Woodbridge Invite Preview: Many Runners. Much Races.

The Woodbridge Invitational is huge. It’s run over two days by 320 schools, nearly 100 in just the elite Sweepstakes and Rated races. Teams are coming from 14 states and five different time zones. It’s outgrown several locations and is now held in Norco rather than at Woodbridge in Irvine.

The meet also looms large in the the expectations of the athletes. Run mostly under the lights on a completely flat and “generously measured” course, most will run their best 3-mile time here.

Forty San Gabriel Valley will take part. SGV ranked La SernaArcadia, and California are in the Boys Sweeps race, (along with Olsvaldo Cervantes of Nogales) while Flintridge PrepRowland and South Pasadena are in the Rated Race. El RanchoBonita, and La Mirada will run in the regular varsity divisions.

Covina junior Katelyn Vuong

Mayfield and Walnut are entered in the girls Sweeps race along with Joyce Wu (Arcadia) and Katelyn Vuong (Covina). SGV teams CaliforniaLa CañadaLa Serna and St. Lucy’s will be in the rated race, while SGV ranked Glendora, Bishop Amat and Flintridge Prep be in the regular Varsity divisions.

Look for the three SGV boys teams in the Sweeps race to duke it our for who is best in the area behind Claremont – who will only be racing non-varsity athletes here. The Walnut, Mayfield, and La Cañada girls will be our top team contenders, while Chloe and Emma Arriaga (Walnut) will challenge for top honors. They could be joined at the front by the Mayfield’s stellar soph Audrey Suarez, but it’s likely that she will delay her 2018 debut for at least another week.

Meet Details:

  • The smaller schools – (the Red and White Divisions) will race on Friday, beginning at 5:00pm, the larger schools (the Blue and Gold divisions) go on Saturday, starting a 3:50pm.
  • The meet divisions are somewhat idiosyncratic, you can view all of the teams by division here.
  • Meet Schedule
  • (Somewhat) Live Results
  • Directions: Silver Lakes Athletic Complex, Norco.

Hacienda #1 – Walnut Doubles Up

The Hacienda League Opened their league season on Wednesday with a pair of expected wins from Walnut. The Mustangs are defending boys and girls champs and returned all but one of their scorers so they came in expecting to defend, and they did.

In the girls race, Walnut’s top four ran together and ran away, finishing nearly two minutes ahead of the #5 runner. Chloe Arriaga (19:44) with the next three finishing within 7 seconds. Arissa Hatcher from Hacienda newcomer South Hills broke up the Mustangs with a 5th placed, 21:37 effort. The Huskies were third behind West Covina with only four teams scoring.

Devin Hightower (South Hills) made himself and the Huskies at home in their new league with a narrow win over Jesse Alvarado of the easy team winners Walnut. Los Altos put all five in the first 12 to nail down second. South Hills was third and all six schools scored.

Varsity Leaders and links to complete results after the jump

Continue reading Hacienda #1 — Walnut Doubles Up

Noah Hibbard – SGV Athlete of the Week (Wk 2)

Arroyo senior Noah Hibbard is our first SGV Athlete of the Week for 2018, on the strength of his dominating win at the Rosemead Invitational. His 14:28 at Rosemead was the fastest ever for a SGV athlete on that course.

Noah is the defending Mission Valley League champ, and finished 14th at last year’s CIF-SS Div. 2 Finals. His win on Saturday was nearly a minute faster than his time there last year, so both he and his team have set their sights much higher for 2018.

So here our first interview (Noah is great, but the quality is a little choppy – we’ll get better)

Mission Valley #1: Arroyo Doubles Up

Arroyo took their first steps toward defending their Mission Valley League Championships Tuesday, with two comfortable wins in the first MVL cluster, running on the flat and fairly fast 3-mile course at Whitter Narrows/Legg Lake in South El Monte.

The Start of the Boys Varsity Race

The boys race went out comfortably until around 2 miles when the Knights’ five scorers made a move that only Gabrielino’s fast-rising soph Nicolas DiConti could cover. DiConti finished fourth, at 16:27, breaking up AHS, who were led by Noah Hibbard with an easy 16:15 win. Rosemead, led by Fausto Reyna (7th/17:04) was second to Arroyo’s 17 points with 77, followed by Gabrielino with 92.

