GLENDALE — Taking a break from their respective league battles during the week, the boys' and girls' cross-country teams from Crescenta Valley High and the Flintridge Prep boys' cross-country team took a road trip this weekend.
But all three had business on their minds, namely competing in the 2010 Clovis Invitational at Woodward Park in Fresno on Saturday. In addition to getting some good experience against some of the top teams in the state, all three programs left the course with some performances to be encouraged by.
The Falcons varsity girls took on a loaded field in the Championship Varsity Girls race and placed a very respectable fifth with a team time of 1 hour 36 minutes 41 seconds and a score of 165 points.
Senior Claudia Pham led the charge for Crescenta Valley, finishing 24th overall in 19:02.
She was followed by senior Anneke Kakebeen (31st, 19:09) and sophomore Cali King (35th, 19:15), both of whom shed significant time from their 2009 Clovis marks, freshman Erika Johnson (45th, 19:28) and junior Brooke Moultrie (62nd, 19:47).
"I think we definitely can move up and improve, but I was really happy with how we did," Crescenta Valley Coach Mark Evans said. "We got a great pack. Everyone in our top five were within 45-50 seconds [of each other], so I was really happy with that.
"Claudia ran well and she did a good job in there, but I think by the end of the season we can be running a lot faster."
Arcadia's Catrina McAlister was the top overall finisher in 17:50 and the race was won by Anaheim Canyon (1:35:22, 117 points).
"With the people in that race, [seventh-place] Corona is very good, [eighth-place] San Clemente is very good and we beat those teams," Evans said. "[Sixth-place] Warren has always been a good team and to be as close as were to [fourth-place] King [161 points] and we were a lot closer to [third-place] Buchanan [158 points] than we were at the Woodbridge [Invitational], and this is essentially their home course, so I was very pleased with that."
The Falcons boys turned in a strong team performance in the Division I Varsity Boys' Extra Large Schools race.
Led by junior Mike Duncan's 12th-place finish in 16:09, Crescenta Valley finished 11th with a team time of 1:24.44 and a score of 340 points in the race won by Long Beach Poly (1:21.08, 104).
The Falcons' scoring five included seniors Bob Anderson (38th, 16:39), who dropped 39 seconds from his last time at Woodward, Jordan Miller (88th, 17:11) David Owens (89th, 17:11) and Cory Williams (119th, 17:34).
"The guys all ran well," Evans said. "Just about everybody PRd. They ran a lot faster than they ran last year at this time, so we're really getting better and I think we just have to continue to try to improve and drop time."
Crescenta Valley freshman Nick Beatty was 19th in 17:32 in the freshman race, where the Falcons finished 10th (1:32.31, 318 points).
Junior Ali Johnson was third in the JV Race in 20:51.
Prep placed seventh in the Division 4 Varsity Race in 1:29:41 with a score of 229 behind a 21st-place showing from senior Jason Bunn in 17:19.
Following Bunn were junior Eli Weinstein (35th, 17:45), senior Daniel Lazier (52nd, 18:02), junior Jake Johnson (55th, 18:06) and junior James Bradley (77th, 18:29).