Bulldogs teams sweep Burbank All-City Cross-Country Meet

Bulldogs teams sweep Burbank All-City Cross-Country Meet
(Cheryl A. Guerrero Staff Photographer)

GRIFFITH PARK — It was a sea of Burbank High royal blue and white Wednesday in the 22nd annual Burbank All-City Cross-Country Meet.

The Bulldogs boys’ and girls’ teams dominated the competition at Griffith Park, besting cross-town rival Burroughs in both races.

The Burbank boys — ranked No. 5 in CIF Southern Section Division I — finished with 20 points, besting the Indians (41), Providence (92) and Bellarmine-Jefferson (104).

In the girls’ competition, Burbank was first with 16 points and was followed by Burroughs (42) and Providence (85). The Guards didn’t have enough runners to score.


In addition, the girls’ race was won by Burbank’s Arlette Movsesyan, who navigated the 2.94-mile course and braved hot conditions to finish in 20 minutes 14 seconds.

“I wanted to be humble and I didn’t want to set the bar too high,” Movsesyan said about her expectations heading into the race. “Everyone wants to be the city champion, but I just didn’t want to go out there and expect it.”

The Bulldogs finished in a tight pack, taking the first, second, third, fourth and sixth spots in the race. Movsesyan was followed by Linda Park (second, 21:14), Taryn Stevenson (third, 21:28), Candela Fernandez (fourth, 21:29) and Stephanie Solomon (sixth, 21:53).

The only runner to break up the Burbank top-five pack was Burroughs’ Garcia Innocentia, who placed fifth in 21:36. She was followed by teammates Sammantha Fajardo (seventh, 22:05), Joanna Reyes (ninth, 22:39), Valerie Monroy (10th, 22:40) and Ashley Contreras (11th, 22:45).


Katia Dabbaghian was Providence’s top finisher, placing 17th in 23:32. The other Pioneers scorers were Drew Tacchino (28th; 25:31), Rose Avakian (47th; 29:26), Courtney Swan (50th; 31:14) and Zoe Camp (53rd; 31:40).

The two Bell-Jeff runners in the race were disqualified.

In the boys’ race, Burroughs junior Ricky Mendez broke up what would have been a complete Burbank sweep by winning the race in 16:34.

“It feels amazing to be able to win this race,” Mendez said. “I’ve trained all summer for this season and I wanted this so bad. Before the race I was really nervous, but I was able to calm down.”

Burbank, which advanced to state competition last season, was running without one of its top runners, Sergio Fraire, who was suspended for the meet after violating team rules. Still, the team captured five of the top six places. The Bulldogs’ top finisher was Arsen Mkrtchyan, who was second in 16:44. He was followed by Bernie Corea (third; 16:51), Elliot Choe (fourth; 16:56), Ethan Moskowitz (fifth; 17:01) and Christopher Huezo (sixth; 17:09).

Also scoring for the Indians was Luis Celaya (seventh; 17:15), Everth Vargas (10th; 17:39), Francis Hilao (13th; 18:14) and Carlos Ortega (18:32).

For the Pioneers, they received scoring efforts from Taylor Rodriguez (17th; 19:32), Lalo Fisher (21st; 19:57), Brandon Swafford (22nd; 19:57), Aaron Ziegler (36th; 22:15) and Eddie Lopez (38th; 22:26).

The Bell-Jeff scorers were Charles Solomon (24th; 20:18), Javier Molina (27th; 20:25), Anthony Zapata (28th; 20:36), Fernando DeLaPena (42nd; 25:27) and Christian Ramos (43rd; 25:41).