By Leonard COUTIN
The 33rd Annual Woodbridge Invitational Cross-Country Classic was held on Saturday at Estancia High School in Coast Mesa, rather than its predecessor Woodbridge High School in Irvine, and produced some impressive three-mile times, especially this early of the season.
The Crescenta Valley High School Falcon boys endured a long wait Saturday night racing in the last race of the day, the Sweepstakes, at 9:54 p.m. against rival state champions, the Arcadia Apaches.
For the Falcons, Nick Beatty took the lead in the first mile while teammate Gabe Collison managed to work his way up through the crowd, taking over lead in the second mile. But Collison couldn’t maintain the pace and Stockdale’s Blake Haney forged ahead to win (13:55) with Estevan De La Rosa from Arcadia taking second (13:56). Collison, who ran 15:07 last year on the same course, placed 12th running 14:29. Beatty sprinted at the finish, moving past other competitors capture 22nd (14:48).
“I am very pleased with how we competed,” said Head Coach Mark Evans. “Everyone ran well. We got out a little slow but moved up well in the race.”
Arcadia boys placed first with the CV Falcons capturing sixth place.
The Falcon girls saw a successful night at the Woodbridge-Estancia – Costa Mesa Classic as well. Running in the varsity B women three-mile race, Falcon Megan Melnyk took charge by sprinting ahead at the start, securing a position with the lead runners. Over the course, Melnyk picked off one competitor at a time, making her presence known as she came into the stadium bolting to the finish line and winning her race in a time of 17:43. Teammate Rebecca Mencia, a sophomore, had one of her best and smartest races of the year, capturing seventh (18:27) with junior Haley Witzeman taking eighth (18:31).
The Falcon girls scored sixth place.