GRIFFITH PARK — Much of the 20th All-City Cross-Country Meet went exactly as expected.
Burroughs High junior Anthony Monroy easily won the boys’ race, while his Burbank counterpart, senior McKenzie Paul, was dominating in winning the girls’ race Thursday at Griffith Park.
However, there was a surprise in the contest, which also featured Bellarmine-Jefferson, Providence and Village Christian.
The Indians boys’ team came into the first race of the season with five returning runners from last year’s group that qualified for the CIF Southern Section Division I preliminaries. That group included Monroy, who was the 2009 Boys’ Cross-Country Runner of the Year.
The Bulldogs’ squad was taking to the course for the first time in three years without star runner Greg Dotson, who graduated.
Despite what appeared to be a Burroughs advantage, the Burbank boys came through and won the race, 24-34, against the Indians.
In the other cross-town battle, the Guards edged the Pioneers for third place, 98-99.
In the girls’ race, Paul paced her Bulldogs to a 21-35 victory against their city rival.
Monroy won the annual race for the second straight season, finishing the hilly three-mile course in 15 minutes.
“I felt great, being the first race and all,” said Monroy, who advanced to the CIF finals last season. “I was just running today to see how well my training went. It went pretty well.”
Early in the race, Monroy was running in a group with teammate Charlie Camacho and Burbank’s Sergio Fraire. But the Indian was able to distance himself from the other competitors midway through the race, as he began to build what would eventually be a big lead.
Fraire placed second in 15:50 and was followed by Burbank’s Jacob Jun (16:00) and Camacho (16:01). The Bulldogs were able to claim five of the first eight places to finish first.
Also scoring for Burbank were Jonathon Stoll (fifth; 16:15) and Kevin Matthew Coronel (eighth; 16:32).
The Burroughs scorers included Ryan Johnson (seventh; 16:25), Zachary Soloman (ninth; 16:39) and Kyle Freudenberg (10th; 16:48).
Providence was led by Rafael Deligio, who finished 34th in 20:06. He was followed by teammates Aaron Ziegler (39th; 20:58), Andrew Carrillo (40th; 21:01), Jujin Okura (46th; 22:26) and Brian Aguilon (47th; 22:45).
The Bell-Jeff scorers included Gabriel Ellman (22nd; 18:07), Javier Molina (28th; 18:47), Jose Parino (42nd; 22:02), Bobby Lee (50th; 23:21) and Shant Hamalian (51st; 23:44).
Paul also had some competition early in her race. However, she turned it on after the first mile to win by almost a minute in 19:29.
Although Paul, a two-time Pacific League 800-meter champion, is concentrated on the cross-country season, she has an eye on the track and field campaign. She is hoping to use the cross-country season as a springboard to a successful track and field year.
“I want to hit the goals I’ve made for myself for my season, especially during the track season,” said Paul, who has been battling a calf injury over the summer. “If I have a good cross-country season that will really help me to get ready for the track season.”
Paul was able to break a 10-year dominance by Burroughs in the girls’ race. The last non-Indians runner to win an all-city championship was Burbank’s Kim Lorimer in 1998.
Paul received help in the win from Christina Shamerian (second; 20:23), Kayla Martil (fourth; 20:48), Griselda Pererya (sixth; 20:50), Jenny Kim (eighth; 21:24) and Daisy Ignacio (10th; 21:39).
The Indians received scoring efforts from Giovanna Larrasco (third; 20:30), Brice Edrington (fifth; 20:48), Tessa Chandler (seventh; 21:12), Gracia Innocentia (ninth; 21:38) and Kristen Burroughs (11th; 21:42).
The Providence finishers included Jaii Jiang (22nd; 23:08), Madeleine Garibaldi (44th; 26:52) and Samantha Granados (50th; 30:16), and Sarah Alas-Viana (36th; 24:37) ran for Bell-Jeff.
Village Christian’s top finisher was Karla Hagedohmn (45th; 28:10).