ARCADIA — There were three compelling local story lines involved with the Pacific League cross-country finals Thursday at Arcadia Park.
Along with whether the Crescenta Valley High girls’ team could capture its ninth straight league championship, there was also the question of would Burroughs’ Anthony Monroy be able to win an individual boys’ title and could the Arcadia boys’ team hold off an upstart Burbank squad?
Unfortunately for the area teams and Monroy, the answer on all three counts was no.
In an extremely competitive and tight girls’ race that was decided in the final few hundred meters, the Falcons fell short of their bid to capture another title as Arcadia pulled out a 24-31 victory.
In the case of Monroy, he couldn’t catch Arcadia’s Sergio Gonzalez, placing second in the race. As for the Bulldogs, the Arcadia squad proved just too powerful, outdistancing Burbank, 25-59.
Following the girls’ race, tears were shed when Crescenta Valley runners realized that they had lost of the Apaches.
“We knew it was going to be close, and we were just trying to get as many of our runners ahead of them,” said Crescenta Valley’s Cali King, whose team is ranked No. 9 in CIF Southern Section Division I, while Arcadia is ranked No. 8. “We tried to pack really tight, but they had some runners in between us. But we were out there pushing it has hard as we could…I’m really proud of the team.”
Arcadia’s Veronica Yamane won the three-mile race in 17 minutes 16.66 seconds and was followed by teammate Alejandra Quintero, who came in second in 17:27.38.
King (third, 17:45.41) and teammate Ali Johnson (fourth, 14:49.75) were able to break up Arcadia’s top three finishers.
However, Arcadia was able to put all five of its top runners among the top nine, capturing the first, second, fifth, seventh and ninth spots.
“The girls ran a good race; they ran a heck of a race,” Falcons Coach Mark Evans said. “I’m proud of the way that that ran. But we just can’t let somebody go 1-2 on us and expect to win. That’s what we’ve been working on all season and we still have some work to do in that respect.”
The Falcons also received strong performances from Megan Melnyk (sixth, 17:56.94), Erika Johnson (eighth, 18:02.37) and Brooke Moultrie (10th, 18:13.94).
Behind Arcadia and Crescenta Valley was Burbank (99), which was followed by Burroughs (108) and Glendale (132).
The Bulldogs’ top finisher was Christina Shamirian, who placed 16th in 18:50.00. She was followed by Griselda Pereyra (18th, 18:58.44), Arlette Movsesyan (21st, 19:23.34), Kayla Martil (23rd, 19:44.44) and CJ Chua (24th, 19:59.75).
“I think we ran awesome, with two girls under 19:00,” Burbank Coach Darin Wolf said. “On a course like this, at this time in the season, you expect your top runners to go sub-19:00.”
The Burroughs scorers were Gracia Innocentia (14th, 18:43.94), Brice Edrington (20th; 19:00.59), Giovanna Carrasco (22nd, 19:28.12) Miranda Acosta (25th, 20:02.97) and Sammantha Fajardo (31st, 20:59.66).
Glendale received a solid effort from Leana Setian, who was 15th in 18:45:09 and Hoover got a top-20 finish from Renee Lawson (19th, 19:00.31).
In the boys’ race, Monroy (second, 14:34.18) tried to stay with Gonzalez (first, 14:26.41) on the flat, fast Arcadia Park course. The Burroughs senior was within striking distance after two miles, but the Arcadia runner turned it on over the final mile.
“With no hills and it being a flat course, everyone is going to go out really fast,” said Monroy, a two-time All-Area Male Cross-Country Runner of the Year who advanced to the State Meet last season. “After the second mile is when [Gonzalez] started to kick it up. In all the league meets, Sergio is known for picking it up late in a race.”
Burbank — No. 6 in Division I — was hoping to pull off an upset against third-ranked Arcadia, which had already secured a share of the league crown after winning the first two meets of the season. However, the Apaches distanced themselves from the Bulldogs this time around, 25-59. In the two previous meets, Arcadia pulled out close 27-28 and 23-33 wins.
“We didn’t run quite as fast as we wanted to,” Burbank Coach Trevor Marca said. “But Arcadia definitely showed up and they ran to their potential. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be today. Now we’ll just concentrate on CIF.”
Burroughs (78) was third in the race and was followed by Crescenta Valley (90), Hoover (144) and Glendale (153).
Burbank was bolstered by strong races from Isaiah Amos, who was fourth in 14:49.59, and Sergio Fraire, who placed fifth in 14:51.41. The other Bulldogs scorers were Jonathan Stoll (13th, 15:13.81), Bernie Corea (18th, 15:27.12) and Arsen Mkrtchyan (19th, 15:29.22).
The Indians scorers were Brandon Andrade (12th, 15:09.65), Kamal Chahal (20th, 15:32.12), Charlie Camacho (21st, 15:39.91), Zach Beimford (23rd, 15:42.24) and Alec Villapando (25th, 15:50.12).
Crescenta Valley had three top-20 finishers in Mike Duncan (11th, 15:09.02), Aaron Esparza (16th, 15:18.84) and Gabe Collison (17th, 15:19.31).
Hoover’s top finisher was Jeremy Zadoorian (10th, 15:08.75) and the first runner to finish for Glendale was Joshua Carlos (15th, 15:18.34).
The top three girls’ and boys’ teams qualified for the CIF Southern Section preliminaries Nov. 12 at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut.