top 3.
Preview: Webb were the easy winners in meet one, and they should hold that spot on their home course.
Girls Results: Lily Miller (Webb) repeats her 2 minute win from the first meet, this time over teammate Anne Lofgren as the Gauls put five in the first eight for the easy win.
Boys Results: Nathan Vallejo (Southlands Christian) wins by 90 seconds again, this time over Frank Hu (Webb). The Gauls earn a big win with 25 points, while SCHS moves up to third in this seven team league.
Wednesday, October 3
Hacienda League – Bonelli Park, San Dimas
Preview: The Walnut girls were the easy winners here in the first meet and should repeat. On the boys side, Los Altos will try to build on strong performances since the first meet to push Walnut out of first, while West Covina will be trying to beat South Hills and reach the top half of the league.
Girls Results: Ramona Convent got a little closer to League leaders Sacred Heart but were still 2nd. Alverno was 3rd and San Gabriel Mission 6th. The best SGV runner was again Emily Silva (Fr, Ramona Convent) who dropped one spot from last week to 7th/22:03 for 5000m.
After years of struggling in the Palomares/Sierra League, Diamond Bar jumped to the front of their new league. The boys had a solid win and the girls were third, but just two points out of first.
Girls Results: The Brahmas move up to second, four points short of Chaffey. Meet 1 winner Ontario fell to fourth, so DB can win the League Championship with a win at League Finals. Kelli Ishitani (5th/20:11) was the team leader while Cameron Tsau, not in the Varsity in Meet 1, made a key contribution by finishing 11th/21:07.
Boys Results: George Rosales (16:21) and Lukas Amare (16:33) go 1-2 again, but DB’s #4 from Meet 1 is not in the team costing the team enough points that Ontario edges them 37-38, setting up a showdown for the Championship at Finals.
605 League – La Mirada Park
Pioneer moved from the Del Rio League to this new league this year, and the boys dropped a perfect 15 in the first race, while the girls were 4th (of four)
Armando Lopez’s (So) big win led the Schurr boys to a clear over Montebello and Bell Gardens. The Alhambra girls had an even bigger win over Bell Gardens and Montebello. The Moors’ Serena Duenas was the easy winner.
Baseline League (Red Hill Park – Rancho Cucamonga)
Damien was 4th and St. Lucy’s 5th in this tough six-team league
Girls: Katie Bautista (Santa Fe) dropped a dominant win and led her team to third place finish. California had the solid team win over La Serna, 26-50, putting four in the first six.
Boys:La Serna had the big break-through win, beating defending champs California 21-41. Gerald Balzer (LS) edged out Angel Salinas (CHS) for the win. The Lancers put their five in the first seven, while the Condors struggled a bit, with their usual #1 & #3 finishing as their fifth and sixth men. El Rancho edged out Whittier for third in this five team league.
Montview League (Schabarum Park – Rowland Heights)
This league runs three cluster meets, and they’re the only league that runs on this super hilly course. Azusa are the favorites on the boys side and Nogales on the girls.
Diamond Bar made the most of their move to the Mt. Baldy League, with their boys registering a win and the girls missing the top spot by just two points
Running on the rolling and somewhat slow three-mile course Thursday at Bonelli Park in San Dimas, Keili Ishitani (3rd/20:24) and Allison Ear (5th/20:32) led the Brahmas to a third place finish, just two points behind Ontario and Chaffey.
The boys were clear winners in their new league. Finishing together, George Rosales and Lukas Amare were 23 second winners in 16:24 and joined up front by Thomas Ear (7th/17:09).
The Brahmas are considerably ahead of where they were at this time last year – this could be a great year for them.
Some of the SGV’s top returning performers showed their class from the gun at the season opening Fastback Invitational. Traditionally run as a short course opener at Mt.SAC, the construction of Mt. SAC track stadium necessitated moving the meet to the flat, and super fast course at Arcadia Park for the past three years. Fourteen San Gabriel Valley teams competed in the field of 35.
Walnut’s Chloe & Emma Arriaga made their HS debuts in this meet four years ago with a 1-2 finish, and they began their senior season with a strong 1-2 finish in the senior race. Chloe dominated the entire field by over 22 seconds with a 10:42 performance, while Emma was fourth overall (and #2 SGV) in 11:09. The twins led their team to the #2 team overall finish and the top SGV team in the field. La Cañada junior Sarah Auther joined them at the top, winning the junior race and finishing 10th overall in 11:32.
