Keough-Lansford Lead Eleven SGV Boys to All-CIF Honors

Jack Keough-Lansford – Fastest SGV Athlete for 2019

Jack Keough-Lansford (Jr, Claremont) was the San Gabriel Valley’s top performer at Saturday’s CIF Southern Section Divisional Championships in Riverside. Jack ran 14:53 – 4th best All-Time SGV on this 3-mile course. He finished 12th in Div. II and 14th overall while leading the Wolfpack back to Fresno for the California State Meet.

SGV athletes earned two podium finishes, both in Div. III. Pasadena soph Isaiah Givens was 2nd/15:02 and Saket Sama (Jr, Arroyo) was 3rd/15:07 – both lifetime bests that rank them 9th and =15th All-Time SGV on this course.

These three were among eleven SGV boys to earn All-CIF (Top 15) Honors in the biggest & strongest regional meet in the world. Baldwin Park senior Eduardo De Paz repeats the honor from 2018. This was the most to earn All-CIF status since 2015 and an excellent performance by our region. The SGV makes up about 12% of the CIF-SS, so we’d expect 9 All-CIF Honors. Here’s the full list…

Div I – 15:13 - Jared Alderfer (Sr, California) – 13th
Div I – 15:14 - Gerald Baltzer (Sr, La Serna) – 14th
Div II – 14:53 - Jack Keough-Landford (Jr, Claremont) – 12th
Div III – 15:02 - Isaiah Givens (So, Pasadena) – 2nd
Div III – 15:07 - Saket Sama (Jr, Arroyo) – 3rd
Div III – 15:21 - Eduardo De Paz (Sr, Baldwin Park) – 8th
Div IV – 15:26 - Johnathan Zavala (Sr, Wilson) – 6th
Div IV – 15:34 - Jonathan Phieffer (Sr, Wilson) – 10th
Div V – 15:50 - Hudson Billock (Jr, Flintridge Prep) – 9th
Div V – 15:51 - Bennett Oakes (Jr, Flintridge Prep) – 11th
Div V – 16:01 - Dean Wolfe (Jr, Webb) – 14th

Ten of the eleven advanced to the California State Meet, Givens, De Paz and Wolfe as individuals and the rest with their teams. Alderfer of Cal was unlucky to be the sixth individual from a non-qualifying team in Div. I (five advance), so his fine performance will be his last this year.

Jared did, however, leave his mark on the SGV All-Time Performers list for the Riverside course, improving from 16:04 last year to 15:13 to rank #24 A-T SGV. Here’s a list of athletes that either joined or improved their place on the list at Finals or Prelims.

  •       4th/14:53 - Jack Keough-Lansford  – Jr, Claremont
  •       9th/15:02 - Isaiah Givens – So, Pasadena
  • =10th/15:05 - Jesse Alvarado – Sr, Walnut
  • =15th/15:07 - Saket Sama – Jr, Arroyo
  • =18th/15:08 - Matthew Mora – Sr, Santa Fe
  • =22nd/15:12 - Yoon Cho – Sr, Claremont
  •    24th/15:13 - Jared Alderfer – Sr, California
  • =25th/15:14 - Gerald Baltzer – Sr, La Serna
  • =25th/15:14 - John Sesteaga – So, Glendora
  • =25th/15:14 - Lukas Amare – Sr, Diamond Bar (at Prelims)
  • =34th/15:19 - Tianyuan Pei – Jr, Arcadia
  • =47th/15:26 - Johnathan Zavala – Sr, Wilson

You can view the updated list here: SGV XC Top 50 Riverside

SGV Boys CIF: Changing of the Guard?

The Wilson Wildcats – first time at Finals, first time at State!

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.

SGV League Championship Finals Meets

The Start of the 2018 Rio Hondo League Boys Varsity Race

We will do our best to provide results and photos from the San Gabriel Valley’s Championship Finals meets, which begin this Saturday.

Here’s the schedule (with links to live results)

Send photos to

Wednesday, October 30

  • Miramonte League@ Bonelli Park in San Dimas - Bassett defended their league championship in both the boys and girls races. Individual champs were Nicolas Castillo-Davidson (Sr, Edgewood) and Claudia Gonzalez (Sr, Bassett), with Nicolas repeating from 2018. In the boys race Edgewood and Garey advance to CIF, along with Efrain Carrillo of Ganesha. For the girls, Ganesha and Edgewood move on.

