CV’s Gabe Collison takes third following Apache leaders.
By Leonard COUTIN
Despite running one of his best races of the year, CVHS senior Gabe Collison (14:13.47) couldn’t catch Arcadia’s Phillip Rocha (14:02.12) or Estevan de la Rosa (14:02.47) at the Pacific League cross country finals on Thursday. Rocha and de la Rosa held the lead positions the entire race leaving Collison to capture third place. The Arcadia Apaches celebrated a dual championship title on their three-mile home course. Arcadia’s boys and girls teams did well, taking first and second positions in the varsity races.
CVHS head coach Mark Evans was content with Collison’s place, however.
“Gabe ran very well. He stuck with the plan to run off the top two Arcadia runners,” he said.
In securing third place, Collinson prevented a sweep by Arcadia of the top five positions. Apache seniors Josue Gonzalez placed fourth (14:39.34) and teammate Jarrick Wenslow took fifth (14:39.34).
CV’s Matt Manalo had his own battles to fight on the course.
“I was targeted by Burbank lead runners,” Manalo said. That strategy worked as Burbank senior Elliot Choe claimed sixth (14:44.09) followed by teammate Arsen Mkrtchyan (14:49.12). Manalo finished eighth (14:54.78).
Grabbing these positions led to the Burbank varsity boys taking second place in team standings. Final team points resulted in Arcadia 21, Burbank 52, Crescenta Valley 67, Burroughs 89, Pasadena 172, Glendale 172 and Hoover 194.
The Apache girls upset the Falcons’ grip on lead positions when Arcadia senior Veronica Yamane ran an impressive first place (17:20.28) followed by teammate Laura Guidolin, who had her best-recorded race (17:31.03).
Burbank sophomore Candela Fernandez seized the opportunity to take the lead from CV’s Megan Melnyk. Fernandez placed third (17:4.62) with Melnyk capturing fourth (17:50.28).
“We worked pretty hard last week in order to be ready for CIF prelims and finals,” said Evans. “We will adjust workouts and [the runners] should be ready to go this week.”
Arcadia senior Meghan Kamae ran fifth (18:03.06) and junior Madison Ross placed fifth (18:22.81). The Falcons got help from senior Erika Johnson who ran seventh and sophomore Rebecca Mencia placed eighth (18:36.28).
Team standing resulted in Arcadia 23, Crescenta Valley 44, Burbank 66, Hoover 121, Burroughs 128, Pasadena 166 and Glendale 194.
Four schools move on to the CIF prelims this weekend at Mt. SAC. For the boys, it will be Arcadia, Burbank, CV and Burroughs; for the girls it will be Arcadia, CV, Burbank and Hoover. Having already run the course at the Mt. SAC Invitational, these athletes will again be tackling one of the hardest cross country courses with plenty of flat terrain, hills, and down hills portions leading to the finish line.
In the boys’ junior varsity competition, the Apaches held strong, taking the top six positions. CV senior Connor Witzeman captured seventh.
Falcon Amanda Burch won the junior varsity girls race. Burch, who was pleased with her performance, worked the course hard (19:38.22). Apache Monique Barnard placed second (19:40.44) followed by teammates Damara Saggio (19:48.38) and Alanna Hung (19:58.12). Falcon teammate Sarah Lapides, who is one of the Falcons’ strongest hurdlers, grabbed fifth (20:18.28).
In the frosh soph division, Falcon Philip Thomas, who ran one of his best races all season, took first for the boys (15:44.25). Apache Sarah Marriott won the girls three-mile frosh soph race (19:14.41).