By Leonard COUTIN
On Thursday the Falcons participated in their first cross-country league meet at Griffith Park facing seven rivals: Arcadia, Burbank, Burroughs, Glendale, Hoover, Pasadena and Muir.
The 3.05-mile course advantage belonged to Burroughs and Burbank as this is where the teams work out weekly.
Returning powerhouse Arcadia High School, which won the 2010 Cross-Country State Championship with senior Ammar Moussa, returned strong with a recent first place win at the Classic Woodbridge Invitational.
Falcon lead man Michael Duncan pushed forward early, keeping pace with the top runners. Senior Anthony Monroy of Burroughs kept a tough pace and maintained his lead throughout the course to finish first (15:24).
Arcadia senior Sergio Gonzalez may have held back in anticipation of the upcoming invitational contest in Idaho on Saturday. He took second (15:38).
Young runner Amos Isaiah of Burbank took the lead for his team capturing third (15:43) along with teammate Fraire Sergio grabbing fourth (15:47). Ryan Vargas of Arcadia placed fifth (15:47) with Duncan taking sixth (15:48) and Hoover’s Jeremy Zadoorian seventh (15:54). CV’s Gable Collison concluded with an 11th place (16:20).
“I am very happy with our first league meet,” said Coach Mark Evans. “We had great competitive efforts. No matter where someone was in the race they really battled to beat the person in front of them.
“Our times on the course compared to last year were so much better. Lots of really significant drops in time. We are a much better team then we were at this time last year. The kids really worked hard over the summer.”
Final scores were Arcadia 7-0, Burbank 6-1, Burroughs 5-2, CV 4-3, Hoover 3-4, Glendale 2-5 with both Pasadena and Muir NA.
The CV girls’ varsity team also recognized the strong team in Arcadia. Falcon Cali King went out strong with the lead runners, battling for position the entire race. Arcadia’s dual winners were Veronica Yamane in first (18:46) with teammate Laura Guidolin right beside her taking second (18:46). CV’s Cali King won third (19:07) with teammate Ali Johnson taking fourth (19:14). Arcadia’s 800-meter Alejandra Quintero took fifth (19:20) with CV Megan Melnyk taking sixth (19:25). Falcon Ruby Hannah captured ninth with teammate Haley Witzeman running 10th (19:57) and Brooke Moultrie 13th (20:27).
“There were some years when we were a bit stronger and Arcadia was chasing us,” said Evans. “The last few years Arcadia’s boys have been very good. We are just trying to get back to be faster than them. With the addition of Burbank and Burroughs the league is much stronger. Both are a real force and we are just trying to be better than all of them.
“On the girls’ side we have dominated league lately. Arcadia girls have risen to the challenge and are a very good team this year. We just keep trying to beat the other and that pushes everyone to improve.”
Final score Arcadia 7 0, CV 6-1, Burbank 5-2, Burroughs 4-3 and Glendale 3-4.