By Leonard COUTIN
On Thursday, the Pacific League Conference, composed of eight schools, met at Crescenta Valley Park for the first cross-country meet of the year. As spectators lined the course, loud support from the crowd could be heard as runners went by.
The competition for the top position came from four schools: Arcadia, Burbank, Burroughs and CV. This was due in large part because Muir was not able to bring a full squad to the meet and Pasadena did not have a full girls squad.
The Sept. 24 CIF rankings, prepared by Rich Gonzalez of PrepCalTrack, posted among the CIF Southern Section top school performers the Crescenta Valley boys’ team as fifth and Arcadia as sixth, but no league girls’ teams made the ranking list.
The runners faced various terrain on the CV Park course: the open field, the switch backs, the Hindenburg loop, the up-and-down fire trail, the last loop and the final down hill runway to the finish line made the course difficult and challenging for all the runners.
The Falcon boys’ varsity team got off to a solid start with CV senior Manan Vats first crossing the mile mark at the bridge followed by teammate Dylan Wilbur then Raymond Berrellez of Burroughs and Tianyuan Pei of Arcadia. The two CV runners, Vats and Wilbur, looked strong as they continued to hold their leads throughout the second and third miles of the course. Wilbur made his move right before the final loop to separate himself from Vats to take the win (15:36.3) followed by Vats (15:36.9). Burroughs’ senior Raymond Berrellez placed third (15:53.8) followed by four Apache runners: Jacob Hsu (15:58.3), Tianyuan Pei (16:05.4), Jack Ruan (16:06.7) and Alec Fernandez (16:09.0). CV’s Erik Faeustle performed exceptionally well to place eighth clocking a time of 16:12.2.
Breaking up the ranks was Burbank’s Andres Leon, who placed ninth (16:16.0), followed by Glendale’s Arvin Sales (16:19.5). Contributing to the final win for CV were Grant Lauterback placing 11th (16:27.0), Ameer Mohammed placing 12th (16:31.2), Evan Doloszycki placing 19th (16:46.2) and Ethan Sharp 22nd (16:46.2).
Final team score: CV 34, Arcadia 40, Burbank 76, Burroughs 86, Glendale 120, Hoover 192, and Pasadena 204.
The Falcon girls’ varsity team set an exciting tone to their race as CV’s front runner Sophia Atin commanded the lead at the bridge through the first and second miles of the course. Arcadia’s top runner, senior Joyce Wu, held to her personal strategy, “follow throughout the course and make a move in the final loop,” to take the lead just before the final loop to earn the win running 19:17.8. She was followed by CV’s Atin (19:23.0).
Burbank’s Shalom Mejia showed unexpected power and ended up grabbing third (19:41.3) with teammate Natalie Danao placing fourth (19:47.0). Other key Burbank contributors were Sol Fernandez in sixth (19:54.6), Megan LaCamera in 10th (20.00.2), Mckynzee Kelly 11th (20:10.3), Jamie Levin Levin 14th (20:20.5) and Lydia Forsyth 16th (20:31.7). Freshman Sophia Navarro of Burroughs scored fifth running 19:53.5 to break up Burbank’s score.
CV’s lead points came from Samantha Moore who defeated two opposing runners in the final sprint to place seventh (19:54.9), Gabriela Borraez placed 12th (20:13.4), freshman Emma Walch, who moved up to assist the varsity, ran 19th (20:3.2) followed by Sarah Nakama in 20th (20:49.8), and Sarah Benitez in 26th (21:37.3).
Final team score: Burbank 34, Burroughs 52, CV 60, Arcadia 79, Glendale 157, and Hoover 163
The Falcon JV girls scored a second place team win behind Burbank. CV contributors were Rachel Hart who placed fifth (22.36.3), Persiyana Petrova in sixth (22:59.9), Eva Marta in eighth (23:51.7), Michele Longlax in ninth (24:04.4), Sojeong Kang in 13th (25:56.4), Eliza Clark in 14th (26:55.7) and Sara Viray placed 15th (27:07.2).
The JV boys’ team scored third with Arcadia taking the win and Burbank placing second. CV lead runner Ravi Riley placed sixth running 17:57.5, followed by Christian Peraza in seventh (18:03.4), Kevin Tasci 11TH (18:111.3), Morgan Faunce 12th (18:15.6), Noah Ataya 19th (18:59.8), Aaron Marshall 22nd (19:40,6) and Andrew Kazangian 24th (20:01.2).
CV frosh/soph boys celebrated a team win with 32 points led by Jack Myers taking second running 16:46.7, Chris Cubias in third (16:47.2), Nolan Brown in eighth (17:04.6), Max Burton in ninth (17:30.7), Dylan Haworth placed 15th (17:59.4) and Alex Davis took 18th (18:09.8).
CV frosh/soph girls as a team scored fourth place behind Burbank, Burroughs and Arcadia. Kelly Helton was CV’s first runner placing 19th (23:39.1), Valeria Borraez in 21st (23:44.0), Ha-Hym Kim in 24th (24.41.2), Catlin Vaughan in 25th (25:01.7), Yeyoung Kang in 26th (25:29.9), Ivy Zhu in 27th (26:10.0), and Ellie Scoggins 30th (29:50.4)
On Saturday, Sept. 29, the Staub/Barnes Invitational will be at CV Park from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For photos by Leonard Coutin, visit www.cvweekly.com/SPORTS.