On the boys side, SGV pre-season #2 La Serna immediately confirmed their promise with a 49:50 win. Running a controlled race, their top runner, senior Marco Perez was only 11th overall in 9:47, but their 1-5 gap was just 16 second. Senior Noah Hibbard led Arroyo to the 3rd overall finish with a strong 9:25 run for 3rd overall, 1st SGV. Owen Serricchio (La Cañada, Sr) and Joshua Orrellana (Arroyo, Jr) also place in the overall top 10, at 7th and 8th respectively, both in 9:45
Teams come to The Great Cow Run meet in Cerritos to open their season by running fast for a full three miles. There are always several strong teams there to lead the races, and two of the SGV’s best took advantage to post strong performances to lead off 2018.
The Arcadia boys won the large school race and finished second overall, led by big step up performances from junior Jacob Hsu (14:59) and soph Tianyuan Pei (15:10). Following a strong summer with new AHS coach (and alum) Chris Lee, Jacob improved his flat 3 mile best by a whopping 50 seconds, and Tianyuan by 92 seconds! Their team time of 76:27 is already 14 seconds better than their returning athletes’ cumulative best from 2017. Watch out for the Apaches this year!
California also turned in a strong, but controlled opening performance, dropping a 77:22 to finish fourth overall, with senior Angel Salinas (11th/15:18) up front. That time was 41 seconds faster than the Condors’ cumulative bests from last year, and yet with only a 18 second 1-5 gap.
On the girls side, Bishop Amat were the winners of the small school race, and finished fifth overall in 97:34 – led by senior Olivia Paz (15th/18:37). California (6th/97:58) and Rosemead (9th/99:45) also got out fast for 2018. The Condors were led by senior Zoe Gurule (36th/19:12) and the Panthers by senior Melanie Mach (14th/18:36).
Arcadia senior Joyce Wu had the SGV’s top individual performance, finishing second overall with a very nice 17:43. The Apaches had several key runners on the sideline nursing injuries, so they didn’t factor in the team scoring.
Four SGV teams scattered over three meets this past weekend, ranging from Riverside to Santa Barbara.
La Mirada – especially their boys team, expect to finish their season in Riverside, so they took part in the Riverside Showcase – run over a 2.3 mile version of the course used for this year’s CIF Prelims and Finals.
The boys finished second in the small school race, with senior Christian Santiago winning the race by a solid margin in 11:24. He was 9th overall all while the team was 10th among twenty-one schools.
Top girl for LMHS was soph Mariah Waters, who was 41st overall at 14:24. The team was 10th overall.
Pasadena Poly went north to open at the Gaucho Invitational on UC Santa Barbara’s campus, featuring a flat, 3-mile course. Neither team entered enough Varsity athletes to score, but junior Sophie Finney got off to particularly strong start, running 19:16 to finish 3rd. Junior Evan Hayes (41st/17:54) was Poly’s top boy.
Alhambra and Edgewood started their season at the inaugural Jeff Nelson Invitational, run over a hilly 3-mile course at Griffith Park in Los Angeles. The Alhambra girls started off well, finishing third (107:48) in a 14 team field. Tops for the Moors was senior Serena Duenas who was ninth in 20:03. Senior Carissa Biliecki (51st/24:05) was the best for 13th-placed Edgewood.
Neither boys team scored in the Varsity race. The Lions were led by junior Nicholas Castillo Davidson (30th/17:46) and senior Bryan Albarran (69th/19:40) was best for AHS.
Saturday morning at the Mt.SAC Invitational has been historic for San Gabriel Valley teams and athletes, with two huge wins, one record, and eight All-Time performances.
Boys Team: Arcadia senior Phillip Rocha dominates to win in 14:24, one second off the all-time course record, and tying the San Gabriel Valley All-Time best of Diego Mercado (West Covina, 2005) & Ammar Moussa (Arcadia, 2010. California senior Cisco Cuellar is 9th/15:08 – 30th best All-Time SGV. California ran an outstanding 78:05 to finish 4th among Div. I schools.
Boys Individual: Ayala was the top Div. II team at 79:56, led by Stephen Kahn 4th/15:10
Girls Team: Arcadia Junior Holly Lung had a huge win! Her 17:17 finish is second best All-Time SGV. Her teammate Jasmine He made an even bigger breakthrough with a 17:41 for 4th, and she now ranks =11th A-T SGV. Soph Eryca Yamane also jumped into the All-Time list, her 18:15 ranks her =#32. The Apaches were 3rd at 91:16 in Div. I, despite running without two of their expected top five girls. Claremont were 3rd/93:48 in Div. II, and were led by an outstanding 18:13/11th performance from Kiana Cavanaugh, who now ranks 30th A-T SGV.
Girls Individual: Walnut frosh Chloe & Emma Arriaga made a great debut at the Mt.SAC Invite. Chloe was 4th in 17:28 and Emma, with a huge step up, was 5th in 17:37, and they now rank, respectively, 7th and 10th All-Time SGV.
After the jump is the SGV Top Ten performers for Saturday. Div. II is still to come but the heat will probably prevent anyone from running their way onto the list. We’ll update if they do.