The area’s top 10 individual performances in an individual setting from the 2013-14 season were voted on by the sportswriters of the Glendale News-Press.
1 Alan Yoho wins state cross-country race: A history that spans decades and included just about every measurable accomplishment was missing one specific result. There had never been a CIF State individual champion in the history of the Flintridge Prep boys’ cross-country program. That was until this season, when senior Alan Yoho, who is heading to the Brown University, delivered such a win.
The All-Area Boys’ Cross-Country Athlete of the Year rallied from an early deficit and won the state Division V championship at Fresno’s Woodward Park by running a personal-best time of 15 minutes, 11 seconds.
In winning the championship, Yoho knocked off two-time defending state champ Trevor Reinhart (15:25) of Marin Academy and was able to celebrate his title with teammate Jack Van Scoter, who finished third (15:41).
The victory also qualified Yoho to the following week’s Nike Nationals in Oregon, where he placed ninth.
2 Arthur Ghukasyan at Masters Meet: No grappler in the fledgling three-year run of the Hoover High wrestling program had ever advanced to Masters Meet before the 160-pound Ghukasyan did so on March 1.
While Ghukasyan’s bracket featured the state’s No. 1- and 3-ranked wrestler, the senior didn’t flinch in going 4-2 through the double-elimination tournament and eventually finishing fourth, which punched Ghukasyan’s ticket to the following week’s season-ending CIF State Meet in Bakersfield.
Ghukasyan started the tournament on fire in winning his first three bouts versus Atascadero’s Ryan Lombardi (7-2), Long Beach Millikan’s Chris Messerschmitt (6-0) and Redlands East Valley’s Blake Stevenson (5-4 in overtime).
Over his last three matches, Ghukasyan had some difficulty as he was first defeated, 13-3, by state top-ranked Bryan Salinas of Northview.
Ghukasyan did recover from the setback and topped San Jacinto’s Mark Aceval, 6-4, in overtime in the semifinals before losing, 8-3, to Santa Ana Calvary Chapel’s Aaron Negrete, ranked third in state.
Ghukasyan eventually finished with a 3-2 run through state and ended his campaign with a 24-5 record.
3 Kirsten Vose at CIF Southern Section Division I Finals: For a third consecutive year, the Tologs improved their standing within Division I.
At the divisional championships at Riverside City College, Flintridge Sacred Heart moved up from seventh place in 2013 to sixth in 2014 thanks in part to the efforts of the plucky Vose.
While Vose was unable to win an individual title, she still rallied around teammates Katie Altmayer, Kate Herrill and Christina Campbell and the quartet defended its 200-yard medley relay championship crown by winning with a mark of 1:44.38.
The Tologs just outlasted the charge of JSerra, which was silver in 1:44.52. It was the first of four top-five finals swims for Vose.
A little later in the day, Flintridge Sacred Heart’s foursome also earned itself a runner-up medal in the 200 freestyle, finishing with a time of 1:34.78.
The squad was nipped by Santa Margarita, which pulled off the upset victory in 1:34.64.
Individually, Vose took second (2:00.85) to Valencia Valencia’s Nikol Popov (1:59.90) in the 200-yard IM. Vose was also fifth in the 100-yard backstroke in 1:03.51.
4 Madi Witt at CIF Southern Section Division III Diving Championships: A year ago, Witt delivered a decisive upset victory over Pasadena Poly’s Annika Lenz (now at UCLA) to capture a Division III Diving Championship.
This time around, the Flintridge Prep junior knew she was again going to need a super effort to hold off Immaculate Heart’s Olivia Rosendahl to retain her crown.
Unfortunately for Witt, this spring she came up just a little short at Riverside City College.
Witt scored 533.60 points, which have her the distinction of becoming the first diver to tally 500 points in three consecutive CIF Finals.
The bad news for Witt, however, is that Rosendahl recaptured her crown from 2012 by scoring a divisional record 585.30 points in the victory.
5 Gareth and Barrett Weiss at CIF-SS Masters Meet: The end of the line appeared certain for the Flintridge Prep brother pole vaulting duo of Barrett and Gareth Weiss at the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet at Cerritos College.
While both had jumped 14 feet 9 inches the previous week to lead Division IV at the divisional championships, none had ever reached the automatic CIF State qualifying mark of 15-2.
Barrett had come closest in winning the Prep League championship at 15-1, but Gareth had never jumped higher than 14-9.
That all changed at the Masters Meet, where the brothers both hit the state qualifying mark of 15-2 and punched their tickets to the CIF State Track and Field Championship at Clovis Buchanan High.
“It’s kind of unbelievable because it’s a height that I wasn’t sure I could get,” Barrett said after the event, “and we share it. It’s like a double win.”
