Many teams take a break in this fourth weekend of the season. It comes just after the first wave of clusters meets and just before the second wave as well as next weekend’s big Clovis Invitational and the local SGV Challenge at Mt.SAC. And many of the teams that are racing will be holding out their top varsity runners, which will give a new set of athletes a chance to shine.
The biggest local meet is the Top Speed Running Super XC Classic hosted by South Hills at Bonelli Park over a somewhat slow, but spectator friendly, 3-mile course. Ten SGV teams will run on the super-fast 3-mile course at the Warren/Stauffer Invite at Hollydale Park in South Gate. The Staub/Barnes Invite at Crescenta Valley Park features a hilly course that runs similarly to Mt.SAC, and will have 12 SGV schools in the field. The excellent Brea Invitational at Carbon Canyon Park includes six teams from the SGV, racing over a tough 5K course. Duarte and Nogales will head east to the Yucaipa Invitational, run at the host school’s campus.
The very competitive Del Rio League kicked off the 2011 with their first cluster meet on the flat, 3-mile course at Legg Lake. Even with the warm day, these athletes and teams did not disappoint. Here’s the meet recap from California Coach Tony DiMarco:
Girls Varsity race recap: Co-defending champions El Rancho were the early aggressor as Bailey Henry took the early lead and never looked back winning with a time of 18:01. (second fastest time ever run in the park by a Del Rio League runner – Bailey ran 17:56 last year at League finals). El Rancho (34 pts) had 4 scorers in the top 10 throughout the race with California and Whittier chasing close behind. California had all 7 runners in front of El Rancho’s and Whittier’s #5 runners for most of the race but weren’t able to make up the deficit up front. California (45 pts) was led by Justine Romo’s 2nd place effort (18:33) finishing second while co-defending champions Whittier trailed in third place (66 pts) led by third place finisher Marylu Pulido (18:49).
Boys Varsity race recap: Whittier’s Aaron Mora (15:08) and El Rancho’s Henry Rodriguez (15:13) pushed the pace from the start finishing in that order over the 3 mile Legg Lake course. Defending champions California took control early with all 7 runners in front of the rest of the leagues #4 runners through the first half of the race but their 4-7 faded slightly over the last mile as El Rancho, Santa Fe and Whittier moved up well to make things close at the finish line. Whittier (75 pts), dealing with two scorers sitting with injuries, was upset by Santa Fe, who finished in third place with 66 pts while El Rancho finished in second place (57 pts) to California’s 49 pts.
This should set up a great rematch when the Del Rio League meets again on Friday, October 14 at La Mirada Park.
The Montview League runs three cluster meets, and their finals meet at Schbarum Park, making their passionate league battles an excellent test – the same eight teams, on the same course, four times! Last year, La Puente and Azusa battled to the end for the boys title, with the Warriors taking the championship. The Sierra Vista girls took the championship, as they had the previous two years.
On Thursday, Ganesha showed up to say there’s a new sheriff in town for 2011, edging out Azusa to win both the boys (64 pts) and girls (43 pts) meets. But “edging is the key word here, as the Aztec boys (65) trailed by only one point, and the girls by three, where they were joined on 46 points by Sierra Vista. The Dons were also third among the boys with 85 points.
Individually, Ganesha‘s best, Carlos Loreto was only 6th/18:08, but they put four in the first fifteen for the win. Rebuilding Azusa was strong up front with Ernie Castro the easy winner at 16:37. Josh Macias (17:00) was second for sixth-placed Workman. La Puente runners Arturo Garcia (17:23) and Arthur C. (17:24) were next, but the Warriors lack of depth pushed the team back to 4th/92 points. Bassett’s Douglas Castro was 5th/17:31 as was his team with 119 points. Christian V. (7th/18:13) was best for third-place Sierra Vista.
The girls race was a nailbiter, with the top three teams each taking three of top nine places. The winner was Jessica Lopez (Sierra Vista) at 20:01, while teammate Janette Solis was 4th/21:11. Team winners Ganesha were led by Liz Reyes 2nd/20:07 and Lupe Mendez 5th/21:19, while Azusa featured Shaina Pardo 3rd/20:22 and Jaline Miranda 8th/22:03.
The Montview teams improve a lot during the year, so the next meet on Thursday, 10/13 can have a whole different outcome.
The Mission Valley League came into the 2011 season with most of the talent returning from a good ‘1o season, but everyone knows it’s not who you have on paper, it’s who you can get to the line that matters.
The Rosemead girls got right down to the business of defending their league title, dropping a nearly perfect 16 points on the MVL field. The Panthers put all seven in the top 16, and were led across the line by senior Kelly Luc (20:45), a big 20:21 from frosh Quinley Quizada (21:01) followed by senior Jocelyn Hua (21:06) RHS’s perfect 15 was foiled by South El Monte senior Stephanie Castillo (5th/21:45) who just beat out the Panther’s #5. Junior Samantha Perez was 10th/22:25 for the Eagles who were a clear second with 63 points.
