By Stephen Ramirez
The 2013 boys cross country season began with heartache for Glendora High School, which tied to move on after long-time coach Don Sumner died in June.
Junior Jeff Kirwin honored his coach by putting of the performance of his career down the stretch to top all local runners and qualifying for the CIF State championships.
For his efforts, Kirwin is Tribune Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year.
“We tried to honor him throughout the season,” Kirwin said. “I was happy with (the season). It went well all. I was stoked to finish like I did and how the team progressed throughout the season.
“I went to state as a freshman and we didn’t go last year. I didn’t want to experience what happened last year when we didn’t make it. I remembered that the entire season.”
Kirwin also did something about it, and enjoyed his best efforts when it mattered most.
He topped all local performances at the CIF-Southern Section finals at Mt. San Antonio College, placing third in Division 2 with a time of 14 minutes, 55 seconds. He was just 10 seconds off the lead and it was the 13th-best time among all divisions.
Kerwin was 43rd at the CIF State championships in Fresno, with a time of 16 minutes.
“Jeff is the type of athlete that you can do a little bit of this, a little bit of that (in training),” said Glendora coach Steve Sumner, who took over the Tartans for his late father. “He’s got the menatality that he’s going to succeed in, as long as its in the certain range. There are things you can do that can really mess a kid up. But as along as its in a certain range, Jeff will make the best of it.
“He made his own season based on his own efforts. It was obviously spectacular when you get a time under 15 (minutes) at Mt. SAC.”
COACH OF THE YEAR
STEVE SUMNER, GLENDORA
Sumner filled in admirably for his father, Don Sumner, who passed away in June.
The Tartans, who had become the area’s elite program under Don Sumner, hardly missed a beat under Steve Sumner.
Glendora, led by junior Jeff Kirwin, finished 10th in Division 2 at the CIF-SS finals at Mt. SAC.
“I knew the athletes, having worked with them when they were freshman, to make it a little easier transition for them,” Steve Sumner said “And also being the coach’s son, made it a little easier for them to accept me as the coach. Once that initial transition occurred, the kids seemed to respond pretty well. They were all pretty resilent and already had an idea what they wanted to accomplish during the season. They had high goals, which is what you want. They just worked hard.”
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
DILLON BECKUM, BONITA, FRESHMAN
Beckum was one of the top runners in the area in his first season on the varsity.
He keyed the Bearcats to a 10th-place finish in Division 3 at the CIF-SS championships by turning in a time of 15:26, which was tied for 70th among all divisions and was the third quickest time turned in by an area competitor. He was 16th in Division 3.
Beckum was 15th in Division III at the state championships with a time of 15:50, which topped the area.
MILLEN TRUJILLO, WALNUT, JUNIOR
Trujillo was part of the Mustangs big three that helped Walnut place 13th in Division 1 at the CIF-SS championships at Mt. SAC.
He had the second quickets effort among local runners at the CIF-SS finals, placing 30th in Division 1 at 15:25. It ranked 69th overall.
DILLON NOBBS, BONITA, SENIOR
Part of the Bearcats’ one-two punch that helped Bonita place 10th in Division 3 at the CIF-SS championships.
Nobbs was 30th in Division 3 with a time of 15:41.
DOMINIC GONZALES, WALNUT, SOPHOMORE
Another piece of Walnut’s big three who helped the Mustangs solid finish to the season.
Gonzales finished 57th in Division 1 with a time of 15:49.
DANIEL HARRIGAN-COTA, WALNUT, SENIOR
The final cog of the Mustang’s top three.
Cota-Harrigan placed 58th at the CIF-SS championships in Division 1 with a time of 15:49.
PARKER SEALE, GLENDORA, JUNIOR
Seale was part of a solid core for the Tartans, who placed 10th as a team in the Division 2 finals.
He was 54th in Division 2 with a time of 16:02.
FERNANDO GONZALEZ, BISHOP AMAT, JUNIOR
Gonzalez set the pace for the Lancers, who placed 14th in Division 3 at the CIF-SS championships.
The junior finished 45th in Division 3 with a time of 16:03.
Damon Payne, Glendora, Sr.
Robbie Santoyo, Bishop Amat, So.
Christian Hernandez, Bishop Amat, Sr.
Adrian Diaz, Bishop Amat, So.
Johnny Samuel, Glendora, Jr.
Jordan Gallegos, Walnut, Sr.
Sean Frescas, Bonita, Jr.
Todd Sweetman, Bonita, Sr.
Bryan Tellez, El Monte, Sr.
Troy Miller, Bonita, Sr.
Oliver Kashyap, Glendora, Jr.
Luis Huerta, Bishop Amat, Fr.
TOP 10 TEAMS
4. Bishop Amat
5. El Monte
6. Los Altos
MEET OF THE YEAR
Glendora’s Jeff Kirwin set the pace for the area, placing third in Division 2 and 13th overall. The area also featured three place in the top 100, with Walnut’s Millen Trujillo and Bonita’s Dillon Beckum placing 69th and 70th, respectively. Glendora and Bonita finished 10th in their respective divisions.