Setting a course for state

WALNUT — Elation, exhaustion and relief were some of the stronger emotions at Saturday morning's CIF Southern Section Divisional Cross-Country Championships at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut.

With a trip to Saturday's CIF State Meet in Fresno on the line, there was a near frenzy as the results for the boys' Division I results were released.

Burbank High nabbed the seventh and final qualifying spot with 197 points, outlasting Vista Murrieta, 197-205.

Bulldogs Coach Trevor Marca leaped into the air as the official times were posted and ran to announce the tidings.

The Bulldogs then gathered in a giant circle of runners, coaches and parents and boisterously sang the alma mater.

"I had no idea we advanced until I saw the results. I had this fear we wouldn't make it," said Marca, whose team entered ranked eighth. "My senior year we finished fifth and missed and I just prayed that wouldn't happen this time."

Sophomore Isaiah Amos led the Bulldogs and took 17th overall with a time of 15 minutes, 21 seconds.

"Either we were going to make it or we weren't," Amos said. "We couldn't worry. We just had to run our best."

Amos was followed by teammates Sergio Fraire (33rd, 15:38), Jonathan Stoll (49th, 15:52), Arsen Mkrtchyan (55th, 15:57) and Bernie Correa (79th, 16:15).

While the Burroughs boys failed to advance as a team, finishing 13th with 296 points, Indians' senior Anthony Monroy individually qualified after earning sixth in an area-best time of 15:05.

Monroy stayed in the top three until midway through the race and had to be assisted after the race because of fatigue.

"My goal from the beginning of the year was to get to state," said Monroy, who finished 16 seconds behind race-winner Sergio Gonzalez of Arcadia. "I knew this was going to be a tough race."

Despite a topsy-turvy season, Crescenta Valley girls Coach Mark Evans finally exhaled Saturday morning.

His ninth-ranked Falcons finished sixth in the Division I race with 187 points and earned a trip to Fresno.

"It's great. We knew we had a shot coming in and that three of us would be fighting for those last two spots," Evans said. "Other teams didn't have a great race and we pulled it out."

Senior Ali Johnson (25thd, 18:29) led the Falcons, ahead of Cali King (31st, 18:38), Megan Melnyk (32nd, 18:41), Erika Johnson (47th, 18:51) and Brooke Moultrie (69th, 19:29).

The Flintridge Prep boys turned in Saturday's highest local finish, taking third in the Division V championships with 141 points.

The Rebels' scoring squad included Casey Thompson (23rd, 16:29), Alan Yoho (28th, 16:35), Eli Weinstein (34th, 16:45), Jake Johnson (39th, 16:49) and Bradley James (42nd, 16:55).

The Flintridge Prep girls also qualified, finishing fifth (173) in the Division V finals.

The Rebels' one-two punch of Sarah Yoho (ninth, 19:03) and Kate Evans (15th, 19:35) paved the way for Grace Broyels (44th, 21:07), Audrey Levy (66th, 21:41) and Ashley Lara (73rd, 21:57).

Flintridge Sacred Heart also qualified in the girls' Division IV race, taking sixth with 179 points, paced by senior Stephanie Vargas (ninth, 18:32).

"It was so fast out there," Vargas said. "This is an experience I will never forget. I've never ran in the top pack at Mt. SAC and I can't believe I did it."

Paulina Antaplyan (33rd, 19:35), Riley Gilmartin (37th, 19:40), Maddie Peterson (55th, 20:16) and Hanna Armendariz (60th, 20:27) rounded out the Tologs' scoring squad

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