An embarrassment of riches are neatly stashed at Flintridge Prep.
The courses at Crescenta Valley Park, Mount San Antonio College
and Fresno’s Woodward Park might need to be repaired if it’s up to
the Flintridge Prep boys’ cross-country team.
Flintridge Prep Coach Ingrid Herskind will have the luxury to pick
and choose who she’ll have run in the 10-plus meets that the Rebels
will compete in after finishing second in CIF Southern Section
Division V competition and third in the state last season.
Herskind, who will begin her sixth season as coach, will have a
hodge-podge of veteran leadership to intertwine with youth that’s
expected to keep the Rebels’ success rate climbing.
“This will be one of the best mixes of talent we’ve had in some
time,” Herskind said.
“Anybody can fit in the mix and we have the luxury of additional
flexibility. We have about 10 freshmen coming in and I don’t know if
they’ll be on the varsity team.”
Coaches at La Canada, Crescenta Valley, St. Francis, Hoover and
Glendale probably wish they could borrow some of Herskind’s excessive
talent. Hoover lost Coach Greg Switzer, who retired after 16 seasons
and shaped the Tornadoes into a force in CIF Division I competition.
CV will bring back some key athletes to help defend its Pacific
League championship. La Canada, St. Francis and Glendale will look to
turn the heat up on its league competitors and win league titles.
The Falcons will return Chris Snyder and Ben Kessen and the
Spartans can turn to senior standout Michael Collins. Hoover will
rely on seniors Elmer Gomez and Jose Rodriguez. Glendale and St.
Francis will count on Justin McNeil and Pat Donovan, respectively.
Key meets like the Kenny Staub, Bell-Jeff and Mount SAC
invitationals and league will determine where each runner will stand
entering the CIF-State Cross-Country Championship on Nov. 30 at
Each squad will have less than three months to prepare for Nov.
30, the loftiest date on the cross-country calendar.
The Rebels are considered the odds-on favorite to win their 11th
consecutive Prep League championship. Flintridge Prep is the
preseason’s top-ranked team in the state in Division V by California
Track and Running News, the authority on high school cross-country
and track in California. Of the top 10 teams in the state --
according to Cal Track -- seven are from the Southern Section
including defending champion Riverside Woodcrest Christian and
“Cross-Country is a pure sport and there’s no subjectivity because
you have to put in the work to improve,” Herskind said. “At
Flintridge Prep, it doesn’t matter what grade level you are in.
There’s no favoritism here and it’s you and the time you record on
the clock. It comes from the top down to generate enthusiasm.”
Enthusiasm has covered the Rebels, who have won two state titles
and earned two second-place finishes under Herskind.
The Rebels will rely on seniors Seth Horwitz and Prescott Gadd and
sophomores Tom McLean, Tony Myint and Gus Zoell.