Local teams test strength on Mt. SAC course before CIF

GLENDALE — A big meet with fast runners under any circumstances, the Mt. San Antonio College Cross-County Invitational was made even faster by cool weather and clean air Saturday morning in Walnut.

Crescenta Valley High's girls' and boys' teams used the annual preview for end-of-season CIF events to gauge where they stand, as did numerous other teams that competed in the meet's lower divisions on Friday.

The Falcons girls competed in the Division 1 & 2 Team Sweepstakes and placed 15th overall and 11th out of Division 1 teams.

Claudia Pham was the Falcons' top finisher at 46th in 18:37, followed by Anneke Kakebeen (58th, 18:45), Cali King (65th, 18:51), Erika Johnson (68th, 18:53) and Brooke Moultrie (83rd, 19:10).

"We ran a lot faster than we had [at Mt. SAC] last year, but everybody else is running a lot faster, too" said Crescenta Valley Coach Mark Evans of the race that was won by La Costa Canyon. "We talked about just being a little more aggressive earlier in the race.

"We moved well in the last half of the race and really moved up and had some good position and were right where we wanted to be, but especially in a race like that, where it goes out really hard, we were too far back in the beginning."

Crescenta Valley's boys' team placed 14th in its Division I Varsity heat, led by Mike Duncan, who was 25th in 15:58.

"They ran well," Evans said of the boys' team, which competed without ill No. 2 runner Bob Anderson. "If we have [Anderson] in there we're in a lot better shape. We're probably 20 points better and a couple places higher, possibly.

"We were missing him, but I think the other guys really stepped up and ran well."

David Owens (53rd, 16:29), Jordan Miller (64th, 16:38), Cory Williams (76th, 16:52) and Dylan Devens (111th, 17:18) rounded out Crescenta Valley's scoring five.

Flintridge Prep's boys' team was fifth in the Division 5 Sweepstakes on Friday, led by Jason Bunn (23rd, 16:35), Eli Weinstein (28th, 16:45), Elias Ellison (30th, 16:46), Jesse Redding (33rd, 16:51) and Taylor Beith (52nd, 17:23).

"Our spread was tight, I was really pleased with my [Nos.] 2, 3, and 4," Prep Coach Ingrid Herskind said. "They're moving in the right direction and they're fired up."

The Rebels girls placed seventh in the Division 5 Sweepstakes behind Kate Evans (19th, 20:28), Sarah Yoho (21st, 20:33), Joni Chow (50th, 22:38), Galey Caverly (51st, 22:42) and Audrey Levy (52nd, 22:42).

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy ran in the Division 4 Sweepstakes and came away with a ninth-place finish. Paulina Antaplyan (18th, 19:21) was the Tologs' top finisher, followed by Casey Basso (20th, 19:24), Nora Welsh (70th, 21:29) and Riley Gilmartin (74th, 21:42).

"It was a really fast race," Tologs Coach Kirk Nishiyama said. "I think we ran well. …Our top three ran well and I was pleased with their outcome.

"I'm happy we ran that sweepstakes race — it was a really fast race — just for experience because we are pretty young and we need experience."

St. Francis and Hoover both competed in the same Division 3 Varsity heat, where the Golden Knights finished third and the Tornadoes were ninth.

St. Francis' Kyle Palazzolo was fifth in 16:10 followed by teammates Collin Peterson (seventh, 16:17), Tyler Kawachi (14th, 16:37), Danny Velladao (26th, 17:06) and Edward Kronfli (48th, 17:36).

Hoover's Rafael Manzo was 44th in 17:29 and Andrew Le was 64th in 17:55. Daniel Marin (71st, 18:06), Sasha Mikhailpoor (90th, 18:28) and Andrew Pirijanian (105th, 18:47) rounded out the top five for Hoover.

Hoover's biggest highlight came in the Division 3 Sophomore race, where Jeremy Zadoorian was the top overall finisher.

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