Let the Games Begin!

Photo by Leonard COUTIN
Photo by Leonard COUTIN

By Leonard COUTIN

The Pacific League cross-country finals will be hosted today, Thursday, Nov. 6, on the Crescenta Valley High School home course at CV Park in the early afternoon.

“Qualifying out of our league for CIF prelims will be the top four teams,” explained CV’s Coach Mark Evans of the rules of advancing. “The fastest three individuals from a non-qualifying team may qualify provided they finish in the top six of the race.”

The Pacific League is part of the Division 1 schools and for years have had many successes in its athletic programs. Arcadia High School for over nine years ranked as a top state finalist in cross-country, which is a credit to prior coach Jim Obrien.

The CIF prelims will be held on Nov. 15 at Mt. SAC. Apaches junior star runner Phillip Rocha has already proven he is the league top contender. Running one of the fast times on the Mt. SAC Invitational course (14:31.7), he hopes to secure one of the top 10 spots for the CIF finals and state meet in Clovis.

Burroughs’ Garrett Boulais, who ran 15:15.0 last week, will want to reclaim his first position for his team and lead the Indians to a team win over Arcadia. Teammate Elias Hoxsie ran 15:08.9 at Mt. SAC and is anxious to prove himself as the Indian leader. CV’s Falcon Manav Vats, who ran 15:47.8 last week, has consistently improved his running times and cannot be overlooked as a contender.

The top varsity girl runner this season is junior Candela Fernandez of Burbank who ran 17:13 and enjoyed the top spot as the fastest junior at Mt. SAC last week. Running a fast time at the Clovis Invitational, Fernandez has shined all season. Anxious to compete with the best, she hopes to accomplish record time performances as she advances. Falcon Megan Melnyk, a fierce competitor who cannot be taken lightly at any race, ran 18:34.8 with teammate Haley Witzeman closing fast 18:46.3 at Mt. SAC. Both Falcon girls are ready to make a claim to top positions.

The Apache girl leaders Holy Lung (18:03.3) and Cindy Hoang (18:28.1) have been an asset to the Apache girls’ team this year. With many close placements, they cannot be ignored at the finals.

Today’s schedule is girls’ JV at 1:30 p.m., boys’ JV at 2 p.m., girls’ freshman/sophomore at 2:30, boys’ freshman/sophomore at 3 p.m., girls’ varsity at 3:30 p.m. and boys’ varsity at 4 p.m.