Bonita, Glendora perform great at CIF-SS Cross Country finals, advancing to next week’s state meet

Above: Bonita’s Marissa Scott on Saturday’s CIF-SS finals

By Keith Lair, Staff Writer
The Glendora and Bonita high school cross country teams received subtle reminders about how important each runner’s point counts. Both teams earned berths in this week’s CIF State meet. In the Tartans’ case, it was by the slimmest of margins. Glendora finished in a three-way tie for seventh in Saturday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 2 championships at Mt. SAC. Seven teams advanced to the state meet at Fresno’s Woodward Park. (To continue click thread)

The first five runners for Glendora, Tesoro and Saugus all finished with 222 points. That meant it came down to the sixth-place finisher, typically a nonscoring position, for each team. Tartans freshman Jeff Kirwin finished 87th in 16:36. Tesoro’s No. 6 runner placed 100th and Saugus’

No. 6 was 101st.

“They had to go for every body they could catch,” Glendora coach Don Sumner said. “I almost told them to throw rocks at your opponents. I don’t care.”

The Bonita girls, meanwhile, also eked out a state berth by finishing seventh. The Bearcats, one of the favorites to win Division 3, edged Beverly Hills by nine points.

“We had preferred to win the race, but we have one more week and other teams don’t,” Bonita coach Lonny White said. “I thought I’d be unhappy, but I’m not.

“After watching that, I’m thrilled. We were too far back.”

Freshman Kailyn Scott edged out sister Marissa, a junior, by one position, 16th and 18:48 to 17th and 18:52, respectively. Marissa will be heading to state for the third consecutive time, this time with her team. The last time the Bearcats girls advanced was in 2005.

“Her baby sister had a great day and so did freshman Jordan (Prado),” Carr said.

In that Division 3 race, Bishop Amat freshman Emily Hubert finished 13th in 18:41 to earn the fifth and final transfer position for state. Damien also finished sixth in its Division 3 race to advance.

Rowland’s Nick Rivera, Bonita’s Dillon Nobbs, Los Altos’ Jair Juarez and the South Hills girls failed to earn state berths.

Glendora was without No. 2 runner Garrett Hernandez, who has been battling intestinal flu.

“Yes, his loss was a big concern,” Sumner said. “We’re a minute back. We were struggling, but they all stepped up. We haven’t been real healthy this year. Maybe we’ll be healthy next week.”

Mike Duke finished 16h in 15:42 to lead the Tartans. Ayala earned an automatic bid by placing fourth.

Rivera, who won his heat race last weekend in the prelims, finished 14th in 15:26.

“I felt pretty good, but after the switchbacks it hit me like a brick wall,” the senior said. “I don’t know what happened, but I know I didn’t do horrible.”

Damien also had to contend with sickness. Tom Ebiner, who has been No. 1 for the Spartans, finished behind teammate Doug Negrete. He missed school on Friday because he was sick. Negrete was 19th in 5:42 and Ebiner took 26th in 15:52.

“He’s been pretty close to Tom all season, so we knew he was capable of doing something,” Damien coach Dr. Michael Williams said of Negrete. “We told two of them to not worry about the top five, six guys at the beginning.”

Adam Williams has been struggling with a leg injury and Moses Baiden was recovering from a car accident.

The big move that pushed the Spartans into state for only the second time (the previous time was in 2003) was by sophomore Mitch Cameron, who finished fifth for the team and 60th overall in 16:17. He usually runs at No. 6.

“It was a huge PR,” Williams said. “Last week was his worst race all season. He thought he was going to be dropped from varsity. I told him not worry about it.”

Los Altos’ Juarez was 23rd in 15:48 and Bonita sophomore Nobbs was 41st in 16:02.

South Hills finished 15th in the Division 3 girls race, led by Alex Borunda, who was 36th in 19:7.

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