Flintridge Prep claimed the San Gabriel Valley’s sole championship while Claremont were again easily the region’s best team at Saturday’s CIF Southern Section Divisional Championships at the Riverside Cross Country Course.
Five teams will move on to this weekend’s California State Championships in Fresno, led by Div. V champions Flintridge Prep. The Rebels ran a great final and earned the title for the first time since 2015 and continued their many many year streak of advancing to the State Meet. Five teams is the third best for our region from 2009 on. The best years were 2009 and 2015, when our the SGV sent seven to Fresno. See a chart of SGV XC CIF Finalists + State at this link
Claremont fell to fourth this year in the loaded Div II, after a runner-up finish last year and a championship in 2017. Astonishingly, they were also fourth best overall in the entire Southern Section. This will be their sixth straight year finishing their season in Fresno.
The three other State Meet teams are newcomers – two were expected and one was a big surprise. Arroyo and La Serna just missed moving on last year but this year finally punched their tickets with 6th place finishes in Div. III and Div I, respectively. This is the Knights first time back at the State Meet since their Championship in 1987, and the Lancer’s fist time ever.
But the biggest come through was the performance from Wilson. Heat winners in Prelims with a bunch of strong performances, they were a solid fourth in the Div. IV Finals. This is a huge turn around for the Wildcats – earning their first spot in Finals and the State meet after failing to even advance to Prelims the last three years.
Twenty-One SGV boys teams advanced to this year’s Finals, the second most ever for our area, after 2017’s, in this era of expanded Finals at the Riverside XC Course. The best for year with 16 team Finals was 14 in 2016 and 2013.
Along with Wilson, La Salle was back in the Finals for the first time in at least 11 years (that’s how far back our records go) and Marshall advanced for probably the first time ever (at least since 1998). Damien made the Final for the first time since 2011 and Glendora and Walnut advanced for the first time since 2013.
Arcadia joins Flintridge Prep as the only SGV teams to make the Finals every year since 2009. California has made every Final since 2012, Claremont since 2013 and Bishop Amat since 2014.