We’re less than two weeks away from the 7th Annual San Gabriel Valley Track and Field Championships. The meet will once again be held at West Covina High School’s fine facility on Saturday, April 21. 37 schools have already committed, including traditional SGV powers Arcadia, Claremont, Covina, Glendora and Monrovia. Taking part for the first time this year will be Bassett, Bonita, Diamond Bar, Edgewood, El Rancho, Pomona, Pomona Catholic, and South Pasadena, getting us even closer having all of the SGV schools compete in this regional Championship meet.
The athlete’s of the SGV have turned in a strong set of performances as we move into the Championship portion of the season. You can view the season’s Top 10 lists (and more by clicking on the event heading) here:
Coaches should be reminded that entries are due on Sunday, April 15 at 9:00 pm. Preliminary accepted entries will be sent to coaches on Monday, and Final Accepted Entries will be posted here on Tuesday of meet week, followed (hopefully) by event previews.
The San Gabriel Valley will be strongly represented at Saturday’s Finals, with thirteen girls teams and two individuals advancing to the big meet at Mt.SAC.
The results from the Prelims, run over the new 2.94-mile Rain Course ran mostly according to form. Glendora was the only ranked team not to advance. Running in the extremely deep Div. II, that Tartans’ 91:05 was fourth best among the SGV schools, but only good for sixth in their heat. Previously unranked San Marino and Maranatha were the surprises, both advancing in Div. IV. Pomona Catholic, in just the programs second year, made their first finals. The Pacers entered the meet unranked, but had been earlier in the year. Here’s how it broke down by division:
Div. I: Arcadia was a solid third in their heat with the SGV’s best time – 98:37. They were led, as usual, by a SGV best 16:59 from soph Veronica Yamane and senior Alejandra Quintero (SGV 4th/17:14). Bailee Henry (Jr, El Rancho) ran an excellent 17:17 (SGV 5th) to advance individually.
Div. II: Claremont received a breakthrough performance from soph Merin Arft (SGV 2nd/17:05) and big step-up performances from their 3-5 runners to advance in this incredibly tough division.
Div. III: The SGV was well represented in this division, with four of the 13 ranked teams, and all advanced. Bonita, led again by junior Marissa Scott (SGV 3rd/17:12) were the top qualifiers – their 90:56 was 7th best overall. South Hills was led by a big run from frosh Danielle Murrietta (SGV 9th/17:39), soph Helena Van Loan (SGV 7th/17:21) was again best forSouth Pasadena. La Cañada packed up well to move on, while Bishop Amat frosh Emily Hubert continued her excellent first year by advancing individually with a 17:35, 8th best SGV.
Div. IV: Mayfield ran a controlled effort to advance easily, while Flintridge/Sacred Heart welcomed back senior Paulina Antaplyan to finish just ahead of the Cubs and win their heat. San Marino, and Maranatha turned in surprisingly strong performances to advance. There was no surprise when Whittier Christian senior Kellian Hunt ran 17:20 (SGV 6th) to win her heat and advance individually
Div. V: Flintridge Prep advanced on the 5th fasted time in the division, along with Pasadena Poly and Pomona Catholic.
Top 14 Performers and a Ranking of the SGV Teams after the jump.
Thirty-Six San Gabriel Valley boys teams competed in Saturday’s CIF Southern Section Preliminaries, each looking to gain one of the sixteen spots in five divisions. All of the SGV schools seeded to advance did, except for one notable exception. Del Rio League Champs El Rancho missed advancing in Div. I by just one point as the other two DRL teams, California and Santa Fe, in an amazing streak of misfortune, were also the first non-qualifiers in their heats, SGHS missing by just two points and the Dons by 17.
On the other hand, unranked Maranatha and Whittier Christian both snagged places in the Div. IV finals, as all of the races were run over the flat, paved 2.9 mile Rain Course at Mt.SAC. Here’s how it went by division:
Div. I: Arcadia was the heat winner in 74:51, fastest among the SGV, led again by senior Sergio Gonzalez (14:41). Of the three disappointed Del Rio teams, Santa Fe ran best to expectations, and junior Kevin Ramirez (14:39) advanced individually, as did Whittier senior Aaron Mora, also at 14:39, which was the best SGV time on the day.