Molly Hake – left, and Melanie Mach lead early in the Girls race. Photo Thanks: Eren Ramirez

The girls race also went out fairly easily, with a big lead group until about halfway. Then, Rosemead’s Melanie Mach, who is having an outstanding start to the season, strung out the group. Only Arroyo senior Molly Hake could stay with her until about 1000m to go, when Melanie made another big move to win going away, 19:38 to 19:58. The Knights scored a clear 23-41 win over the Panthers, with all seven Arroyo runners in the top 10. Gabrielino, led by frosh Kristen Song (11th/20:35) was third with 88 points.

Complete Results (Arroyo also won the other three divisions) are here.

Boys Results

  1. 17 – Arroyo
  2. 71 – Rosemead
  3. 92 – Gabrielino
  4. 105 – El Monte – Best: Louis Torres (12th/17:29)
  5. 110 – South El Monte – David Aguilar (8th/17:05)
  6. 144 – Marshall – Jonathan Garcia (17th/17:58)
  7. DNS – Mountain View – did not enter the Varsity Race

Girls Results

  1. 23 – Arroyo
  2. 41 – Rosemead
  3. 88 – Gabrielino
  4. 99 – South El Monte – Best: Karla Ortega (13th/20:53)
  5. 149 – Marshall – Callie Guthrie (23rd/22:33)
  6. 168 – El Monte – Evelyn ? (30th/23:33)
  7. DNS – Mountain View – did not enter the Varsity Race

CIF Rankings – Week 2: Claremont Boys to the Top, La Cañada Girls Back In.

Sixteen San Gabriel Valley teams rank in the Top Ten of the CIF-SS five divisions. Unlike other sports that try to group schools by “competitive equity” cross country’s divisions are solely by enrollment.

The big move comes from the La Cañada girls, who were dropped from the rankings last week after running a partial team at their openers. The Spartans 8th overall finish at the Cool Breeze Invitational moved them back into the CIF Div. 4 rankings at #7.

The Claremont boys big win at the same meet moved them to top of the rankings of Div. 2. They were the 2017 CIF champs and are clearly looking to defend

You can view the entire rankings here: Week 2 CIF Rankings


Div 1

Div. 2 – #1 Claremont (1st Last Week)

Div. 3

Div. 4 – #4= Mayfield (4th); #7 La Cañada (NR)  #9 Bishop Amat (6th)

Div. 5 – #2 Flintridge Prep (Same); #5 Pomona Catholic (Same); #7 Poly (Same)


Div 1 – #6 La Serna (same); #9 Arcadia (8th)

Div. 2 – #1 Claremont (#2); #9 Arroyo (8th)

Div. 3 – #10 Whittier (10 th)

Div. 4 – #4 South Pasadena (Same); #8 Bishop Amat (7th )

Div. 5 – #1 Flintridge Prep (Same); #6 Maranatha (Same)

SGV Elsewhere: Rowland Off to a Strong Start

With almost everyone at the SGV’s two big meets, the other meets of the weekend had only two SGV participants.

SGV Boys #5 Rowland traveled to the South Bay to run in first Eagle Cross Country Invite (results)- run on a golf course just blocks from the beach in El Segundo over 3 miles. The Raiders competed well, placing fourth in the larger school division with at 79:51 team time. Their top runner was senior Rafael Alcaraz, who was 4th in 15:33. The girls were seventh, led by senior Dana Hernandez (8th/19:17)

The only other activity we could find was Damien at the Pat Hadley Memorial (results) in Placentia. The meet was run by class divisions. The Spartans best result for place an time was by Trevor Goodenough was second in the Senior race on the flat 3-mile course in 16:00

Cool Breeze: Claremont Shows Their Class

The Cool Breeze Invite is meant to give the athletes a chance to run fast. It’s run on a nearly flat golf course (a rare treat in California) and under the lights. And this year, the meet directors took several sharp turns out of the course, making it particularly fast. SGV and CIF #1 Claremont took full advantage.

