A season that started with overwhelming promise and descended into disappointment came to a conclusion Saturday at the CIF Southern Section Divisional Prelims at Mt. San Antonio College, as the Burbank High boys’ cross-country team finished a spot out of qualifying for the CIF finals.
Having began the season ranked fifth in the division, coach Trevor Marca’s squad had big aspirations, but the loss of three No. 1 runners ultimately concluded with a CIF-SS prelim ending.
The Bulldogs took fifth in their heat, one spot out of qualifying as they finished with 125 points, while fourth-place El Rancho had 84.
Burbank’s fate was shared by all five local teams, as the Bulldogs’ girls’ squad, along with both Burroughs teams and Providence’s girls’ team failed to move on.
Burbank was led by Elliot Cho, who took ninth in 15 minutes 44 seconds, while Bernie Corea finished 23rd in 16:12.
The Bulldogs were without top runner Arsen Mkrtchyan, who also missed the Pacific League finals with an injury. Previous top runners Sergio Fraire and Isaiah Amos, both reigning All-Area selections, missed most of the season as Fraire was dismissed from the squad and Amos was injured.
On the girls’ side, Burroughs’ Gracia Innocentia turned in a great performance, finishing eighth in her Division I heat in 18:36, but the Indians finished 11th with 246 points. Their next finisher was Valerie Monroy in 56th at 20:35.
Burbank’s girls’ team took eighth in its Division I heat, led by Arlette Movseyan who took 38th in 19:58, just ahead of teammate Candela Fernandez (39th, 19:59).
The Providence girls took 11th in their Division V heat, led by Drew Tacchino (40th, 21:47).
Though he didn’t qualify on to the finals, Providence boys’ sophomore Lalo Fisher, an individual qualifier out of the Liberty League had a good showing. In his Division V heat, he took 16th in 17:24.
Burroughs’ boys’ squad took seventh in Division I with 155 points, led by Ricky Mendes’ 27th-place finish in 16:05.