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Bulldogs all abuzz in win

Jim Riggio

The Burroughs High girls’ cross-country team nearly pulled off a


At least that’s what Burbank Coach Darin Wolf was thinking Monday


at the annual Burbank All-City Cross-Country Meet at Griffith Park.

Burroughs took four of the top six spots in the race on the hilly

three-mile course.

“I was waiting for their fifth runner to come in,” Wolf said.


That fifth runner never came.

Burroughs’ Coach John Peebles planned on running five athletes in

the event, the required amount to score as a team, assuming they all

would finish the race. But one of his runners was stung by a bee

shortly before the start of the race and chose not to run, leaving

the Indians short-handed.

“On the girls’ side, I was happy with the four performances,”

said Peebles, who did not want to put any blame on the runner who was


unable to compete.

With Burroughs out of the scoring, Burbank won the girls’ team

competition with 35 points. Bell-Jeff -- which has won 13 consecutive

league titles -- followed with 59 points. Providence was third with


The Pioneers were competing in the meet for the first time in

three years, as the 2001 event was canceled in the wake of the Sept.

11 terrorist attacks and the Pioneers had a Liberty League meet the


same day last season.

Burroughs junior Katie Vahoviak won the girls’ title of best

female in Burbank, finishing first in 20 minutes 36 seconds.

Burbank freshman Michelle Horgan was second in 21:15.

The Bulldogs ran without their two top returners -- Allison Ivie

and Melissa Edwards -- because of injury and personal reasons.

“Once Allison and Melissa get back, and Nellie [Shamirian] gets

over her cold, we’ll be really fine,” Wolf said. “We’ve got to get

healthy. But November is when it counts.”

Burroughs’ Adrianna Powers finished third (22:03) and was followed

by Shamirian (22:31) and Indian runners Michelle Martinez (22:51) and

Alex Cetateanu (23:07).

Pharrin Lewis, Bell-Jeff’s top finisher, was seventh in 23:10 and

Providence’s first athlete across the tape was Nadia Simon, who was

18th in 25:54.

In the boys’ race, Burbank won for the third straight year, as

Bulldog Preston Richardson ran away with the title in 17:39.

Teammate Ryan Christoffersen was second in 17:49.

Burbank captured the top four spots, with Aram Sahagian (18:08)

and Rick Bennett (18:29) coming in third and fourth.

The Bulldogs scored 22 points, Burroughs had 36, Providence had 90

and Bell-Jeff had just four runners and didn’t score.

“I’d like to see them move as a pack more,” Burbank boys’ Coach

Bob Shaw said of his team. “We had it in that first mile, but the

guys need to hang on longer.”