Two of the SGV’s very best competed one more time this past weekend, with, Audrey Suarez (So, Mayfield) and Noah Hibbard (Sr, Arroyo) earning the right to compete one more week with two of our area’s best efforts ever on the big hills of Mt.SAC at the Footlocker West meet.
There are two national “Championship” meets for Cross Country – the Nike Cross Nationals (NXN -) that was held last weekend in Portland, Oregon, and the Footlocker Championships, held each year at Balboa Park in San Diego.
The Footlocker meet is the older of the two, and the athletes compete individually, qualifying directly through regional meets. Hibbard and Suarez both advanced in the West Regional which matched athletes from 12 States on Saturday over a 5000m Mt.SAC course that runs about 50-70 seconds slower than the traditional 2.93 mile course.
In the girls race, State Div. IV Champ Suarez ran in the lead pack the whole way and advanced easily in 6th/18:18, behind two other State Champs and girls from three other states. This is one of the best efforts ever by a SGV athlete here. Three of our areas top seniors were also in the Championship race. Emma Arriaga (Walnut) was best, 35th/19:01, followed by Joyce Wu (Arcadia) -75th/19:43, and Melanie Mach (Rosemead) – 82nd/19:50. Covina junior Kaitlyn Vuong finished her season at 109th/20:55.
The top boys were even more tightly bunched, and Hibbard finished a controlled 5th in 15:37. As with Audrey, Noah’s effort was one of the best ever by an SGV athlete on these hills. Pasadena frosh Isaiah Givens closed out his debut year with an exceptional 82nd/16:42 finish, matching the time he ran on the nearly 300m shorter invite course in October.
Arroyo junior Josh Orellana was 92nd/16:49, Claremont senior Jacob Moran was 110th/16:58 and Diamond Bar senior Lucas Amare was 116th/17:03. Nine other SGV athletes also closed out their year here.
Audrey and Noah will finish up next Saturday, racing in the 40th Annual Championship at Balboa Park in San Diego. There will be a live webcast and other meet details here: footlockercc.com