Reporting from Fresno, chill awaits county runners

I’m here in Fresno for the CIF State Cross Country Championships, and it’s cold. It’ll be down close to freezing tonight, and the high tomorrow is only expected to get to the low 50s. At least rain isn’t expected to move into the area until late afternoon, after the final race.
Check back here on this blog during the morning and early afternoon Saturday for updates on county competitors: Apple Valley’s Hannah Valenzuela, Aquinas’ Alyssa Windle, Ayala’s girls team, Colony’s Xochitl Navarrete and Nick Valenzuela, Granite Hills’ boys and girls teams, Rancho Cucamonga boys team and Serrano’s girls team.

The races begin at 8:30 a.m., with the Division 3 boys, which includes Granite Hills.

–Pete Marshall

Quickie predictions

Just got back in town from Thanksgiving and will get these done real quick before heading out to Ramona High School for Cajon-Arlington.

Inland Division

Corona Centennial at Upland
In the battle between defending CIF champions last week, Upland took down Chaparral to help the Baseline League to a 3-0 mark. While that victory was impressive, Centennial is a different, more potent beast. Upland will score some, but not nearly enough to keep up.
Centennial 52, Upland 21

Chino Hills at Etiwanda
Can the Eagles pull off another upset? The Etiwanda defense stepped up huge in the win at Redlands East Valley, but Chino Hills just put up 10 touchdowns on Corona. The Huskies are humming on that side of the ball and should win a shootout.
Chino Hills 45, Etiwanda 35

Rancho Cucamonga at Roosevelt
The Cougars are playoff-savvy and looked good against Murrieta Valley, while Roosevelt had to scratch and claw against Claremont. Look for Rancho to keep the Baseline contingent alive.
Rancho Cucamonga 34, Roosevelt 28

Vista Murrieta 41, Norco 27

Central Division

Rancho Verde at San Gorgonio
Rancho Verde is the top seed in the bracket, but they had to scratch and claw to get past the Spartans in week one. And that’s before San G caught fire with its current seven-game win streak. I still like Rancho Verde though.
Rancho Verde 29, San Gorgonio 21

La Quinta at Chino
This is easily the toughest test that 11-0 Chino has had to face this year, as La Quinta is perennially among the top teams in whatever division it is playing in. Chino has been quite the story, but I’m not sure it’s fully prepared for this.
La Quinta 28, Chino 22

Cajon at Arlington
The second-hottest team in the county goes against a red-hot player, as the Cowboys’ 8-game winning streak will be tested by Arlington and their star RB Superiorr Reid, who has 32 touchdowns. Cajon is good but I like Arlington’s smashmouth style.
Arlington 35, Cajon 24

Palm Springs at Colton
While both of these teams put up ridiculous point totals last week, I think we’ll see some defense in this one. Both of these teams are stout on that side of the ball, though I feel Palm Springs has a bit more oomph.
Palm Springs 20, Colton 14

Eastern Division

Kaiser at Granite Hills
The Cats have apparently declared war on the city of Apple Valley, as they took out Apple Valley High last week. Granite Hills is scrappy, but they don’t have the firepower to challenge Kaiser.
Kaiser 36, Granite Hills 6

Victor Valley at Elsinore
The Jackrabbits resurgence continued last week with another last-minute win, this time against Norte Vista. But Elsinore on the road is a tough task and I’m not sure if the Jackrabbits will be able to wave their magic wand again.
Elsinore 28, Victor Valley 24

Heritage at Summit
Heritage has been impressive this year, running off 11 wins to grab the No. 3 seed. But player for player, Summit might be the most talented team. I like the SkyHawks to come through with a mild upset.
Summit 30, Heritage 27

Serrano at Ridgecrest Burroughs
Going up to Ridgecrest is a tough task for anyone. But if there’s any team that can handle it, its’ the Diamondbacks. The Serrano D is playing at a high level, which should be the difference.
Serrano 17, Burroughs 9

East Valley Division

Paraclete 42, Grace Brethren 24

St. Margaret’s at Big Bear
This has already been played, with St. Margaret’s prevailing 17-6.

Twentynine Palms at Sierra Canyon
The Wildcats were impressive in rolling over Sage Hill, but going out to the San Fernando Valley from the High Desert is a lot to ask. Sierra Canyon will pull away late in this one.
Sierra Canyon 34, Twentynine Palms 16

Rubidoux at Yucca Valley
The Trojans pulled off the shocker of the playoffs, heading to San Bernardino and shocking No. 2 Aquinas. Now they face a Rubidoux team that they tied in September. I think Cinderella has another dance after this one.
Yucca Valley 20, Rubidoux 18