State Finals: Glendora Second, Brittnie Top Girl

The East San Gabriel Valley had a bigger than usual representation at last Saturday’s California State Cross Country Championships.  One team and four individuals went to the line of the 5000 meter course in Fresno’s Woodward Park.

The day began with Glendora’s Lauren Justus in the Div II.  Lauren had the top SGV performance at CIF Finals with her 18:06 11th place, but she could never quite find her rhythm in this race and finished 67th in 19:16.

Then came the Div. III girls and Brittnie Munoz (Sr – Rosemead) and Marissa Scott (Fr – Bonita).  Both were making their debuts at the State, and first-year Marissa was clearly unafraid, running with the leaders through the first mile.  She wasn’t quite able to hold that pace, and finished 42nd in 19:00.  Brittnie started more conservatively, but closed strongly to finish 26th in 18:44 – her best performance of the year.

The Glendora boys were next up.  The Tartans were the first area boys team to compete in the State meet since the Waleed Totari led Damien Spartans advanced in 2004.  Fresh off their Div II Southern Section Championship, the Tartans were picked to finish second and they lived up to the challenge.  According to the chip timing system, a new feature of this year’s meet, Glendora was fourth at the mile split, and then moved up to second to nationally ranked Mountain View of the CCS in the second mile.  The Tartans held their places over the final mile to finish a hard won second place in 80:09 – the highest finish by an area team since the wins by Arroyo and Walnut in 1987 and Walnut in 1988 along with Rowland’s second place, the first two years of the meet.

Glendora was led by junior Anthony Castro.  He was 13th (and 33rd overall) in 15:32, earning second team All-State honors, and his time was equal 9th best ever by a SGV boy at the State Meet.   Juniors Kelly Hernandez (16:02) and Shin Yamamura (16:14) and soph Austin Mendoza (16:03) all turned in performances right at their life-time bests, and they were joined on the podium by the 5-7 men, seniors Austin Goodheart and Neill Netzeband and junior Nick Orozco.  That’s right – the Tartans top four will all be back next year.

The final SGV race of the day was Fabian Velasco (Sr – Duarte) in the Div. IV race.  Fabian had dropped his PR by over two minutes this year, and finished his amazing season with a 16:24 24th place effort.

Complete results and videos here.  SGV Tribune’s coverage is here.

SGV podium teams and all-time performer lists after the jump. Continue reading State Finals: Glendora Second, Brittnie Top Girl

Final SGV Mt.Sac Lists

Saturday’s CIF Finals gave a select group of area athletes one last chance to compete on the famous course.  Between the two invites, two league finals, and the two CIF meets, almost every ESGV cross country athlete had at least one Mt.Sac experience, making performances on this course the fairest basis of comparison.

Glendora’s Lauren Justus (Jr.) solidified her place at the top of the list with a PR 18:06, while St. Lucy’s junior Marissa Horton moved from 10th to 7th with her 18:44 PR performance.

Among the guys, the only real movement came from Glendora junior Shin Yamamura, whose 15:56, a 21 second PR, jumped into 7th place on the list.  This gave Glendora a remarkable five of the top seven area performers this, which explains why their combined team best is nearly five minutes better than the next team.

These lists are the basis for the SGV Cross Country Awards that will be presented on Thursday, December 3, at 7:30 in Mt.Sac’s Founder’s Hall.  Awards will be given to the top 5 athletes at each grade level, as as to the top teams and top individuals.

Top Tens, top teams, and top fives for Sophs and Frosh after the jump.

Continue reading Final SGV Mt.Sac Lists

CIF Finals: Glendora Wins, Velasco, Justus, Munoz and Scott Move On

The Glendora boys followed up on their Prelims breakthough with a solid performance to win the CIF SS – Division 2 Title for the leading ESGV performance at last Saturdays’ CIF Finals.

Racing one last time over the famously hilly and tough 2.91, the Tartans combined for a 78:38 team time and 96 points to win the title.  Led by junior Anthony Castro‘s 15:20 7th place finish and number five man Shin Yamamura‘s break though 15:56 PR, Glendora put five below all but one of the other teams fourth man, and three in the top 21.  They move on to Saturday’s California Championships ranked second in Div. II behind only Mountain View of the Central Coast Section.

In the Div III boys race, South Hills ran well behind a PR by senior Johnny Flores (16:12) to finish 16th while Paul Balderas (Sr – Diamond Ranch) was a little off his best, running 16:14 for 54th place.  In the Div. IV race, Duarte’s Fabian Velasco turned in his second straight sub 16 performance to finish 8th in 15:53, good enough to earn a spot on the line at the State Meet.