Arroyo, struggling with multiple injuries and illnesses, was third with 78 points. Junior Alejandra Lizarraga (11th/22:32) was best for the Knights. Frosh Sharon Koo was a strong 7th/21:40 for Gabrielino, but a big gap left the Eagles 4th at 104 points. El Monte was fifth (112 points), led by a 9th/22:19 finish from Katerina Flores. Mountain View finished only three runners and did not score.
The Arroyo boys (29 pts) were clear winners on Thursday on a hilly 3-mile course at Bonelli Park, putting four in the first ten to best Rosemead (46 pts), despite missing team leader Sam Garcia, who is struggling with IT band issues. The Knights were by a 1, 2, 4 finish from juniors Diego Lopez (16:56) & Andrew Aparicio (17:09) and soph Anthony Aparicio (17:28). Rosemead was led by rapidly improving senior Freddy Cerezo (4th/17:15) and ’10 team leader Abraham Esparza (7th/17:36).
Gabrielino made a big step to finish third (85 pts) led by sixth place finish from senior Hayden Sawkins (17:29) but their big gap will make them vulnerable in the next meet. El Monte, led by soph Bryan Telles (10th/17:48) was also hurt by a big gap, finishing fourth with 103 points. South El Monte was next with 124 points, but were missing team leader Jaime Perez. With him, the Eagles would have been close to Gabrielino. They were paced by senior Josue Linarte (9th/17:44). P. Puga (24th/19:23) was best for Mountain View (139 pts).
The first Valle Vista meet of 2011 is in the books, and change is in the making. Covina is defending two-time boys and three-time girls defending champs, but the girls will have an uphill battle. Northview broke through to win today on the three mile Lake Course at Bonelli Park in San Dimas, with San Dimas taking the important third spot. On the boys side, the Colts held the first spot by a good margin, but will be pressured by young and rapidly improving Baldwin Park.
Here’s a quick meet recap from Covina Coach Erik Starkey:
On the girls, Northview won it on the strength of a very good looking pack. They took 6, 8, 9, 10, and 11. Elizabeth Esparza was their top runner followed by Devenie Elizando and Johnnie Zambrano, all of whom were trying to shake off colds. Covina had 3 in the top 7, but did not have nearly enough after that. Their #1 was Ashli Baddorf (19:21) who was 2nd overall. Anna Barcelo of Nogales led the whole way for an easy win. San Dimas ran very well and placed a very close third behind Covina. The Saints’ Emily Smith and Alyssa Martinez were 3rd and 4th overall, while fourth placed Baldwin Park was missing three of their usual varsity runners. The score was NV 44 Covina 56 San Dimas 59.
The Covina boys were 1-2-3 with Kevin Mejia first overall (16:02) then Chris Maldonado (16:04) and Paul Gonzalez (16:12). The Colts next two were 5th and 11th to score 22 points. Fourth was Jorge Hernandez of Nogales, and then a pack of four Baldwin Park guys, all sophomores. But their 5th guy was 16th, making the score Covina 22, BP 47, and Nogales 87 (Revised 9/30)
Since this came from the Covina coach, he only had times for his athletes. Complete results and times will follow
Damien has been traditionally strong in our sport, including a trip to the State Meet in 2004, but they fell on hard times in the latter part of the 00’s. The Spartans turned that around in 2010, not only advancing to CIF for the first time in several years, but also qualifying for the CIF Div. III Finals.
They came into the Sierra League‘s first cluster meet ranked #4 in Div. III, but in this league they would face Div. II #7 Ayala and South Hills, #10 in Div. III. The Spartans proved more than up to the challenge with a strong 42 – 61 – 76 margin over Ayala and the Huskies, who took third from Chino Hills on the sixth man tie breaker.
Damien was led by a 1, 2, 5 finish from seniors Tom Ebiner(15:55), Doug Negrete (16:08) and Conor Brandt (16:31) on this rolling, 5000 meter course at Bonelli Park. Ayala was a bit off their game, perhaps feeling the effects of competing in Oregon over the weekend, and South Hills also performed a bit below expectations. The Huskies had Miles Sustayta (8th/16:36) and Jason Diaz (11th/16:42) up front, but the valuable third team spot was sealed by their 5-6-7 men (Matt Holguin, Chris Escobedo, and Julian Moran) all finishing ahead of Chino Hills’ #5.
Rebuilding Claremont, with only one senior in their scoring five, were fifth, led by juniors Jimmy Baeskins (6th/16:32) and Aric Crowell (9th/16:38). Charter Oak was a distant 6th.
On the girls side, CIF Div. III #3 South Hills and young, rising Claremont hoped to knock off defending league champions Ayala. The Huskies turned in a strong effort, putting four in the top ten, but the 1:15 gap back to #5 was too big and they finished second to Ayala 34-48. Claremont was just behind South Hills, showing similar strength up front but were done in by a 1:45 total team gap. South Hills was led by strong efforts by seniors Alex Borunda (3rd/19:38) and Sureshni Surendranathan (7th/19:54), frosh Danielle Murrietta (8th/20:06) and junior Carly Sargent (9th/20:15). The Wolfpack, as usual, was paced by sophs Merin Arft (2nd/19:27) and Megan Renken (4th/19:31).
