Torres finishes fifth

ARCADIA — With a late surge that has become a trademark in his Crescenta Valley High distance-running career, senior Zack Torres came on strong in the final lap to take fifth place in the Men's 3,200-Meter Invitational Run at the prestigious Arcadia Invitational on Saturday night.

“I knew that I was not in a good spot,” said Torres, who finished with a personal-best mark of 9 minutes 2.50 seconds, “and I had to take off. I just kinda said in my head, 'Shut up and go.'”

And he did. Entering the final lap, Torres, who had worked his way up to as good as seventh during the race, was in 12th place entering the final lap before picking off seven opponents en route to the finish.

“I knew he just had to get up there and be in position and run hard the last lap,” Crescenta Valley Coach Mark Evans said. “I think he passed as many guys as he could pass.”

Rancho Buena's Collin Jarvis won the event in 8:58.15. Torres was the second-best California finisher as the preceding three were from Arizona, Oregon and Colorado.

Disappointed in his start to the race, Torres maintains that, while Saturday saw his best time so far, it's not the best he has.

“This is not the fastest I can go,” he said. “I can go a lot faster.”

Earlier in the day, Crescenta Valley sophomore Claudia Pham took 10th in the Women's 3,200-meter run in 11:21.67. Her older sister, Carlotta, took 15th in the open event in 11:26.44, while senior Michelle Callister finished 25th in 11:33.74.

Callister ran anchor, while Carlotta Pham ran the third leg in the Falcons' 28th-place finish (13:07.48) in the Women's Distance Medley. Sophomore Tiernan Hebron and senior Megan Doeding were also a part of the team.

“We ran about what we could run,” Evans said. “No super big drops, but just a real good experience.

“You just gotta compete and know what you have to do. [This is a] big race, lots of people, some pressure that you don't normally have.”

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