The Sierra League is a strong XC league, with two CIF ranked teams among the guys and three in the girls, plus St. Lucy’s & South Hills guys, who were both CIF Finalists last year. This meant that four of the teams were already assured of at-large CIF spots, but this did nothing to diminish the competition.
The girls went first, and on a day when all of the teams struggled with the heat, the fast rising Claremont girls finished second to the previously dominant Ayala team, but with only one runner in the Top 10, frosh Merin Arft (2nd/19:22), but put six in the first 24. The real action was for the third spot, with St. Lucy’s needing a strong 1-5 performance to advance. The Regents fell a heartbreaking one point short – finishing 70-71 to Chino Hills – despite top performances from seniors Taylor Hebb (4th/19:38) and Marissa Horton (6th/19:40), who will both advance as individuals.
South Hills came into the meet even with St.L and CHHS and had a bit of a rough day, finishing 5th with junior Alex Borunda (10th/19:57) as their leader – but the Huskies still advance to the Div. III prelims as an at-large team through their consecutive #13 rankings. Charter Oak has struggled in this new league, and front runner Carly Lake just missed advancing, finishing 9th in 19:51.
The Claremont guys have been strong all year, coming in ranked 4th CIF Div II and 25th nationally. The Wolfpack did not disappoint riding to an easy win over CIF ranked Ayala with four in the Top 10, seniors Paul Ross (1st/15:52), Henry Falotico (2nd/15:52), A.K. Metoyer (5th/16:12) and Colin Domonoske (6th/16:12). Bigger news for the post season was that their #5 man, soph Aric Crowell was only 23 seconds and 7 places back in 16:37.
Damien’s season had ended at Finals the last five years, but not this time. Led by a breakthrough performance by junior Moses Baiden (4th/16:08), the Spartans took the 3rd CIF spot. Moses was joined in the top 10 by junior Tom Ebiner (8th/16:23) and senior John Garcia (10th/16:30).
South Hills came into the day needing a strong performance to push past Damien. Missing their usual top 2, they went the other way, with senior Matt Sanchez (22nd/17:20) as their top finisher. Charter Oak was improved from ’09, but was always sixth in this tough league. Senior Tyler Orosco (30th/17:45) finished as the Chargers #1.
Full results are here.