By Leonard COUTIN
On Saturday, Sept. 3, the inaugural Cool Breeze Invitational cross-country meet was on the Brookside Golf Course near the famous Pasadena Rose Bowl. A promising flat three-mile course had potential to rally some of the fastest times for this early season.
The invitational started in the afternoon and ended in late in the evening hosting 16 races, incorporating four junior varsity race, four sophomore races, four freshmen races and finally four varsity races (two non-seeded and two seeded). The Falcons posted some excellent marks throughout the day, making this meet special to many of the new and younger athletes.
The boys and girls seeded varsity race lived up to expectations of coaches and athletes. CVHS lead runner Colin FitzGerald came onto the track confident in his ability to run well but was aware that his unfamiliarty with the course could make a difference in the outcome. Running off the shoulders of the leaders, FitzGerald kept a comfortable distance until he saw the clearance he was waiting for. As the race drew to a close, he decided to make his move on Vista Murrieta’s Edgar Villa and took off, picking up speed. His diligence proved sound and FitzGerald claimed the championship title, setting the new course recorded of 14:55.9.
“I wanted to make every effort to get my team the best possible points,” he said.
Villa placed second running one second back finishing with a time of 14:56.9 and DeLa Salle’s Isaias De Leon took third running a time of 15:00.36. Owen Bishop of Claremont placed fourth (15:02.77). Final top five teams were Claremont 98, Desert Vista 141, Brea Olinda 177, Arcadia 199, Crescenta Valley 274.
“It was a great race,” Coach Mark Evans said of his lead runner. “Colin sat in the group in good position for a good part of the race. We told him to move when he was ready. He did that and held the move. We are really impressed with his fitness level. He was very happy with the race. It is a real confidence booster to know he can move when he did in the race and hold on to the lead.”
In the seeded girls race the Falcon girls scored 25th while the Arcadia Apache girls came in second. Flintridge Prep placed 11th.