Saturday, November 2

  • Palomares League @ Whittier Narrows (Legg Lake) in South El Monte  Live Results Claremont defended both titles, with Glendora moving up to advance to CIF on both sides for the first time in several years. Jack Keough-Lansford led a 1-2-3 Wolfpack finish, and Daniel Echeveste (Jr, Bonita) advanced individually. Soph Maddie Coles crushed the field and the League course record to lead the Claremont girls. .
  • Prep League @ Pierce College in Woodland Hills. Full Results  Audrey Suarez (Jr, Mayfield) easily defended her title and led the Cubs to a big win. Just as big was Flintridge Prep finishing fourth behind Poly and missing CIF for the first time in a looonng time.  The FP boys were champs again and advance to CIF along with Poly. FP junior Hudson Billock was the individual champ in 16:05 on this tough, hilly course.

Tuesday, November 5

  • Almont League @ Whittier Narrows (Legg Lake) in South El Monte  Full Results  Schurr (boys) and Alhambra (girls) defended their league titles. Spartan junior Armando Morales won his third championship, while the Moors Milan Cambon won the girls race. Alhambra (making a big jump from 5th last year) and Montebello and Jason Phung (Jr, San Gabriel) will advance to CIF on the boys side, while Schurr, Montebello and Gloria Lu (Sr, Mark Keppel) and Jimena Vasquez (Sr, Bell Gardens) will move on from the girls.
  • Baseline League @ Central Park in Rancho Cucamonga – Live Results  Damien finished 5th in this tough league of Div. 1 schools but the Spartans will advance to CIF through their rankings in the Div. III polls. St. Lucy’s was 6th but Alexis Corvese (7th/19:17) will advance individually
  • Hacienda League @ Bonelli Park in San Dimas

Wednesday, November 6

  • Camino Del Rey Association @ La Mirada Regional Park – Live Results
  • Mission Valley League @ Whittier Narrows (Legg Lake) in South El Monte – Live Results
  • Mission/Sunshine Leagues @ Crescenta Valley Regional Park – Live Results
  • Valley Vista League @ Bonelli Park in San Dimas

Thursday, November 7

  • Del Rio League @ Whittier Narrows (Legg Lake) in South El Monte
  • Horizon League @ Griffith Park in Los Angeles
  • Montview League @ Schabarum Regional Park in Rowland Heights
  • Mt. Baldy League @ Bonelli Park in San Dimas  Live Results 
  • Pacific League @ Arcadia County Park  Live Results
  • Rio Hondo League @ Lacy Park in San Marino
  • San Joaquin League @ Irvine Regional Park  Live Results
  • Suburban League @ La Mirada Regional Park  Live Results

Friday, November 8

  • Olympic League at Craig Park in Fullerton

Sorry About the (Lack of) Coverage This Year

If you’ve been coming back to this spot looking for the coverage we were able to do last year – sorry.

I started again this Fall, thinking I’d be able to maintain the coverage of San Gabriel Valley Cross Country again. But starting a new job in September took all of my available time and I had to let things lapse. I’m hoping to pick things up again for the Championship season.

I am excited, though, about that new job, and the way it connects to SGV Track & XC. I am now a full time Coach (sprints and long & triple jumps) and the Recruiting Coordinator at Whittier College. I’m happy to join the resurgence of the Poet program and would love to talk with local athletes and their families about our school and team. You can reach me at

Thanks – Bob Ramsey

Six Athletes with Seven All-Time Performances on the Championship Courses

Arroyo’s Saket Sama, along with Nick DiConti at last year’s MVL Meet

Championship cross country for SGV schools is run over two courses. The State Championship has been held since its beginning in 1987 on the rolling 5000m course at Woodward Park in Fresno. For many years, the Southern Section Championships and several league championships were held on the hilly 2.93 mile course at Mt.SAC. But with Mt.SAC’s prolonged renovations and the apparent preferences of Southern Section officials, the CIF meets have, since 2016, been held on the mostly flat 3 mile Riverside Cross Country Course.

