By Leonard COUTIN
The CV Falcons boys faced their first cross-country scoring league competition on Sept. 26 on Arcadia’s home course. Participating Pacific league schools were Arcadia, Burroughs, Burbank, CV, Glendale, Hoover and Pasadena.
The Falcons, who already faced strong state champions Arcadia at Woodbridge two weeks ago, were determined to give a good showing against their rival teams. Unlike his performance at Woodbridge, Gabe Collison was keen on jumping out quickly and getting in front of the Apaches lead runner Estevan De La Rosa.
For the first two miles, Collison controlled the pace trying to lengthen his lead against De La Rosa who has run a faster time. Falcon Nick Beatty continued to pick off the Arcadia runners on the course, but had to be satisfied taking fourth place (14:45) behind the Apaches. Key positional runners for the CV team were Matt Manalo and Matt Owens who finished sixth (14:59) and 10th (15:13) respectively. Burbank and Burroughs have been strong competitors in past years but were not performing as strong at this point in the season.
As expected, Apache De La Rosa pushed his third mile and caught Collison to take the win (14:03) and setting a new course record while CV’s Collison captured second (14:12) though he did run one of his best times this year.
“Gabe ran the third fastest time on that course. He ran a great race,” said Head Coach Mark Evans.
It was no surprise to see Arcadia scoring top honors since many of their team leaders were only juniors last year. Arcadia beat CV, 26-29. CV boys won over both Burbank (20-35) and Burroughs (17-42).
The Falcons girls cross-country teams produced some impressive times – and excitement – for spectators. Apache Roni Yamane, who ran in the state meet last year, was the biggest challenge for Falcon Megan Melnyk. Striking out and taking the lead, Yamane won first (17:11) with Melnyk capturing second (17:24). Burbank trailed the leaders but still ran a solid time, capturing third place (17:28). CV’s Erica Johnson, who has been nursing an injury since last year and early this season, was able to run for the first time this year and successfully captured fourth (17:57).
“Megan got out aggressively and ran a strong race,” said Evans. “It was good to have Erika racing. We have a lot more depth in the girls.”
Falcon teammates Haley Witzeman captured seventh (18:10) and Rebecca Mencia took eighth (18:11).
Arcadia beat CV 27-30. The Falcons beat both Burbank (23-32) and Burroughs (15-48).