Div. II: Glendora, second best SGV 75:55, were led by a return to form from soph Mike Duke (14:52 =8th SGV). They were seventh on time but fifth on a merge of the 16 qualifying teams. Nick Rivera (Sr, Rowland) won his heat in 14:43 to advance, and La Serna senior Michael Munoz will also move on with his 14:41 effort =3rd SGV.
Div. III: As expected, Damien advanced, pulled by strong performances from Tom Ebiner (14:43) and Doug Negrete (14:51). But the Spartans had to go pretty far back to four and especially five, so advancing to State will be tough without closing that gap. South Pasadena was a solid 76:21 to advance, but like Damien will need to close up to advance to Fresno. Los Altos was disappointingly the first non-qualifier, missing out by 22 seconds. Their senior Jair Juarez will go on with his 15:03, as will Dillon Nobbs (So, Bonita) at 14:57.
Div. IV: Division #1 Don Bosco held form and won their heat with a measured effort, as did La Salle junior Daniel De La Torre (14:52 =8th SGV) San Marino advanced as well. With only 32 teams in Div. IV, Maranatha, and Whittier Christian, were able to bag the last two qualifying spots.
Div. V: Flintridge Prep won their heat with a controlled effort, and Poly (Pasadena) held form to advance as well.
Top 14 Performers and a Ranking of the SGV Teams after the jump.
These are the final rankings of the 2011 CIF-SS Cross Country Season. From this point on, everything is sorted out by the teams racing head to head on the same dirt paths and giant hills (or flat pavement, if it rains) at Mt.SAC on Saturday, November 12.
A season high twenty San Gabriel Valley teams were ranked in this final poll. The Claremont and Glendora girls joined the rankings for the first time in the unprecedentedly competitive Div. II following their strong League Finals performances. This ranking means that all twenty teams are expected to advance to the CIF-SS Divisional Finals, also at Mt.SAC, on November 19th. But of course, expectations sometimes crash into reality once the starting gun is fired, so that’s why we run the races.
The heat sheets for the 2011 CIF Southern Section Prelims have been published here. All five enrollment based divisions will compete on Saturday, November 12 at Mt.SAC in Walnut. Hopefully, we’ll all run the famous 2.93 course with the three big hills, but if the expected rain arrives, we’ll use the 5000m+ Rain Course used for last years CIF Finals. Racing begins at 7:45, resumes after a short break at 12:30 and concludes at 3:55.
Qualification depends on the number of heats per division. It is as follows, per heat:
4 Heats (B & G Div. II, B Div. I) – Top Four Teams and Individuals from non-qualifying teams in the overall Top Six finishers.
2 Heats (B Div. IV) – Top Eight Teams and Individuals in the Top Twelve
3 Heats (All Others) – Top Five plus the fastest Sixth Place Team and Individuals in the Top Eight
75 teams and 15 individuals from the San Gabriel Valley will take part, with 20 teams seeded to advance.
Note: The Girls Div. I heats were revised, and omitted teams added Sunday afternoon.
The SGV’s last League Finals meet was held on the flat but soggy and muddy 3-mile course at Legg Lake. The Del Rio League has some of the deepest and best competition all year, and this meet did not disappoint, with several strong individual performances and great team battles. Here’s a (slightly augmented) recap from California Coach Tony DiMarco:
Defending champion Bailey Henry (El Rancho) led the girls race through the first 800m (2:38) and 5:42 through the mile, opening about a 100 meter lead on Marylu Pulido (Whittier) and Justine Romo (California). Bailey never faded and won in 18:00 while Pulido (18:27) finished second and Romo (18:39) was third.
The team battle was everything it was billed to be as Whittier had the early lead at the mile over CAL and El Rancho (36-38-42). At 2 miles Whittier was still holding with EL Rancho and CAL now tied (36-45-45). Whittier fell back late and El Rancho held on for the victory and league title 40-46 over CAL while Whittier finished third. The three CIF teams took all the spots up front. El Rancho, with three in the first ten, was led by Henry and soph Anna Galacia 4th/19:07. CAL had four up front, their best was Romo and Justice Navarro 7th/19:27, while Whittier was led by Pulido and Melissa Carabes 5th/19:20. Vanessa Mares 11th/19:37 was best for Pioneer, and Danielle Garcia 12th/19:56 lead Santa Fe. Fourth placed La Serna was paced by Itzel Moreno 14th/19:59.
