Bell-Jeff: Conq’s Lopez & Garcia Lead

Nicolette Garcia

Five local schools took part in the long-standing Bellarmine-Jefferson Prep Invite, held on a very hilly 2.9 mile course in L.A.’s Griffith Park.  The top performance came from the Los Altos boys, who nearly matched their win here last year with a 2nd place finish.  The Conquerors also had the top local performers – Andy Lopez (7th/16:01) & Nicolette Garcia (17th/20:10), as well as Josh Sanchez’ 16:05 for 9th place.

In the smaller white division Bassett was led by a pair of Top 10’s from Douglas Castro (7th/16:43) & Zahina Rios (4th/20:14), while Ganeshas Carlos Sanchez was 10th in 17:00.

The local prep schools were in the Blue division, and Webb‘s best performers were Baily Stockdale (5th/16:39) & Arianna Habbestad (27th/23:33), while Shannon Markle (15th/21:57) was tops for Pomona Catholic.

Meet coverage and full results from Dyestatcal are here.

Stanford: Loberg was best

West Covina and Azusa made the long drive up I-5 to the multi-state Stanford Invitational, a 5 K race run on the university’s golf course.  West Covina Frosh Erica Loberg had the top local performance, running a very nice 20:17 in the heat of the day to finish 24th in the Div. I race.

Senior Kevin Gomez (53rd/17:05) led the Bulldog boys, while Azusa was paced by senior Alfredo Orosco (26th/16:50).  The Aztec girls did not compete as scheduled.

Full Dyestat coverage and complete results here.

ESGV Preview – Week 3

With league competition beginning next week for all of the area teams, only a third will be competing this weekend, but they’ll be spread from Orange Country to L.A’s Griffith Park to the big, big Stanford Invite

Marissa Scott (L) & Lexie Jackson

The top local action should come from the top local teams, as Claremont and Bonita, along with Diamond Bar travel to the big Dana Hills Invite – where last year the Bearcats frosh duo of Lexie Jackson and Marissa Scott stepped up for the first time with a one, two finish over this fast, three mile, net downhill course.  They’ll be looking to step up further this year, and the Claremont guys will take several ranked teams in the D2 race.

The largest local group will be at the Sunny Hills Invite – a smaller meet run over a hilly three mile course at Fullerton’s Craig Park.  Baldwin Park, Bishop Amat, Charter Oak, Rowland, and San Dimas are all scheduled to compete, with Rowland’s athletes having the best local showing in last year’s event.

Last year’s win at the Bell-Jeff Invite at Griffith Park was the first step on a road that led to a league championship and CIF spot for Los Altos.  The Conquerors will return to this hilly, 3 mile course, along with Ganesha, Bassett, Webb, and Pomona Catholic.

The famous Stanford Invite was the place for a breakthrough performance by West Covina’s Jessica Mendez.  Jessica has gone on to compete at Cal Poly Pomona, but her alma mater and Azusa will once again make the trip to test themselves againt some of the best teams on the West Coast.

Where’d They Go – 2009’s Top Ten

There were only seven seniors on last year’s final ESGV Top Ten Lists, but (at least) six have gone on to compete in college – four at NCAA Div 1 schools, one at Cal Poly Pomona (Div. 2) and one at Azusa Pacific, which competes in the NAIA.

Jayson Perez

2008 Area Athlete of the Year Jayson Perez (South El Monte) has joined South Hills’ Ashley Holguin at D1 Cal State Fullerton.  State Finalist Brittnie Munoz (Rosemead) moved on to Loyola Marymount in Westchester, CA, and Glendora’s Austin Goodheart is at UC Santa Barbara.  Jessica Mendez (West Covina) has made the trip down the 10 to Cal Poly Pomona, while Paul Balderas (Diamond Ranch) is now an APU Cougar.

All of the athletes except Balderas (who started the week before) competed in last weekend’s UC Riverside Invitational (Men’s results, Women’s results) with the best performance coming from Perez, who was Fullerton’s number 2 on the day.  Jayson went under 25:00 in his first 8k, running 24:59 for 27th place, and finishing just behind LMU’s Thomas Finnigan (Glendora ’08), the 2007 Area Athlete of the Year.

Our local athletes will have a chance to step up this weekend as several travel to Stanford and Oklahoma State – the two top early-season college XC meets.  We’ll keep you posted on their progress.

CIF XC Polls (9/20) – Claremont Surges to the Front

L to R: Nick Luber, Colin Domonoske, AK Metoyer, Paul Ross, and Jimmy Baeskens. (missing Aric Crowell and Henry Falotico)

The Claremont boys strong second place finish in Saturday’s Woodbridge Invite propelled them to the top of Div. II in this week’s CIF Southern Section Divisional Rankings.  Glendora, after a rough night the same race, switched places in the rankings with the Wolfpack, falling from the top spot to fourth.

The Bonita girls also ran well at Woodbridge, with a second place finish in their divisional race, moving them from ninth to eighth in the rankings.

Claremont and Bonita both compete this weekend at the big and very strong Dana Hills Invite, while the Tartans will line up next in their first Baseline League meet on Wednesday, September 29th, where they’ll face Div. I #3 Rancho Cucamonga.  The Wolfpack and Bearcats also face new league challenges that week, moving into the Sierra and Hacienda leagues, respectively.

