As expected, the Los Altos boys and Bonita girls clinched the Hacienda League Championships on Thursday at Mt.SAC, but not really as expected. The Conquerors won a boys race that was much closer than expected, while the Bearcats took expectations of a battle and turned it into a blowout.
Bonita junior Marissa Scott defended her league title, leading wire to wire in 18:14, with her sister, frosh Kailyn Scott a strong 2nd in 19:04, both excellent efforts on this warm afternoon. The Bearcats then went 6-7-11 to close out the scoring at 27 points. The expected showdown with Walnut never materialized. The Mustangs had a rough day with their three usual team leaders, all expected to finish top 10, coming in 12th, 19th, and DNF. Senior Wynnie Young 8th/20:09 was best for WHS, and the team was third, so they’ll have another chance together at CIF. Los Altos was a very nice second, led by a pair of sub 20:00 performances from seniors Krystal Martinez – 4th/19:44, and Emily Ruiz – 5th/19:47.
The first three schools dominated the race, taking the top 19 places, except for 3rd, won by Courtney Canchola (Rowland), who ran 19:34 and will advance to CIF as an individual. Diamond Bar, led by junior Kelly Kuo – 21st/21:41 – at the head of a tight five-girl pack, was fourth and takes the final CIF spot. Karissa Austin – 26th/22:07 – was best for West Covina and Jade Mack – 28th/22:09 led Diamond Ranch.
On the boys side, as expected, senior Nick Rivera (Rowland) just outpaced teammate David Galvez for the individual honors, 15:44 to 15:49. his teammates showed enough depth to advance to CIF, as the fourth placed team, on this very competitive day where the gap from first to fourth was just 12 points. Los Altos senior Jair Juarez ran well to finish 3rd/15:57 and every spot was needed at the Conqs received a greater than expected challenge from second place Bonita, edging them by just two points, 56-58!
This was not unexpected, as Los Altos suffered a tough day at the second Hacienda Cluster meet, but it was Walnut that had surged to the front last month. Here, it was Bonita that combined a strong 1-2 from soph Dillon Nobbs – 4th/16:00 and from senior, and first year XC athlete Daniel Guasso – 7th/16:21. The other scorers ran well, going 14-16-17 to nearly reach champions Los Altos. In fact the Bearcats team time (82:34) was just ahead of the Conq’s 82:36, who were especially helped by a return to form from senior Bobby Villagomez at 5th/16:11.
Third placed Walnut put two in the top 10, junior Myca Van Setten with a nice step up 6th/16:19 and senior Daniel Harrigan-Cota – 10th/16:31, but the 11-19-20 finish from the next three was too little to hold on to the top spot that they’d seized at the second meet. Diamond Bar senior James McCreary was battling a respiratory infection, so his 8th/16:25 effort was well off his best, but more importantly, he was 6 seconds and 2 places away from the place he needed to advance to CIF individually. His team was fifth. Junior Tyler Potts – 12th/16:35 was best for West Covina and Diamond Ranch’s leader was junior Mark Newport – 15th/16:40.
Photos Courtesy of Gerard Dypiangco