Jonathan Zavala from Wilson

We’ve created the San Gabriel Valley All-Time Top 50 Performers lists for all three of these courses. The lists include times from all the meets held on these three courses, so they include results from CIF Prelims, and the Mt.SAC, Riverside and Clovis Invites, and from the years when the National XC champs were run at Woodward Park.

SGV athletes all made their first visits to the three courses this month, with five athletes joining the All-Time Top 50 for the first time, and one improving his place.

South Pas soph Sydney Morrow at last year’s RHL meet

At the Clovis Invitational at Woodward Park in Fresno on October 12, South Pasadena soph Sydney Morrow announced her arrival among the SGV elite with 18:21/4th place finish in the Medium Schools race. Sydney now ranks =34th All-Time SGV on this course.

At the Riverside Invitational last Saturday, Gerald Beltzer (La Serna, Sr) moved up to 21st A-T SGV on this 3 mile course with his 15:16/7th place finish in the Div. 1 race. Previously ranked on this course with his 15:25 from CIF Finals last year, Gerald moves up to #21 A-T SGV. He’s joined in the top 50 by Wilson’s Jonathan Zavala, whose big senior year advanced with another big step – a 15:30 finish, good for =46th A-T SGV.

Maddie Franco

Also at Riverside, La Serna senior Maddie Franco – able to compete in Varsity races this year after transferring last year, made up for lost time with a 18:23/9th place finish in the D1 race. She now ranks =39th A-T SGV.

This past weekend at the Mt.SAC Invitational, South Pas soph Sydney Morrow earned her second spot on the All-Times lists. She was 3rd/18:14 in the Div. 3/4/5 Sweepstakes race in the heat of Friday afternoon and now ranks =39th A-T SGV.

Pasadena’s Isaiah Givens

Also on Friday, Arroyo junior Saket Sama took a huge step forward with a 2nd/15:09 finish in the boys Div.3/4/5 sweeps. He’s now =34th SGV on the course. Pasadena soph Isaiah Givens was the winner of the Div. 3/4/5 individual Sweepstakes in 15:11, and now ranks =41st All-Time SGV here.

You can view the All-Time Lists for all three courses here:

Since most schools do not maintain all-time lists, these lists are the best I can do by scouring the internet for available results. Please send additions or corrections to the lists to Bob Ramsey at

SGV Week 1 Round Up: La Mirada Girls Win at Riverside

About 40% of the San Gabriel Valley’s cross country programs opened their seasons this past weekend, scattered around Southern California in mostly low-key opening races. Here’s a quick round-up of the four races held outside of the SGV..

Great Cow Run – 3 miles

The Great Cow run, 3 flat miles on a fast course at Cerritos County Park, is one of the top opening meets in SoCal, SGV powers California and Arcadia opened here, but neither program ran close full-strength. The Apache boys were 8th overall, with El Rancho a solid 15th/83:09.

Complete Results

In the girls race, Cal finished well at 6th/98:04, with senior Mai Quesada leading SGV athletes with her 22nd/19:06 finish – nearly a minute better than last year at this meet

The best male performance was from Rowland senior Nicholas Acevedo, who is way ahead of his 2018 bests with a tenth overall finish in 15:25 on the fast, flat 3-mile course.

Riverside Showcase – 2.25 miles

Complete Results

SGV schools came out strong on this opener on a short, 2.25 mile version of the CIF-SS Championship course in Riverside.

The La Mirada girls led the charge, winning this 10-team meet by putting their first five in the top 21 of the race. Bonita were 4th in the race that saw SGV girls put five in the first ten: Alexis Corvese (St. Lucy’s) 4th/14:13; Mariah Waters (La Mirada) 6th/14:26; Arianna Kumar (Bonita) 8th/14:34; Natalia Zuniga (La Mirada) 9th/14:37; Sophia Gomez (La Mirada).

CIF-ranked Bonita were the top boys team, finishing 7th in a field of 18. Daniel Echeveste (Bonita) 5th/11:18; Danny Ebiner (Damien) 10th/11:25 had the top local performances.