Woodbridge: Claremont Boys and Lauren to the Top

Woodbridge is a massive meet – with over two hundred schools competing in four divisions from 1:00-10:00 pm.  Held over a new course at Estancia HS in Costa Mesa, the 30th edition of the meet saw state level performances from the Claremont boys, the Bonita girls, and Glendora’s Lauren Justus.

The featured events are the elite Sweepstakes races, and on the boys side, CIF 4th ranked Claremont earned their championship credentials, finishing second to only State #1 Arcadia with a team time of 75:33.  Senior Paul Ross (5th – 14:36) was followed by three senior teammates in the top 20 of the team scoring: Henry Falotico (14:51), Colin Domonoske (15:04), & A.K. Metoyer (15:05).  This excellent performance fulfills the promise the Wolfpack showed last year before being decimated by the Swine Flu.

Top-ranked Glendora (78:15) was 12th in the same race.  Missing three of their top 6 – two with illness and one who fell and DNF’d, the Tartans were again led by senior Anthony Castro (14:52 – 17th).  In the earlier Rated Race, South Hills were 18th in 80:58, led by senior Jonathan Flores’ 15:45.

Lauren Justus (L)

Returning Area Athlete of the Year Lauren Justus (Glendora) was the only local girl in the elite races, but she more than held her own with a strong 5th place/17:04 finish in the Sweeps.  Taking a huge step forward, Lauren broke her track PR’s for 1600m and 3200m en route to her 3 mile finish.  St. Lucy’s and Carly Lake (Charter Oak) did not compete as scheduled.

Most area schools ran in the smaller divisions that began the day, where the top performance was the Bonita girls 2nd place finish in the White, or 4th division, and with two runners out with illness.  Led by soph Marissa Scott’s 17:59 win, the Bearcats had a team time of 93:41, 23rd best overall.  Marissa was followed closely to the line by teammates Lexi Jackson (So – 18:17 for 3rd) and Mikayla Flores (Fr – 18:21 for 4th) – and those times were, respectively, 57th, 93rd and 100th on the day.

Another strong performance came from the South Hills girls, who finished second in the Red/3rd division with a time of 98:00.  Their top performer was junior Alex Borunda – 18:54 for 11th.

Complete Results are here (All pdf’s!)  Runnerspace video coverage is here.

Area Top 10 and individual Top 10 Finishers, and team leaders after the jump. Continue reading Woodbridge: Claremont Boys and Lauren to the Top

Rosemead: Sam and Lovella Lead

Arroyo soph Sam Garcia and West Covina senior Lovella Perea were the top local performers at the long-standing Rosemead Invitational, the SGV’s answer to Woodbridge.  Like the bigger meet to the south, this 40 team event featured a fast, flat, 3-mile course, with the final races run under the lights.

Garcia was 4th in his grade division in 15:43, and was followed by three teammates in the Top 10, while Perea was 6th among the senior girls on the re-designed, fully 3 mile course.  Top local finishers by place both were in the frosh division: Daniel Harrigan-Cota (Walnut) 16:56 for 2nd and Erica Loberg (West Covina) 19:42 for 4th.

Complete Results are here.

Top Ten Finishers by Division, Top 10 overall, and team leaders after the jump. Continue reading Rosemead: Sam and Lovella Lead

Week 2 Preview: Woodbridge and Rosemead

The second week of the season will see most area teams in two meets – the Woodbridge Invite at Estancia HS in Costa Mesa and the Rosemead Invite.  Both meets are run over flat, 3 mile courses, both run many of their races under the lights, both finish in stadiums this year, and both feature local teams.

Woodbridge is a bit bigger and a bit more prominent.  The athletes compete mostly by class and division here, with the exception of the elite Rated and Sweepstakes races at the end of the evening.  The East SGV will be well represented under the lights.  For the girls, St. Lucy’s and will contest the Rated race while Lauren Justus (Sr, Glendora) and Charter Oak Junior Carly Lake will run in the Sweeps race.  The top-ranked Glendora boys will be joined by by 4th ranked Claremont in the Sweeps race, while South Hills looks to make their mark in the Rated race.

In all, twelve local schools will participate, including  9th ranked Bonita, who elected not to run in the evening races, Bassett, Covina, Damien, Diamond Bar; Northview, and San Dimas.  Update: Quick summaries of the event’s bigger races will be posted here – complete results often take awhile.

Rosemead will feature a revised course this year and some bigger names and fast rising local programs.  39 schools, including nine from the ESGV, will take part.  Los Altos, Arroyo, and West Covina show the most early promise of among the guys local entrants, while the girls event should be wide open.

The event is contested in a single division and by class and will also include athletes from host school, Gabrielino, Walnut, Azusa, Garey and Baldwin Park.

COACHES, ATHLETES & PARENTS!  Help us make our coverage better – please send us photos, links to photo galleries, and race notes (breakthroughs, bad days, injuries etc) to

CIF XC Polls (9/13) – Three Locals Ranked

The Glendora boys, off of their strong performance in their opening Bronco Invitational, moved into the top spot in this week’s CIF Southern Section Divisional Rankings.  They had been ranked behind Loyola in the opening Div. II poll.

Claremont moved from third to fourth on the same list, largely on the strength of Saugus’ performance on Saturday against Loyola in Cerritos.

The Bonita girls, who open their season this week, remain ninth on the Div. III rankings.

All three teams will be in action at this Saturday’s Woodbridge Invitational, with the Tartans and Wolfpack in the Sweepstakes race.