The Wolfpack scored wins on both sides against a strong field of over 90 schools. The boys were easy winners, with their five scorers in the top 20, led by senior Aaron Reyes (7th/14:39). The girls bested a stiffer challenge from perennial power Saugus, but were still comfortable winners. They were led by Sydney Hwang (5th/16:55) and would have had a bigger margin if their second best runner on the day, frosh Maddie Coles (8th overall/17:05) had run in the varsity race.

The Bonita Bearcats – Winners of the Boys and Girls Varsity Races

Beyond Claremont, the La Cañada girls were excellent – finishing 8th overall, led by a trio of sub 18:00 runs by soph Ellaney Matarese, junior Sarah Auther and senior Adena DiPaulo. The Bishop Amat and Bonita girls also ran well – finishing 14th and 15th overall, and with the Bearcats winning the non-seeded Varsity race. They were led by senior Olivia Paez (39th/18:04) and Lorelei Claxton, Jr – (41st/18:07) respectively. All three teams should be in the CIF-SS Divisional Top 10’s this week, but each will need to close the gap between their front runners and their #4’s and 5’s to find success in November.

Bonita won the  boys non-seeded race, too, just edging out a resurgent Glendora. The teams were 14th and 17th overall and both were fairly tightly grouped (1-5 gaps of 0:45 and 0:31) They will battle each other all year along with the IE’s Alta Loma for the final qualifying spot from the powerful Palomares League.

Flintridge Prep also ran well, finishing 26th overall, and their performance should shore up their top spot in the CIF-SS Div. 5 rankings. They were led by senior Carson Hasbrouck (41st/15:15) who, along with Owen Sericchio (La Cañada, Sr) – (28th/15:02), were the only non-Claremont boys to finish in the SGV Top 10.

Complete Results & Coverage

SGV Top 10 Performers, Team Rankings and the Top Performer for each team after the jump.

Continue reading Cool Breeze: Claremont Shows Their Class

Rosemead Invite: Arroyo Boys Confirm, Arriagas Dominate

A big win by senior Noah Hibbard led Arroyo to a breakthrough team performance at Friday & Saturday’s Rosemead Invitational, while Walnut’s Chloe and Emma Arriaga turned in two outstanding performances. The meet was run under the lights on a flat, three-mile course on the school campus and the next-door park. Sixty-four schools raced over two days, with nearly half of the field coming from the San Gabriel Valley.

Noah was the easy, 14 second winner of the senior race on Saturday, and the overall best performer in the meet. His 14:29 finish was one of the best ever here, and best ever by an Arroyo athlete, breaking the standard set by junior teammate Joshua Orrellana just 45 minutes before in winning the Junior race with a huge 14:58 – over a minute improvement over his previous best. The CIF D2 #8 Knights (76:36) finished narrowly second overall to #3 Loyola, and had life-time bests from all seven men, with the biggest gain from #4, soph Saket Sama who improved from 17:16 to 15:47. Arroyo now appears to have the depth to contend for a high finish at CIF and for their first return, after many years, to the State Meet.

Walnut was the next best SGV team – 10th overall at 80:54 and they were paced by two nice perfomances from Jesse Alvarado (Jr) – 12th/15:18, and Chris Razo (So) – 36th/15:49. Also among the SGV’s Ten Best were Nicolas DiConti (Gabrielino, So) – 29th/15:43, Connor Parker (Diamond Ranch, Jr) – 44th/15:53, and Luke Francis (Los Altos, Jr) – 46th/15:55 – all with big improvements over their previous bests.

Walnut senior Chloe Arriaga was the big winner, in a course record 16:41 with her sister Emma just behind in 16:57 and it was nearly a minute back to the next runner. SGV runners dominated the meet’s Top Performers with Poly’s Sophie Phinney winning the Junior race (4th overall/17:49) just steps ahead of Lauren Nettels (FSHA) in 17:52. Walnut’s Anastasia Sloan, after missing last week’s opener, won the soph race in also in 17:52 and was 6th overall.

