Falcons' depth prevails

LA CRESCENTA — The Crescenta Valley High boys' and girls' track and field teams entered Thursday's Pacific League dual meet short-handed against visiting Hoover.

With the Camarillo Classic Track Meet being held today, the Falcons decided to rest some of their top distance runners who are competing in the event.

As it turns out, it didn't matter.

Despite some valiant individual efforts from Hoover, the Falcons' depth proved to be too much as Crescenta Valley pulled off the sweep. The Falcons girls cruised to an easy 96-27 win by winning 11 of the 15 scoring events, while the Crescenta Valley boys held on to edge Hoover 73.5-53.5, capturing nine events.

“I thought we ran well,” Crescenta Valley Coach Mark Evans said. “Hoover has some good sprinters. They are great competitors. They did a good job and really pushed us.”

In girls' action, Crescenta Valley's Carlotta Pham pulled off victories in the 1,600 (5 minutes, 47 seconds) and 3,200 meters (12:13.7), more than making up for the absence of star runners Claire Collison and Rachel Lange. Both the Stanford-bound Collison and the BYU-bound Lange will compete in the 3,200 at the Camarillo Classic.

Jessica Beerman gave the Falcons (1-2 overall, 1-0) a needed burst in the sprints. She captured the 100 meters in 12.6 and spearheaded a winning effort by the 4x100 team (51.9) that also included Carli Opland, Claire Harrison and Dana Murphy.

“Jessica Beerman is kind of a real surprise for us,” Evans said. “She's just gonna get faster and really help us out.”

Harrison took the 400 in 1:00 and Opland won the long jump in 13 feet, 4 inches.

Other Falcons winners included Rachelle Mudd in the 800 (2:36.72), Chyna Balonick in the pole vault (7-6), Holly Wilson in the triple jump (31-11 ½) and the 4x400 relay team (4:26.5)

Hoover senior Shannon Azizi stole the show in the hurdles, capturing both the 100 (16.5) and the 300 hurdles (49.97). Azizi also picked up valuable points with a second-place mark in the shot put, finishing behind winning teammate Megan Reilly (28-5).

Annie Sahl garnered a win for Hoover (0-2 in league) in the 200 meters (27.25).

“I didn't expect them to do this well this early in the season,” Hoover Coach Jack Sallakian said. “I expected them to do well toward the middle or end of the season. They performed really well today.”

On the boys' side of things, Zack Torres swept the 1,600 (4:37.50) and the 3,200 (10:14.1) to carry the Falcons (1-2, 1-0).

Mike Sheridan took home the 800 in 2:03.20 and also anchored the winning 4x400 relay team (3:31.6), which included Neil Jones, Jimmie Jones and Jason Hedrick, to close out the meet in impressive fashion.

“Our 4x400 time was the fastest we've run this year,” said Evans, who held out Eric Kleinsasser and Scott Morrison to compete in the 5,000 meters at Camarillo.

Harry Pessy won the 100 in 11.30 for the Falcons and also was a member of the winning 4x100 team (45.1).

Crescenta Valley picked up three wins in the field events. Robin Dumlao took the shot put (41-0), Jake Walker took home the triple jump (35-10 ¾) and Matt Potter won the pole vault (9-6).

Two Tornadoes were multiple winners.

Harold Tabora grabbed the 200 (23.30) and the 400 (51.40), while Joseph Roach dominated the 110 hurdles (16.7) and 300 hurdles (43.16).

Basketball standout Shara Babakhanians gave the Tornadoes (0-2) a boost in the field events, winning the high jump (5-8) and finishing second in the long jump behind teammate Hyghbert Devitian (18-5 ¼).

“We've been telling them this is what you can do if you keep working,” Sallakian said. “Now that they saw it on the first race, I think it's going to help them perform much better the rest of the season.”

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