The focus of the ESGV girls was the Division III race, where 2008 State medalists St. Lucy’s and fast rising Bonita where looking for performances that would put them in the top 7 and take them to Fresno.  Both teams fell short.  Bonita, led again by frosh Marissa Scott (18th – 18:35), were 9th in 1:37:26. St. Lucy’s, except for junior Marissa Horton‘s 18:44 PR, had a rough day, running a combined 1:38:08 for 11th.

Individually, Bonita’s Scott did finish well enough to advance to the State meet, where she’ll be joined by Rosemead’s Brittnie Munoz, who ran a solid 18:24, just off her best, to finish 13th.  The other area individual runner, Lauren Justus (Jr – Glendora) started off the day with the area’s top performance of the year, running 18:06 PR to finish 11th in Div. II and advancing to Fresno.

Complete results are here, and the San Gabriel Valley Tribune‘s coverage is here.

SGV at CIF Finals

Four East San Gabriel Valley teams and four individuals will compete at this Saturday’s CIF Finals at Mt.Sac.  Here’s the schedule:

  • 7:45   Div II Girls:   Lauren Justus (Glendora)
  • 8:05  Div III Girls:  St. Lucy’s, Bonita, Brittnie Munoz (Rosemead)
  • 8:25   Div II Boys:   Glendora
  • 8:45   Div III Boys:  South Hills, Paul Balderas (Diamond Ranch)
  • 10:05 Div IV Boys:  Fabian Velasco (Duarte)

The top seven teams, along with the top five individuals who place in the overall top 20 in each division will advance to next Saturday’s California State Meet, held at Woodward Park in Fresno.

Off of previous performances, Glendora, 2nd in the latest State Rankings, Justus, Munoz, and Velasco look likely to advance, and the Tartan guys and Fabian  should compete for top honors.  Regardless, it is huge honor to qualify for Finals in the Southern Section – the SS is so big, making this meet is the equivalent of being a state finalist in almost every other state.

Update:  Rich Gonzalez of Dyestat previews all of the races. (Word files)

SGV XC in the News

Be sure to check out the preview of CIF finals in today’s SGV Tribune:  Bonita and Glendora are Ready to Run

Also, take a minute to read this great article about Diego and Danny Mercado from West Covina (’06).  They will complete their Oregon XC careers at Monday’s NCAA Div. I championships.  Diego remains the high school record holder at Mt.Sac (14:24) and together they are likely the two best XC athletes ever to come from our area.

SGV Mt.Sac Lists: Justus and Castro Run to the Front

Saturday’s CIF Prelims led to deep revisions in the the SGV’s Best Performers at Mt.Sac Lists.  The cool conditions gave the athletes a chance to show off their best and to compete under the same conditions throughout the day.

Glendora’s Anthony Castro and Lauren Justus had strong performances to jump to the top of the lists after their respective first and third place finishes in their heats.  Vanessa Lopez (Rowland), Ashley Holguin (South Hills), Fabian Velasco (Duarte) and Paul Balderas (Diamond Ranch) jumped into the top ten for the first time.  Glendora (boys) and Bonita (girls) widened their leads in the team rankings

This is the strongest list of performances in the ESGV in many years, perhaps ever, and with most of these athletes competing in Saturday’s Finals,  the lists should get even faster.  Top ten lists, plus top fives for sophs and frosh after the jump

Continue reading SGV Mt.Sac Lists: Justus and Castro Run to the Front

Prelims Boys: Glendora Ascendant, South Hills Advances, Velasco and Balderas Move On

Only Glendora was expected to advance among the ESGV boys teams and they did, but a series of great performances will give them company at this coming Saturday’s CIF Finals.

The Tartans did even better than expected, dominating their heat with only 36 points.  Their team time of 78:44 was the best in Div. II by nearly a minute, and they were sixth fastest overall on the day.  Led by Anthony Castro‘s breakthrough 15:17 heat win, Glendora placed four in the top seven of the heat.  If they can continue to perform up to this level, they should find a place on podium at Finals and at the State Meet in Fresno the following week.  Castro’s performance ranked him 12th among all divisions on the day.

They will joined in the next week’s Finals, also at Mt.Sac, by Div. III South Hills.  The Huskies, led by Johnny Flores,  rode a slew of PR’s to the final qualifying spot in their heat.  They’ll have to improve a considerable amount to move on, but just making finals was a great achievement for this rapidly improving team.

Duarte’s (Div. IV) Fabian Velasco and Diamond Ranch’s (Div. III) Paul Balderas both rode big PR’s into the finals, with Velasco likely to earn a spot on the podium on Saturday and a trip to Fresno with a similar performance.