Aaron Mora - Del Rio League Champion
In the boys race, a tight pack held together through a very slow 4:56 opening mile. Aaron Mora of Whittier led from the start, only to give up the lead to La Serna’s Michael Munoz with a quarter mile to go. Hanging on, Mora stormed back to pass Munoz in the closing meters to win in an excellent 14:55. Munoz ran 14:59, followed closely by a tandem of Santa Fe runners Kevin Ramirez (15:01) and Christian Garcia (15:10). Munoz will advance to CIF as an individual.
The team battle looked to be a two horse race between defending champions California and El Rancho. CAL led through the mile 44-48 over El Rancho but the tables turned at 2 miles with EL Rancho taking a commanding 43-59 lead into the final mile. Santa Fe, third best all year, closed well over the final mile and nipped CAL at the finish 63-65. El Rancho wins their first title in two years, breaking CAL’s 8 meet league win streak. Pioneer, without a senior in their team, was paced by soph Jonathon Trejo 24th/16:32.
Photos courtesy of Tom Guerrero of Say Cheese Photography
The Rio Hondo League, featuring two ranked teams in each race, held their finals on Thursday. Here’s a meet report, mostly from San Marino Coach Eduardo Mundo:
Boys Varsity Finish
With the daunting grass of Lacy Park trimmed and picture perfect weather for racing, the stage was set for a very exciting battle for the Boy’s and Girl’s Rio Hondo Team, and Individual League Championships.
On the Boy’s side, the race was off quickly as La Canada’s Brendan Greene and South Pasadena’s Paul Messana came through the mile mark at 4:56, closely followed by San Marino’s Alex (Peaky) Yuter. The three separated from the pack on the first grass loop and ran shoulder to shoulder until the final 800 yards. At this point, Greene initiated a move in hopes of erasing any chance of involving himself in a kickers race with Messana, who had outkicked him in thier first meeting. The move seemed to work as Greene entered the park at least 20 yards ahead of both Messana and Yuter with less than 150 yards remaining. The gap quickly closed as Yuter began to charge, but he was not the only one charging; Messana took aim and closed the gap twice as fast. Yuter passed Greene with 10 yards to go and Messana (15:49) ran second in passing Greene (15:50) with less than three steps remaining. Yuter (15:47) became the first San Marino runner to win a league title in more than a decade.
South Pasadena (11th ranked in Div. III) led by Messana and Alex Tranquada 4th/16:04 placed four in the top ten to score 31 and defend their team title. San Marino (12th ranked in D4), with Yuter and Robert Morton 8th/16:53 placed second over La Canada (3rd) for the first time in more than a decade. The Spartans were led by Greene and Brandon Newquest 10th/17:11
Max Armenta 5th/16:25 was best for fourth placed Monrovia, and he’ll advance to CIF individually. Austin Situ 13th/17:23 was best for Temple City. Blair only finished four runners and did not score, their best was Fabian Hernandez 28th/18:44
Helena Van Loan - Rio Hondo League Champ
The girl’s race featured the battle of ranked teams. La Canada, ranked 9th in Div. III, looked to dethrone #11 South Pasadena as team champions. Led by league leading soph Helena Van Loan, the Tigers were not going to relinquish the title without a fight after the teams split the first two cluster meets.
From the start, both teams packed in and held on as Van Loan and La Canada’s Sonja Cwik set the pace. Cwik was able to match Van Loan through the first mile, but lost contact on the first of two grass loops. Van Loan powered on and posted the 10th fastest girl’s time (18:20) in course history. Cwik placed second with a time of 18:38. But behind the leaders, the two teams battled for the team title. As with the leaders the South Pas #2 Anika Renken 3rd/18:54 defeated the LCHS #2 Anna Frederich 4th/19:08. Each team put four in the top ten, but critically, La Canada put their 5-6-7 runners below South Pasadena’s #5 to narrowly take the team title.
San Marino‘s best, Alissa Barraza, was only 11th at 19:56, but they put all five scorers between 11th and 22nd to take the third and final CIF spot. Monrovia was fourth, led by Amanda Mansoorbakht, who was 7th/19:19, finishing just one spot and an agonizing .2 of a second from advancing to CIF individually. Lezly Ayala 21st/21:24 was best for fifth place Temple City. Blair did not score, with just four finishing. Their best was Magy Munoz 29th/22:30.
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.
Los Altos - Hacienda League Champions
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!
Nick Rivera - Hacienda League Champion
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.