By Leonard COUTIN
The 35th ASICS Clovis Invitational was held at Woodward Park in Fresno last weekend. The course is a mixture of soft and hard dirt, grass, asphalt and hills. The invitational was a perfect opportunity for schools to evaluate their midway performances and experience the state CIF course midway in the season.
The 5,000-meter course was hosted by Clovis High School and allowed for all divisions of schools to race as well as the freshman/sophomores races, and JV team races. The CVHS Falcon boys and girls who made the journey north had the chance to test themselves against rival Division 1 schools.
Lead CV runner Megan Melnyk, who ran 23rd (18:43), bettered her time from 2012 (19:05). She ran against Arcadia rival Roni Yamane who took fifth in the girls varsity race No. 5 Div. 1 (17:39). Yamane also improved on her time of 18:28 from the state finals in 2012.
Falcons teammates Haley Witzeman ran 85th (19:31), Rebecca Mencia placed 109th (19:59), Samantha Bernardo was 117th (20:06), Annie Meyers was 154th (21:49) and Amber Bolstad placed 157th (21:56).
Taking first was Simi Valley sensation senior Sarah Baxter, the three-time state champion cross-country winner, who ran 17:00, just missing the course record set in 2001 of 16:55.
The Simi Valley girls team won with 60 points over second place Davis (131) and Yucaipa (132). Arcadia took eight (270) and CV placed 20th (482).
The Falcon boys were led by Matt Manalo came in 23rd (15:45) and Matt Owens running 99th (16:34).
“Most everyone had big improvements over last year,” said CV Head Coach Mark Evans. “Considering who we ran, we did well. A couple guys did not have their best race and still PR’d. Our goal was just to get on the course and compete.”
Unfortunately, two lead Falcons – Gabe Collison and Nick Beatty –were unable to run at Clovis but hopefully will be back for the next league meet.
Falcon runners placing were Andrew Hart 100th (16:36), Philip Thomas 106th (16:41), Robert McNelis 133rd (16:54), and Manav Vats 140th (17:01). The Arcadia Apaches boys executed their plan to win varsity race No. 6. They continue to remain undefeated champions. Sophomore Philip Rocha took the lead away from teammate Estevan Del La Rosa and took third place (15:07) while De La Rosa took fifth (15:15). Winner of Woodbridge Blake Haney from Stockdale won with a time of 15:02.
Arcadia’s team won (80 points). CV boys took 20th (424).
For race No. 4, boys Div. 4 – small schools – Flintridge Prep leader Alan Yoho won first place (15:23) while teammate Jack Van Scoter grabbed third (15:57). Senior Alan Yoho who won the Stanford Invitational one week ago (15:42).
The boys Flintridge team took second place (151 points) behind first place McFarland (63). Morro Bay took third (151). Flintridge girls had a good day as well with top runner Sarah Yoho taking third place. The girls team captured fifth place (184 points).