6 Jocelyn Chia at CIF Southern Section Individual Final: The All-Area Player of the Year had only once previously played on Talega Golf Course in San Clemente before advancing to the CIF Southern Section Individual Final and Women’s Southern California Golf Assn. Qualifying Tournament.
Yet, Chia looked quite comfortable on the South Orange County course, finishing in a four-way tie for eighth with an even-par score of 71.
Chia was one of 11 golfers to finish at par or above and easily surpassed the top-28 cutoff score of 75.
“It’s a really nice course actually,” Chia said afterward. “My ball striking was really good; I actually struck a lot of shots. My putting was decent, but I couldn’t really make those shorter putts. It worked out, I guess.”
With the effort, Chia advanced past the individual final stage for a third straight season and proved the area’s lone survivor, as Burbank’s Irene Maeura and Burroughs’ Joany Goa missed the cut.
Chia finished with three birdies, three bogeys and 12 pars to accomplish her score.
With the effort, Chia advanced to the CIF/WSCGA Southern Regional Girls’ Individual and Team Golf Championships.
7 Kirsten Vose at Mission League Finals: Kirsten Vose, the two-time reigning All-Area Swimmer of the Year, propelled the Tologs to a truly special day at the Mission League Finals in Pasadena.
Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy was dominant, as the team swam to a third consecutive league title.
Even more impressive, however, is the fact the Tologs captured all 12 events that day.
Vose certainly shared in the glory, setting a new league record in the 100-yard freestyle in 50.63 seconds, while also winning the individual league 200 IM championship (2:05.86) and joining up for team victories in the 200 (1:50.12) medley and 400 (3:31.98) freestyle relays.
8 Heather MacDougall at Pacific League finals: The sophomore was stellar at the Pacific League finals at Burbank High.
MacDougall won two individual titles and was on two league championship relay squads as the Falcons clinched the Pacific League outright on May 8 with a 521-379.5 victory over archrival Arcadia.
MacDougall kicked off the day in style with teammates Iva Icheva, Genevieve Gonzales and Tiffany Duarte as the group set a new league record in the 200-yard medley with a mark of 1:53.69.
Crescenta Valley and MacDougall did more than just start strong, though, as the youngster set the individual league record of 51.27 in the opening leg of the 400-yard freestyle relay race.
The mark shattered the old record of 52.49, which had stood since 1992.
As for the 400 free relay team, it captured the league title in 3:41.46.
In between relay victories, MacDougall also took home individual titles in the 100-yard butterfly (58 seconds) and 100 breaststroke (1:07.06).
9 Megan Melnyk at CIF Southern Section Division I track finals: It had been a trying season for the junior, who had battled a few different injuries throughout the course of the year.
Melynk hadn’t really come close to her career-best mark of 2 minutes, 13.34 seconds, set at the 2013 Division I championships, which merited Melnyk fourth.
Yet, the junior enjoyed quite a flashback as she raced to third in a season-best time of 2:13.71.
“It's all about my health, I just haven't had it this year,” Melnyk said after the race. “I have to thank God that I had one more chance and I took advantage of it. I hadn't felt that good in a long time.”
With the time, Melnyk advanced to the Masters Meet and turned in even a better mark of 2:13.62, good for ninth, but three positions out of the top-six spot needed to advance to state.
10 Alan Yoho wins CIF Southern Section track title: It was a bittersweet end to the track and field season for the senior at the divisional championships at Cerritos College on May 24.
Yoho had been frustrated he was unable to meet the high standards he set for himself coming off a wonderful cross-country season.
Yet, at Cerritos College, Yoho shined in winning the Division IV 800-meter race in 1 minute 56.27 seconds, which was a new personal record and school-seasonal best time. Yoho grabbed the victory thanks in part to holding off race favorite Landis Meyer (1:56.65) of Nordoff over the last 10 meters.
“It’s been kind of a down season and little victories like this kind of get my hopes up,” Yoho said afterward. “I ended the cross-country season on such a high note and there were a lot of expectations. I think they kind of got to me.”
Despite the victory, Yoho did not advance to state as his mark was No. 19 that day and was outside a top-12 spot needed to advance.
Honorable mention: Edward Yi at CIF Southern Section Division II swimming finals; Edward Yi at Pacific League swimming finals; Heather MacDougall at CIF Southern Section Division II swimming finals; Katie Altmayer at Mission League finals; Alan Yoho at Mt. SAC cross-country invitational; Arthur Ghukasyan at CIF Southern Section Eastern Division wrestling finals; Matthew Aldana at Pacific League track and field finals; Sarah Yoho at Prep League cross-country finals; Alan Yoho at Prep League cross-country finals.
Follow Andrew J. Campa on Twitter: @campadresports.