Cross Country: CIF Finals on Saturday at Mt. SAC

Once again, a local coach has stepped up and offered to help give insight to what’s going on in cross country. This comes from Glendora assistant coach Bob Ramsey

For a complete rundown of Saturday’s CIF-SS Prelims, click thread

Said Ramsey: Saturday’s CIF Cross Country Prelims was an exceptionally strong day for Trib area athletes. On the girls side, Bonita and St. Lucy’s advanced as expected, while the South Hills boys had a big come-through performance to advance. The Glendora boys were the top seed in their heat, but turned in the top overall performance in Div. II, and their 78:44 is probably the best team performance ever by a Trib area team. (To continue, click thread)

Individually, Fabian Velasco (Duarte), Paul Balderas (Diamond Ranch), Lauren Justus (Glendora) and Brittnie Munoz (Rosemead) all advanced to Saturday’s Finals.

Only Glendora was expected to advance among the ESGV boys teams and they did, but a series of great performances will give them company at this coming Saturday’s CIF Finals.

The Tartans did even better than expected, dominating their heat with only 36 points. Their team time of 78:44 was the best in Div. II by nearly a minute, and they were sixth fastest overall on the day. Led by Anthony Castro’s breakthrough 15:17 heat win, Glendora placed four in the top seven of the heat. If they can continue to perform up to this level, they should find a place on podium at Finals and at the State Meet in Fresno the following week. Castro’s performance ranked him 12th among all divisions on the day.

They will be joined in the next week’s Finals, also at Mt.Sac, by Div. III South Hills. The Huskies, led by Johnny Flores,rode a slew of PR’s to the final qualifying spot in their heat. They’ll have to improve a considerable amount to move on, but just making finals was a great achievement for this rapidly improving team.

Duarte’s (Div. IV) Fabian Velasco and Diamond Ranch’s (Div. III) Paul Balderas both rode big PR’s into the finals, with Velasco likely to earn a spot on the podium on Saturday and a trip to Fresno with a similar performance.

Northview (Div. III) missed a place in the finals by one spot and 62 seconds, while Israel Orosco (Azusa – Div. III) finished 11 places but only 15 seconds away from advancing. South El Monte (Div. III) was tipped to advance with a good day, but very rough performances from their top two runners, including previous SGV leader Jayson Perez, left them well short.

Top Performers
1. 15:17 Anthony Castro – Glendora
2. 15:40 Kelly Hernandez – Glendora
3. 15:44 Austin Goodheart – Glendora
4. 15:45 Austin Mendoza – Glendora
5. 15:50 Fabian Velasco – Duarte
6. 16:00 Paul Balderas – Diamond Ranch
7. 16:15 John Garcia – Damien
8. 16:16 Johnny Flores – South Hills
9. 16:17 Shin Yamamura – Glendora
10. 16:19 Efren Alcala – Arroyo
11. 16:19 Israel Orosco – Azusa

Team Ranking
1. 78:43 Glendora
2. 83:46 South Hills
3. 83:49 Los Altos
4. 84:09 Northview – Alfredo Folgar, 16:23 (top runner)
5. 84:24 Arroyo
6. 85:45 West Covina – Lukas Guardado, 16:50
7. 86:03 South El Monte – Fernando Hernandez, 16:46
8. 87:15 Rosemead – Christopher Le, 17:08
9. 87:23 Diamond Ranch
10. 88:07 Covina – Frankie Gonzalez, 17:10
11. 88:37 Baldwin Park – Anthony Giles, 17:03
12. 88:49 Azusa
13. 89:33 La Puente – Christopher Castillo, 17:08
14. 90:08 Bonita – Eric Espinosa, 16:46
15. 93:22 Bassett – Norris Sabio, 17:38

Individuals: John Garcia (Damien) 16:15; Jorge Hernandez (Nogales) 16:54; Brandon Martinez (El Monte) 16:59; Avedis Gertmenian (Duarte) 17:09; Eddie Trujillo (Ganesha) 18:52.

The SGV girls teams and individuals ran mostly according to form on the famous hills of Mt.Sac during Saturday’s CIF Prelims. Bonita, led by a strong PR from Marissa Scott, and St. Lucy’s were both seeded. They both met expectations and moved on in Div. III, but narrowly. Each team finished fourth in their heats, and will probably need to improve by over a minute each if they want to finish in the top 7 and move on to the California State Meet.

Glendora’s Lauren Justus (in Div. II) and Rosemead’s Brittnie Munoz (Div. III) were happy to move on as individuals with the top two SGV times on the day. They each finished third in their heats with big PR’s – Lauren’s 18:11 was 20th among all 5 divisions, and Brittnie (18:20) was 33rd. Both runners are likely to advance to Fresno if they run at a similar level at Finals.

Brittnie’s happiness had to be tempered by the fact that her team, and South Hills (Div. III) as well, missed qualifying. The teams each missed by one spot and 60 and 30 seconds respectively. Individually, Jessica Mendez (West Covina – Div. I) was dealt a tough blow when she missed advancing by one spot and just three seconds, while Charter Oak’s (Div. III) Carly Lake’s PR left her two spots and 10 seconds away from the finals.

Top Performers
1. 18:11 Lauren Justus – Glendora
2. 18:20 Brittnie Munoz – Rosemead
3. 18:29 Marissa Scott – Bonita
4. 18:41 Jessica Mendez – West Covina
5. 18:44 Carly Lake – Charter Oak
6. 18:48 Lexie Jackson – Bonita
7. 19:02 Vanessa Lopez – Rowland
8. 19:09 Ashley Holguin – South Hills
9. 19:15 Taylor Hebb – St. Lucy’s
10. 19:16 Kristen Galvez – Rowland

Team Rankings
1. 1:38:05 Bonita
2. 1:38:39 St. Lucy’s
3. 1:40:32 South Hills
4. 1:41:03 Rosemead
5. 1:42:34 West Covina
6. 1:43:20 Los Altos – Reina Sotelo, 19:22 (top runner)
7. 1:43:59 Rowland
8. 1:44:30 Charter Oak
9. 1:44:57 Arroyo – Laura Gazca, 20:26
10. 1:48:45 Covina – Rachel Falomir, 20:19
11. 1:50:12 Bishop Amat – Jasmine Roth, 21:15
12. 1:50:18 Sierra Vista – Beatriz Barrett, 20:55
13. 1:54:11 Baldwin Park – Adriana Valenzuela, 22:00
14. 1:55:10 Azusa – Marlynna Molina, 22:05
15. 1:58:52 Ganesha – Jasmine Rodriguez, 22:50
16. 2:00:08 Bassett – Karla Amparan, 21:58

Individuals: Veronica Bejar (South El Monte), 20:49; Carmen Carillo (Gladstone), 21:23

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