That’s A Wrap: Noah and Audrey Finish XC Season At Footlocker

Two of the SGV’s best, Arroyo senior Noah Hibbard and Mayfield soph Audrey Suarez finished their season at the 40th Annual Footlocker Championship on Saturday at Balboa Park in San Diego. This national championship meet brings together 40 of the top boys and girls from around the country (and US possessions) who have qualified through regional meets.

Official Results

Audrey Saurez
Photo Credit: Victah Sailer www.photorun.NET

The girls led things off on the rolling 5000m course. California Div. IV champ Suarez did not go with the lead group of 7 who blew off the front in 5:15 for the first mile, sitting 35th in 5:35. In the slower second mile of the course, she split 6:05 but moved up four spots. In the faster final section of the course, she gained one more spot (and nearly another) in the last 1.1 mile  to finish 30th in 18:31.

Afterwards, Audrey said the race “… was an experience I have never had before. I think coming into this I really didn’t have any expectations, which was good. So I wasn’t disappointed. This is definitely the coolest experience that running has led me to by far.”

Noah Hibbard Photo Credit: Andrew McClanahan www.photorun.NET

Hibbard, State Div. II runner-up, was in the middle of the pack of the boys race, 3 seconds off the lead, as the whole field stayed together through the first mile. In the second 1-1/2 mile, a lead group of 11 formed, with Noah coming just off the back of the second group, standing 26th at the split. He held his place over the final 660m to finish 26th in 16:10.

While Noah had expected a better finish, he was thankful for the chance to race one more time. “Although I felt that I ran terribly, I feel blessed to make it here to compete against the very best. This was the first year I went to states and regionals, so making it to nationals was an extra bonus. My goal was to place in a good pack, in the top half. Being in the top 20’s gives me confidence, knowing that I finished among the top 30 in the nation.”

And with that, the 2018 Cross Country Season comes to an end.

Stay tuned for our post-season honors and track and field coverage.

Noah and Audrey Advance to the Footlocker Nationals

Noah Hibbard of Arroyo gets one more week!

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.

Official Results

State Champ Audrey Saurez

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

Chloe & Claremont Girls at NXN

Walnut senior Chloe Arriaga and the Claremont girls team competed last weekend at the Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Oregon.

Official Results

The Claremont Girls at the Nike Campus the Day Before the NXN

NXN brings together teams that qualify directly from regions and through an at-large selection process and individuals who advance through the same process. The Wolfpack advanced on the strength of their win in Div II of the California State meet, which placed them second in a merge of the top teams from the event. Chloe advanced individually by finishing 4th in Div I and 6th overall.

This meet is part of huge event put on by Nike for the athletes that includes meet ups with professionals and tours. It’s run on a 3 mile course at Glendover Golf Course.

CHS frosh Maddie Coles was again her team’s top performer, finishing 43rd overall and 12th among the athletes from teams in 18:00 – fourth among Californians in the meet. Next up was Arriaga, finishing 61st overall and 9th among Californians in 18:13.

Claremont was a little more spread out than usual, with a 1:17 spread from Coles to their number 5, but that was more of a measure of how well Maddie ran rather than a the other girls falling back. They finished 12th overall, ending another outstanding season.