All posts by Bob Ramsey

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 XC Starts Off This Weekend

So, let’s get things started!

We will once again provide full coverage of San Gabriel Valley prep Cross-Country this year, starting with this weekend’s opening meets.

Next week, look for full coverage of the meets, along with our first rankings of the 2019 season.

Here’s a quick look at this weekend’s events, two of which are hosted by SGV Schools.

Fastback Invitational – Arcadia County Park

Live Results   Meet Information   2019_Fastback_inv_schools

This start of the season short course event will be run one more year on the fast and flat course at Arcadia Park, rather than the traditional 1.9 mile course at MtSAC, which is still under construction. 51 schools will take part, 17 from the SGV. Arroyo (the hosts), Bassett, Charter Oak, Diamond Bar, El Monte, Flintridge Prep, Flintridge Sacred Heart, La Cañada, La Salle, Mark Keppel, Montebello, Mountain View, Schurr, South El Monte, St. Francis, Webb and West Covina.

Lancer Invitational – La Mirada County Park

Meet Information   Full Entries

A new meet this year, La Serna will host this 2-mile meet over the hills at La Mirada. Eleven teams are registered to compete, with hosts joined by the SGV’s Bishop Amat, Diamond Ranch, Pomona Catholic and St. Paul. 

The Great Cow Run – Cerritos County Park

Live Results    Meet Information

SGV powers Arcadia and California will lead a forty-four school field over this super fast 3-mile course at Don Knabe Country Park in Cerritos. El Rancho and Rowland will also rep the SGV at this big meet.

The Riverside Showcase – Riverside XC Course

Live Results    Meet Information

Another short (2.25 mile) meet, this one takes place on the site of the CIF-SS Championship meet. Bonita, Damien/St. Lucy’s, La Mirada and Walnut are scheduled to compete.

And… Poly (Pasadena) will travel to Santa Barbara to race on the 3-mile course UCSB in the Gaucho Invitational (Live Results)

We will have full coverage of these meets on by Monday. Parents, friends and coaches, please send photos and race notes to



Arcadia Preview

The national Arcadia Invitational, featuring athletes from over thirty states and most of the best from the Southern Section, gets going today at the SGV’s Arcadia High School.

The meet has grown over the years by offering an increasing number of spots on Friday and during the day on Saturday, but the best action remains in the Saturday night meet, where 6 SGV boys and relays will compete along with 3 girls.

Of special note on the boys side, Arroyo senior Noah Hibbard will look to follow up his State-leading mile win at the Distance Meet of Champions with a top finish in the loaded 3200, while Bonita’s Jocelyn Hipwell will bring her recent 5-08 high jump effort to the loaded event. Here are all the local competitors…

SGV Night Meet Boys

  • 1600 Seeded - Jacob Moran (Sr, Claremont)
  • 800 Invite - Kai Dettmann (Sr, South Pasadena)
  • 3200 Invite - Noah Hibbard (Sr, Arroyo)
  • DMR - Claremont
  • Triple Jump - Tianhao Wei (Jr, South Pasadena)
  • High Jump - Kailen Smith (Sr, Diamond Bar

SGV Night Meet Girls

  • 400 Seeded - Alisha Wilson (So, Bonita)
  • Mile Invite - Audrey Suarez (So, Mayfield)
  • High Jump - Jocelyn Hipwell (Sr, Bonita)

Two Big Seasonal Debuts & a Big Jump Lead the SGV Girls in Week 7

Two sophs got their seasons going this week, and between them took over the SGV leadership in four events, and a senior jumped really high – and they share Athlete of the Week honors for Week 7

Bonita’s Alisha Wilson – in her first year in the sport, had All-Time in SGV performances in the 200, 400 and LJ last year, advancing to the State Meet in the latter event and running a leg on Bearcats State Champ 4×400. At Saturday’s Covina Invite, Alisha opened with big marks in all three events, (25.23, 56.59, 18-04) taking over the SGV lead in each.

Covina soph Maya Rush (a transfer from Serra in her first meet for the Colts) ran the sprint triple at the Covina meet, winning the 100 after taking the SGV seasonal lead in a dual meet two days before in 12.39. She was third behind Alisha in both the 200 & 400 and all of her times narrowly missed breaking the Covina records.

Also at Covina – Bonita senior Jocelyn Hipwell leaped to a big 5-08 mark in the high jump, extending her seasonal SGV lead and now ranking equal 5th All-Time for our area. A Masters Meet Qualifier in 2018, she currently ranks 2nd in the Southern Section and third in the State.

All told, there were 12 new athletes or relays that met the 2019 All-SGV Standards this past week, and 8 improved their marks.

You can view the updated All-SGV lists here: 19 All SGV Girls 3-30