By Leonard COUTIN
As the cross-country season entered its mid-season point, the Crescenta Valley High School Falcons were faced with a second league meet on Oct. 16 at the home course of their rival, the Arcadia Apaches.
Apache Philip Rocha commanded the lead position running 14:31.56, with his teammates close by. But it was the Indians from Burroughs who took the remaining top spots. Burroughs’ Garrett Boulais placed second (14:38.69), followed by teammates Elias Hoxsie, Andrew Barrondo, Shane Thompson and Alexander Hirsch.
“The boys did not get out aggressively enough,” said Falcons Coach Mark Evans. “We needed to stay with the Arcadia pack. They were out fast and we were not with them in the first mile … We moved up well in the second half of the race but it was not enough to catch Arcadia.
“Senior Manav Vats and Colin FitzGerald had very good races. Armin Cardenas moved up very well in the race.”
Vats placed seventh (15:03.28) with teammate freshman Colin FitzGerald running 15:23.18. This was the first time the freshman ran the course. Cardenas ran 15:29.03 to place 14th. In the team standings, Burroughs won, Arcadia placed second followed by Crescenta Valley.
The girls’ varsity race was an exciting one to watch as Burbank’s star junior runner Candela Fernandez took the lead early on (16:37.09). Falcon Megan Melnyk ran the course in 17:34.41 just ahead of Arcadia.
“I am happy with how we competed,” said Evans. “Megan ran a very good race to finish second. Haley [Witzeman] is looking strong after a minor foot injury and Rebecca Mencia had one of her better races of the season. We missed beating Burbank by a point but [I] believe we will be stronger by league finals.”
Witzeman ran 18:00.56 to place seventh; she placed second for the CV team. Mencia (18:20.12) took 13th place ahead of Glendale’s Leana Setian. CV’s Annie Meyers took 19th and will play a key role if the Falcons are able to beat Burbank.
Final team standings: Arcadia, Burbank and Crescenta Valley.