CVHS places in CIF cross country prelims

Photos by Leonard COUTIN Crescenta Valley High School senior cross country star Claudia Pham (above left) did what she does best and jumped out early with the lead group. She placed fourth with 18:38 at the CIF cross country prelim at Mt. SAC. The start of the race is shown above right.

By Leonard COUTIN

It was an exciting day for Pacific League finalists who attended the CIF prelims held at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut last weekend. Four local teams are now qualified for the Southern Section Cross Country Finals taking place Saturday, Nov. 20.

CVHS senior star Claudia Pham did what she does best and jumped out early with the lead group. She has been well trained by Coach Mark Evans to run Mt. SAC, one of the rigorous cross-country courses in California. Heading down onto the back runway, Pham crossed the finish line at 18:38, securing fourth place.

“We are very happy to qualify for CIF finals,” said Evans. “It has been one of our goals all season. There are about five-to-six teams that are in contention for those last two or three spots. We believe we are one of those teams in that mix. It will be very close and will take a solid effort on our part to get there. I believe we are capable of qualifying. For the girls, our goal was to run fast enough to qualify. That is what we did.”

Anneke Kakebeen regained her second place position for the Falcons and played a key role by coming in tenth with 19:04.

Although missing a chance to make the finals, CV Falcon junior Mike Duncan ran an impressive three-mile race placing eleventh in the division 1, heat 3 race with 16:14.

Evans noted, “The boys were running hard to try to get in the top four spots. We did not run much faster but neither did anyone else. I thought the boys had a great effort and really competed well.”

Duncan showed great stamina this year and had taken a lead role inspiring his teammates at all the meets.

Crescenta Valley High School girls, along with their rival Arcadia girls team, and the Arcadia and Burroughs boys varsity teams will represent their schools. Races will start for girls division 1 at 9:25 a.m., race 6, and boys at 10:25 a.m., race 9.