The first league meet of the season was Tuesday, with the newly constructed Sierra League racing over the 5000 meter (3.11 miles) course at Bonelli Park in San Dimas. Meanwhile, the Mission Valley League decided to postpone their first cluster meet until next Tuesday, October 5th.
The Claremont boys wasted no time in putting their stamp on the new league, setting a new course record and dropping only 27 points on a field that included CIF D2 & California #6 Ayala. The Wolfpack’s top four ran as a pack for most of the race, with seniors Paul Ross and Colin Domonoske first across together in 16:04, while their top 5 combined for 81:40, breaking the record of 81:47 set by last year’s league & CIF champs Glendora.
After several years in the XC wilderness, Damien put themselves into CIF contention with a strong third place finish, led by juniors Tom Ebiner (5th/16:27) & Moses Baiden (7th/16:42). SL newcomers South Hills and Charter Oak were fourth and sixth. Seniors Christian Sanchez (8th/16:42) and Gilbert Mundo (11th/16:53) were tops for the Huskies, while senior Tyler Orosco (23rd/17:24) was up front for COHS.
In the girls races, Claremont and South Hills were 2nd and 3rd to CIF & State ranked Ayala. The Wolfpack’s young runners led the way again, topped by frosh Merin Arft‘s 3rd place, 19:37 effort and soph Bailey Sainen (11th/20:29, while SHHS was paced by junior Alex Borunda (6th/19:52) and senior Vianca Holguin (9th/20:00).
SGV 2009 #1 St. Lucy’s, fielding only five girls and missing team leader Marissa Horton, struggled to a fifth place finish, with senior Taylor Hebb (8th/20:00) up front. CO junior Carly Lake (5th/19:48) more than held her own in this tough league, while her team was sixth.
And here’s excellent video coverage of the races and interviews with the winner by Tom Kiss of the Trib Newspaper group. (However, unless you go in for that sort of thing, you should be warned that there is a Creed song on the video soundtrack.)