Northview (Div. III) missed a place in the finals by one spot and 62 seconds, while Israel Orosco (Azusa – Div. III) finished 11 places but only 15 seconds away from advancing.  South El Monte (Div. III) was tipped to advance with a good day, but a very rough performances from their top two runners, including previous SGV leader Jayson Perez, left them well short.

Top performers, team rankings, and complete results after the jump.

Continue reading Prelims Boys: Glendora Ascendant, South Hills Advances, Velasco and Balderas Move On

Prelims Girls: Bonita & St. Lucy’s, Lauren and Brittnie Move On

The SGV girls teams and individuals ran mostly according to form on the famous hills of Mt.Sac during Saturday’s CIF Prelims.  Bonita, led by a strong PR from Marissa Scott, and St. Lucy‘s were both seeded.  They both met expectations and moved on in Div. III, but narrowly.  Each team finished fourth in their heats, and will probably need to improve by over a minute each if they want to finish in the top 7 and move on to the California State Meet.

Glendora’s Lauren Justus (in Div. II) and Rosemead’s Brittnie Munoz (Div. III) were happy to move on as individuals with the top two SGV times on the day.  They each finished third in their heats with big PR’s – Lauren’s 18:11 was 20th among all 5 divisions, and Brittnie (18:20) was 33rd.  Both runners are likely to advance to Fresno if they run at a similar level at Finals.

Brittnie’s happiness had to be tempered by the fact that her team, and South Hills (Div. III) as well, missed qualifying.   The teams each missed by one spot and 60 and 30 seconds respectively.  Individually, Jessica Mendez (West Covina – Div. I) was dealt a tough blow when she missed advancing by one spot and just three seconds, while Charter Oak’s (Div. III) Carly Lake‘s PR left her two spots and 10 seconds away from the finals.

Top ten performers on the day, team times, and a link to complete results after the jump.

Continue reading Prelims Girls: Bonita & St. Lucy’s, Lauren and Brittnie Move On

SGV Cross Country Awards at Mt. Sac – Thursday, December 3rd

Once again, Tim O’Rourke and the folks that run the Mt. Sac Invite will be presenting the San Gabriel Valley Cross Country Awards. Here are the details, straight from Tim:

Once again this year we would like to honor the top five senior, and junior, sophomore and freshman boys and girls; the top team; and the top coach in the San Gabriel Valley at a special awards ceremony to be held at the end on the season on Thursday evening, December 3rd on the campus of Mt. Sac in the beautiful Founder’s Hall beginning at 7:00 PM. Please reserve that date, so that your top runners, coaches and parents can attend this celebration honoring the best runners in the San Gabriel Valley.

We had a nice crowd attend last year, and we are hoping this year to get all of the top runners and coaches from the local area to attend.

In order to make these All-San Gabriel Valley awards as fair and as objective as possible, these rankings are based solely on times achieved on the Mt. SAC cross country course during the 2009 cross country season. This should be fair since every school in the valley has the opportunity to run on the Mt. SAC course several times during the season—there is the San Gabriel Valley and Mt. SAC Invitationals and the CIF-SS prelims and finals are also held on the Mt. SAC course. Additionally, several teams use the Mt. SAC course for their home meets as well as league finals.

You can view top ten lists overall, plus top 5 for sophs and frosh and the top teams through last week’s finals meets after the jump. Continue reading SGV Cross Country Awards at Mt. Sac – Thursday, December 3rd

Montview: Azusa moves up, SV, Laura and Fabian repeat

The Montview league seems to like repetition.  They run all three cluster meets and their finals of the tough 3 mile course at Schabarum Park, and they had the same winners in all four meets – with one exception.

In Thursday’s finals, Sierra Vista’s Laura Gutierrez led her teammates to a season sweep, taking all of the cluster meets and the finals by a comfortable margin.  Laura won by over 30 seconds, and her teammates took 4 of the top 5 and 6 of the first 8 places for a dominating win of only 20 points.  Carmen Carillo (Workman) had a breakthrough performance to finish second and lead her 3rd placed team to CIF along with Azusa (2nd) and Bassett (4th).

Duarte’s Fabian Velasco continued his league leadership with another win, leading teammate Avedis Gertmenian and Azusa’s Israel Orosco in a strong race where all three were under 16:00.  Orsoco combined with his surging teammates to win on the day and push past La Puente for the league championship.  The Aztecs and Warriors will advance to CIF along with Sierra Vista and Bassett, and Fabian and Avi will advance as individuals.

Top Performers, Team Scores and Complete Results after the jump. Continue reading Montview: Azusa moves up, SV, Laura and Fabian repeat