And, at the UCSB Gaucho Invitational, the Polytechnic girls finished 7th in a field of 11, led by senior Sophie Phinney, who was 19th/20:28 on the flat 3-mile course. The boys were led by a 29th/16:55 finish by senior Evan Hayes but did not score as a team.  (Full Results)


Parents, friends, coaches – please help make our coverage better by sending race notes and photos (right away!) to

CIF-SS Polls – Week 1: We’re Up to 14

The California and St. Paul boys teams rode strong opening performances to move into the rankings this week.

This puts fourteen SGV schools among the top 100 schools of the massive CIF Southern Section. These early season rankings are still mostly projections – the rankings matter in October when they can become the basis for advancing to the CIF championships.

Here are the Week 1 CIF Rankings

SGV Boys

  • Div I: La Serna – #8 (9th last week); California – #9 (Not Ranked)
  • Div II: Claremont – #4 (4th)
  • Div III: Arroyo – #4 (6th); Bonita – #9 (5th),
  • Div IV: South Pasadena – #10 (10th)
  • Div V: Flintridge Prep – #4 (4th); St. Paul – 10th (NR)

SGV Girls

  • Div I:
  • Div II: Claremont – #1 (1st last week)
  • Div III: Bonita – #7 (6th)
  • Div IV: La Cañada – #3 (3rd), South Pasadena – #6 (6th), Mayfield – #7 (7th)
  • Div V: Flintridge Prep – #5 (5th)

Fastback: Arroyo Doubles Up

Diamond Bar’s Lukas Amare – off to a hot start!

On a day of partial teams running on a short course, Arroyo were the top finishers in both the girls and boys races at the Fastback Invitational.

Complete Results

Running one more year at Arcadia Park while the Mt.SAC renovations are wrapping up, the host Knights were the top SGV teams on this flat and fast 2-mile course, both finishing 7th overall against a bigger field than previous year.

Diamond Bar senior Lukas Amare and Arroyo junior Saket Sama had impressive performances to lead the SGV boys. Lukas was 3rd overall, and his 9:30 bested his track 3200m PR! CIF 1600m finalist Sama was 4th overall in 9:36, a huge improvement from last year.

Lily Miller (Jr, Vivian Webb) was the top local girl, her controlled 11:46 was 8th overall.

These opening meets also give us a peak at promising frosh – tops among the girls was West Covina’s Maya Garcia – 12:41 for 5th in the frosh race, 60th overall and tenth best among all SGV girls. Owen Hayden (St. Francis) was just as impressive, finishing 3rd/10:29 in the 9th grade race, 78th overall and 14th best among all SGV boys.

SGV top tens, team rankings and team leaders after the jump. Continue reading Fastback: Arroyo Doubles Up

Lancer Invite: The Hosts Lead Out the Season

La Serna leads out the boys race, with race winner Connor Parker (c) just behind

Rising power La Serna expanded their XC portfolio by hosting a new meet this year - the Lancer Invitational – a 2-mile opener over the familiar rolling hills of La Mirada Park.

Complete Results

The hosts took both races, the girls edged out Bishop Amat 24-31 while the boys rolled to a big win. Maddie Franco (La Serna, Sr) took the girls race by 18 seconds in 12:05, while Diamond Ranch Connor Parker was a close winner in an excellent 10:01.

And here’s a photo gallery from the meet.

CIF Pre-Season Polls: 12 SGV Programs Ranked to Start the Year

Six SGV boys team and six girls are ranked in the Top 10 in the initial 2019 CIF Southern Section Rankings.

Unlike most other sports, where teams are divided into many divisions, based on attempts to balance competitive equity, cross country is organized into just divisions, based solely on enrollment.

Here are the Pre-Season Rankings

  • Div I Boys: La Serna – #9
  • Div II Boys: Claremont – #4
  • Div III Boys: Bonita – #5, Arroyo – #6
  • Div IV Boys: South Pasadena – #10
  • Div V Boys: Flintridge Prep – #4


  • Div I Girls:
  • Div II Girls: Claremont – #1
  • Div III Girls: Bonita – #6
  • Div IV Girls: La Cañada – #3, South Pasadena – #6, Mayfield – #7
  • Div V Girls: Flintridge Prep – #5


SGV Track & XC

This site is maintained by Bob Ramsey – a SGV T&F athlete (Arroyo ’80), and former coach at Glendora HS and Meet Director of the SGV Champs. Bob is currently Director of Track & Field and Cross Country at Whittier College