The young St. Lucy’s team was fourth, led by promising frosh Katelyn Breitschwerdt (11th/20:45). Arlin Ortiz Ortega (15th/21:10) was up front for sixth placed Charter Oak.
Not every top runner is an overnight sensation. And Whittier senior Aaron Mora certainly isn’t. This is the fourth year of a solid HS career. He came into his final season with a solid 15:31 MtSAC PR and ran 9:34.89 to finish 3rd in the 3200 at last year’s SGV Track Championships.
After a strong summer, he’s gaining benefit of a solid body of work. Aaron opened with an excellent 15:16 for 5000 meters in San Diego and he followed that up with a blazing 14:40, 2nd place effort to lead his team to the overall title at the Rosemead Invitational. And now, Aaron is this week’s featured athlete.
How and when did you start running? – “I have been running since middle school because my dad use to be a runner so I wanted to try it out.”
What is your favorite workout during XC season, and why?– “I like doing long runs in Turnbull Canyon because I get to go as hard as I want.”
How much did you train over the summer? – “I did a lot of mileage this summer with double days and running on my own on Sundays.”
What do your think about or concentrate on during XC races? – “I focus on running for my teammates and most importantly running for Jesus Christ.”
Describe your last race. – “My last race (The Rosemead Invitational) went out really hard and faster than I expected but I tried to hold on and just keep running hard. I can’t wait to run against Danny Martinez (St. John Bosco) again during the season.”
Five Fun Questions
Best place for tacos? – “My mom’s”
Favorite subject in School? – “English”
The song that’s in your head right now? – “Best Day Ever” by Mac Miller
Short or long shorts for training? – “Short Shorts”
What trainers do you wear? – “The Guides by Saucony”
Aaron’s next race is the Del Rio League #1 Cluster Meet at Legg Lake in South El Monte on Friday.
About half of the SGV schools ran in their first league cluster meets last week, the other half gets going this week. These are some of the most exciting meets of the year, because unlike the big invites, almost every team is competitive at their league level.
The most competitive meet of the week will probably be the boys side of the Del Rio League, which is very strong this year. California and Whittier were both ranked last week, El Rancho has been very strong, and both La Serna and Santa Fe feature strong front runners. The Sierra league, featuring five ranked teams, should also be very strong.
Here’s the schedule:
Tuesday – 9/26: Sierra #1 at Bonelli Park in San Dimas.
Wednesday – 9/27: Almont #1 at Legg Lake in South El Monte; Mission Valley League & Valle Vista at Bonelli Park in San Dimas
Thursday – 9/29: Montview #1 at Schabarum Park in Rowland Heights.
Friday – 9/30: Del Rio #1 @ Legg Lake in South El Monte
We’ll offer as much coverage as we can, as soon as we can.
Coaches and parents, please send short recaps, complete results and photos to email@example.com
At this point of the season some teams are struggling. Some are succeeding beyond expectations. And some are doing just what they were expected to do. This means there’s going to be movement every week.
This week, the Webb boys, on the strength of their run at Bell-Jeff and in the Prep League Cluster, move into the Div. V rankings for the first time in several years. On the other hand, the California and Whittier boys had a precarious spot in the rankings, each holding one-third of the tenth spot last week. Idle this weekend, they move out of the first ten, as did the Div. III #10 South Pasadena girls, despite a solid win in the Rio Hondo cluster meet.
So, with these adjustments, we have nine boys teams and seven girls teams in the SS rankings.
Defending National Champions Arcadia won their second title in as many weeks, traveling to Idaho for the national Bob Firman Invite. Led once more by strong efforts from their senior leaders Sergio Gonzalez (3rd/15:55) & Ryan Vargas (4th/15:56), the Apaches ran well and overcame the loss of two Varsity runners to illness on the tough 5000 meter course. They defeated several teams ranked higher nationally, as well as SS rivals Rancho Cucamonga and Trabuco Hills. Full results are here. Dyestat Coverage is here.
Div. IV #1 Don Bosco made the trip to the Nike Pre-Nationalsin Oregon, with senior J.J. Dominguez (46th/16:20) leading his sick and recovering teammates to a 20th place finish. (Full Results). And on this weekend of travel, eight SGV schools traveled to the big Stanford Invitational, with Mayfield and Flintridge Sacred Heart going 2-3 in the Div. IV race.
Closer to home the La Cañada girls were first with a perfect 15, led by junior Sonja Cwik‘s 17:45 win, and the boys second in their division at the Griffith Park based Bell-Jeff Invite. The ranked Glendora boys were first and the girls second at the small Wayne Wilson/Sunny Hills Invite. The weekend’s top female performance came from Whittier Christian senior Kelli Hunt – her 17:20 for 3 miles broke the D3 Course record at the big Dana Hills Invitationalin Orange County.