By Mark SHELTON
After a challenging season with many great team and individual performances on both teams, the CVHS boys and girls varsity cross country teams find it is time to hang up the shoes for a few months and eagerly await the spring track and field season. At the CIF Southern Section Divisional Preliminaries, held Saturday, Nov. 14 at Mount San Antonio College, the 2.94 mile course just didn’t show any mercy to the Falcon runners as the girls team came up just shy of a qualifying spot for the finals while the boys were slightly more distant in their finish.
“We did a good job, finishing right about where we thought we would,” said CVHS coach Mark Evans about the boys team performance. “We’re a young team (mostly sophomores) so, as with any race, we gain good experience and use it to build for the next year. Most of our runners ran as fast or faster than they have previously on this course.”
Led as usual by Mike Duncan, who finished 24th overall, the varsity boys finished 11th in their heat with 290 points. Running with Duncan for the Falcons were Josh Carlos, Aaron Esparza (a freshman), Dylan Devens, Jordan Miller, Thomas Gustovich and Corey Williams.
Without lead runner Claudia Pham, who had missed the previous two races due to an injury and was a non starter this day, the CV girls varsity still came in fifth in their heat with 137 points, just 17 points behind Poly (Long Beach) who finished fourth. Only the top four teams in each heat would be able to advance to the CIF finals next week. Taking the top spot for the female Falcons this week was Cali King, a freshman who finished 12th overall. Following King was Brooke Moultrie, Anneke Kakebeen, Eliza Collison, Ali Johnson, Katie Callister and Monica Lyons.
“We ran well but were just a little off,” said Coach Evans. “With Brooke (Moultrie) hurting going in [to the race] and missing Claudia, we were just short of qualifying for the finals.”
As a consolation benefit, the girls’ heat still put them in a better finishing spot than rivals Arcadia, Burbank, Corona and Burroughs (Burbank), all Pacific League competitors with the Falcons.
After a tough season they look forward to track and, further, to next season when conceivably the whole squad (less graduating senior Eliza Collison) will be back to improve on this year’s accomplishments.