The rest of the SGV’s best on the weekend were Amanda Ghibaudo (Walnut, Jr) – 11th/18:20, Melanie Mach (Rosemead, Sr) – winner of Fridays’ senior race and 12th overall/18:31, Molly Hake (Arroyo, Sr) -13th/18:32, Olivia Ruiz (San Marino, Sr) – 16th/18:40 and Cameron Gomez (Mayfield, Jr) – 18th/18:41.

Walnut was the overall team winner and SGV Best at 89:35. Adding Sloan in after the first week was huge help but their 1:23 gap from their #4 Ghibaudo back to their #5 will hamper their CIF and State hopes. Mayfield, running an incomplete team, were the SGV’s second best team and 5th overall at 96:59

Complete Results & Coverage

SGV Top 10 Performers, Team Rankings and the Top Performer for each team after the jump.

Continue reading Rosemead Invite: Arroyo Boys Confirm, Arriagas Dominate

Week 1 Preview: Big Meets Under the Lights.

San Gabriel Valley schools Claremont and Rosemead host  two of the CIF-SS’s biggest meets this weekend – both under the lights! Most of our area’s teams will be in action at these meets, including most of the SGV ranked teams, while SGV Boys #5 Rowland will open at The Eagle XC Invite in El Segundo on Saturday morning. SGV ranked Arcadia, California, La Serna and South Pasadena are off this weekend.

First up is the Cool Breeze Invitational on Friday, run over three miles under the lights on the golf courses at Brookside Park in Pasadena. The course is nearly flat, almost entirely on grass, and will run over two one-and-one-half mile loops. At last year’s meet Flintridge Prep senior Evan Pattinelli (now at Yale) was the SGV’s top performer (3rd/15:06) in the Sweepstakes race while Arcadia (4th) were the top local team.

On the girls side, the meet hosts Claremont led off their championship season with a win, and were led by now senior Sydney Hwang (3rd/17:22) and the Wolfpack are clearly favored again this year.

A record 98 schools (17 from the SGV) will take part, including SGV ranked Bonita, La Mirada, Bishop Amat, La Cañada, Flintridge Prep and Glendora. The first race is at 4:40, the sweeps races at 9:14 (girls) and 9:34 (boys). Admission is $5.

Also on Friday, and continuing on Saturday night is the Rosemead Invitational. Run under the lights on a flat, turning 3-mile course on the campus and the adjoining park, this meet is a favorite of San Gabriel Valley teams. Area teams will account for 21 of the 38 schools in Friday’s Small Schools races, and 9 of the 31 teams in Saturday’s Large Schools division. SGV Ranked Mayfield, Arroyo, El Rancho and Walnut will race Saturday. Athletes race by grades here, so we’ll need the final merge to see how they did as teams and overall. The first race both days is at 5:40 pm.

At last year’s meet, Chloe Arriaga of Walnut was the overall champion in 17:20 and her team was the SGV’s best and third overall. This year, she’ll and her team will be challenged at the top by Mayfield and their great soph Audrey Suarez. 

Arroyo (3rd overall) was our area’s top boys team here, and they should hold that spot again this year. Whittier senior Nicolas Mijares was the SGV’s best last year (2nd/15:12) – look for Arroyo senior Noah Hibbard (5th/15:25) to challenge for top honors on Saturday.

Diamond Bar’s First Meet in the Mt. Baldy League – They Almost Win Both

Diamond Bar made the most of their move to the Mt. Baldy League, with their boys registering a win and the girls missing the top spot by just two points

Running on the rolling and somewhat slow three-mile course Thursday at Bonelli Park in San Dimas, Keili Ishitani (3rd/20:24) and Allison Ear (5th/20:32) led the Brahmas to a third place finish, just two points behind Ontario and Chaffey.

The boys were clear winners in their new league. Finishing together, George Rosales and Lukas Amare were 23 second winners in 16:24 and joined up front by Thomas Ear (7th/17:09).

The Brahmas are considerably ahead of where they were at this time last year – this could be a great year for them.

Compete Results at Finished Results

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