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.
Both the Arcadia boys and girls were favored going into Thursday’s Pacific League Finals and both teams took care of that responsibility. Running with their full-strength line-ups on the flat, fast, 3-mile course at Arcadia Park, both Apache teams improved on their already excellent performances from last week’s Apache Invitational.
The boys were led once again by Sergio Gonzalez, with his 14:27 winning time just missing the course record. After taking last Friday off Ryan Vargas returned to be Arcadia’s #2 with 3rd place, 14:44. The Apaches then went 6-7-8-9 to total 25 points and register a comfortable win over second place Burbank.
Veronica Yamane (17:17) and Alejandra Quintero (17:28) to the lead the girls to a 24 point total, but the Apaches were much more closely matched with Crescenta Valley who scored 31 points in what was essentially a dual meet.
Some of the SGV’s big guns roll into action, as seven ranked teams will compete in four league meets. Arcadia will try to hold the top spot in the Pacific League at their home Arcadia Park, while the Bonita girls will try to continue their rule of the Hacienda League, competing at Mt.SAC – the girls individual race ought to be excellent in this league. The Rio Hondo League, racing at Lacy Park in San Marino, features four ranked teams – the South Pasadena and San Marino boys and the South Pas and La Cañada girls, which should make for some great battles. The Almont League will wrap things up at Legg Lake
For most of the teams in the Montview League, their most passionate opponents are all in their league. And the Montview schedule makes it easy to develop that passion – they’re the only SGV league to compete in three cluster meets along with finals, and all are on the same hilly course at Schabarum Park.
So the eight teams met again on Wednesday’s warm afternoon, and the results went mostly according to form. The biggest upset was that the Sierra Vista girls, led by a strong 2nd/19:09 from Jessica Lopez and Janet Solis‘ 4th/20:14, edged out Azusa for the meet win, 38-43. Lopez had such a strong day she nearly reached mid-season sensation Roxanne Valle of Azusa. Jessica was just seven seconds short of Roxanne’s 19:02 winning effort, an excellent set of times on this hilly course on a warm day. Azusa’s Shaina Pardo was 3rd/20:12 as the Aztecs, hurt by having a consistent scorer DNF, held on to the League Championship by one point in the scoring over the four meets.
Ganesha, winners of the first cluster meet, was a solid third, led by Angela Herrera 5th/21:00 and Liz Reyes 9th/21:23. Veronica Gutierrez (Workman) was the only athlete not from the top three schools in the Top 10. Her team was only sixth, but she’ll advance to CIF individually with her sixth place, 21:01 effort. Bassett finished in the fourth and final CIF, led by Araceli Perez 19th/22:38.
On the boys side, there was a near upset in the individual race. The top returner from ’10, Ernie Castro (Azusa) had been largely unchallenged in winning this year’s first three cluster meets. On perhaps a bit of an off day, Castro – 16:40 had only a few seconds on Josh Macias (Workman) at 16:46. Josh will advance to CIF individually as his team was sixth overall, while Ernie’s 3rd placed team will advance together. Brian Covarrubias (La Puente) was 4th/16:59 as last year’s champs fell to a non-advancing fifth place.
In the team race, Ganesha was nearly tripped up by Sierra Vista. The Dons put four below the Giants #3, but a 27 second gap between their #4 and #5 sealed the win and the League Championship for GHS. Carlos Loreto 4th/17:15 and Nelson Rocha 5th/17:28 were best for Ganesha, while SVHS was led by Gonzalo Tornes 7th/17:32. As with the girls, Bassett took the fourth spot. Douglas Castro 3rd/16:51 was best for the Olympians
In just their second year of XC Competition, Pomona Catholic will advance to CIF as Arrowhead League Champions. Racing Wednesday on a confusing and difficult course at Citrus Hills in Riverside, the Pacers were able to overcome the challenge of having two of the girls lost on the course to win the meet! Here’s a report from PC Coach Luis Diaz:
The race began with Shannon Markle (PC), Angelica Mendoza (LSA) and Solana Arrelanes (PC) quickly taking command and pulling away from the pack. It was a three girl race to the tw0-mile mark, when Markle and Arellanes made a strong move to pull away from Mendoza. But on the back side of the last hill confusion set in. Shannon and Solana missed a turn and headed in the wrong direction, and ended up completely off course, arriving at the finish line from the opposite direction! Angelica Mendoza retook the lead and won the race.
But even without the usual top two, PC’s five remaining runners all placed in the top 10. They retained the title of Arrowhead League Champions, completing an undefeated season.
Getting caught up, there was little local XC Invite action in week eight, with only last Friday’s Apache Invite attracting the SGV schools. But there were a number of early league finals, including the Camino Del Rey Association and the Prep League locally, plus County meets in other part of the Southern Section to move the rankings.
The Glendora boys returned to the rankings and earned an at-large bid with a nice effort at the Apache meet, which they made moot with solid performance at the Baseline Finals on Tuesday. So far, only the Poly boys have needed their at-large status to advance – the traditionally strong Prep League has only four boys schools so only gets two automatic places. Besides the Tartans, the El Rancho, South Pasadena, and San Marino boys achieved at-large status this week. The success of other schools bumped the Los Altos boys and Pomona Catholic girls, who did not compete this week, back out of the rankings