By Leonard COUTIN
Runners from across Southern California took part in the 47th Annual Staub/Barnes Invitational cross-country meet on Saturday. The annual event was held at Crescenta Valley High School’s three-mile course in Crescenta Valley Park. The varsity boys and girls races are considered high profile races to watch because many of the athletes are still in their early season conditioning.
This year, the boys from John Burroughs High School were the force to be reckoned with. They have been running top times and the runners have been working to keep grouped together to score. Keeping the lead the entire race, the Burroughs varsity boys successfully captured the first top four places. “Burroughs boys ran a meet record team time of 80:14 which is three seconds better than the team time record set by Loyola in 2007,” said CVHS Head Coach Mark Evans. “[The Falcons] all competed well, too. Boys’ varsity was second to Burroughs. Senior Manav Vats [placed sixth] was our fastest boy and ran his fastest time on the course of 16:17.”
Garret Boulais of Burroughs won first place (15:42.53), followed by teammates Elias Hoxsie (15:59.50), Shane Thompson (16:05.22) and Alexander Hirsch (16:07.00).
Falcon runner junior Armin Cardenas-Nuno managed to move up in the last 200 yards, passing other runners to finish with a strong final sprint against Golden Valley runner Jonathon Bay. CV’s Colin FitzGerald was off his usual performance placing 16th, third for his team (16:50.56), followed by teammate Jason Crosthwaite running 18th (16:52.68).
In the girls’ race, Falcon Megan Melnyk knew her competition would be from the Santa Clarita teams of Canyon, Saugus and West Ranch high schools. Kyla Danforth from Canyon proved to be a strong adversary who took the first mile very quickly and stayed ahead of the pack. Danforth looked both strong and relaxed when she crossed the bridge that marked the first mile. Completing the course in record time, Danforth took first (18:38.22) with Melnyk following close behind (19:07:66). Danforth’s teammate Samantha Lopez placed third (19:16.06). If Melnyk was looking for support from her teammate Haley Witzeman, it wasn’t coming. Witzeman was out with a foot injury.
CV’s Rebecca Mencia ran 14th (20:19.47) with teammates Annie Myers placing 15th (20:20.66) and Elizabeth Hart taking 20th (20:36.03). The Falcons girls’ varsity picked up a third in the ranking of teams.