By Bob Ramsey, Correspondent
The cross country postseason begins Saturday, with the CIF-Southern Section Prelims at Mt. SAC in Walnut. In CIF competition, schools are divided into five enrollment-based divisions, and roughly the top half of each league qualifies for the prelims. Sixteen teams in each division advance to the Nov. 19 finals, also at Mt. SAC. Twenty-two area teams advanced to the prelims, with 13 qualifying both their boys’ and girls’ teams. The top local contenders among the boys are Ayala and Glendora in Div. II, along with Damien in Div. III, while Bonita (Div. III) has the strongest chance to advance on the girls’ side. (To cotinue click thread)
Ayala set a school Mt. SAC course record (79:50) in winning the Sierra League Championship over Damien. Tom Ebiner of Damien was an individual champ and has been the top area runner this year, while senior Kenny Tanner led Ayala. Both are projected to win their heats and advance to CIF Finals and to the state meet.
Bonita junior Marissa Scott is clearly the best area girls runner so far, and the Hacienda League champion Bearcats have been ranked in the top five of Div. III all year.
The Glendora boys, with a rotating cast of team leaders, are ranked sixth in Div. II. The Tartans, in the same heat as Ayala, ran well to take second to California No. 1 Rancho Cucamonga in the Baseline League.
Here are the rest of the top area CIF qualifiers, by division:
Div. I - The Walnut girls could advance, as could their freshman Anahi Betart. Also competing: Chino Hills boys, Diamond Bar girls, and Walnut boys.
Div. II - The Ayala, Claremont and Glendora girls are expected to advance in what has been called the toughest high school cross country division. The Bulldogs were Sierra champs, while the Tartans were best in the Baseline. Individually, Rowland’s Nick Rivera and David Galvez could both go through.
Also competing: Arroyo’s boys and girls, Baldwin Park’s boys and girls, Nogales’ boys and Rowland’s boys, along with Anna Barcelo (Nogales) and Courtney Canchola (Rowland).
Div. III – The South Hills girls, ranked No. 12, should go through to finals. The Los Altos boys, Hacienda Champs, have a good chance to advance, as do the MVL champion Rosemead girls.