Locals excel on the course

LA CRESCENTA — There are plenty of high-caliber cross-country meets on the horizon, so Cali King and Mike Duncan treated their respective races at the multi-team meet on Wednesday afternoon as tuneups.

They also shared something else in common — placing second in their runs on the three-mile course at Crescenta Valley Park.

"I took it as a practice-type race and just wanted to be able to pace myself to get ready for the big races ahead," said King, who clocked 19 minutes 50 seconds on her home course to finish behind Saugus' Nina Sassano (19.47). "I've been working on staying with the [leaders in the] pack and I don't want anybody to get ahead of me.

"It was also a matter of not thinking about the course and going for time."

Duncan recorded a time of 16:29, finishing behind Canyon Country Canyon's Zack Wims (16:19).

Like King, Duncan said he's working on trying to stay with the first group before crossing the finish line leading up to future meets that include the Woodbridge Invitational on Saturday, the first Pacific League meet Sept. 22 at Griffith Park and the Kenny Staub Invitational on Oct. 1.

"That's something that I'm trying to work on," Duncan said. "That boosts my confidence and I'm satisfied finishing with a good time."

Glendale competed in both races and Holy Family participated in the girls' junior varsity race.

In the girls' race, which featured 57 contestants, Crescenta Valley's Ali Johnson finished fourth (20:23), followed by teammates Brooke Moultrie (sixth, 20:29) and Hannah Ruby (seventh, 20;29). Glendale's Leana Satian was eighth (20:31).

Other local finishers included Crescenta Valley's Megan Melnyk (17th, 21:10) and Haley Witzeman (19th, 21:13), Fabiola Naranjo of Glendale (25th, 21:42), Amanda Burch of Crescenta Valley (32nd, 21:42) and Glendale's Lauren Hansen (39th, 22:43) and Caroline Cubero (40th, 22:43). Mikaela Tenner of Crescenta Valley was 41st (22:44), followed by Glendale's Elizabeth Harris (54th, 25:06) and Angela Kim (57th, 27:34).

In the 57-field boys' competition, Dylan Devens and Nick Beatty of Crescenta Valley finished ninth and 10th, respectively, in 17:22. Teammates Aaron Esparza and Brandon Baum clocked 17:31 and 17:33 to take 17th and 18th, respectively.

Joey Clingerman of Glendale was 20th in 17:34, followed by Matt Williams of Crescenta Valley (23rd, 17:38), Brian Shieh of Glendale (21st, 18:14), Crescenta Valley's Jacob Smith (18:14) and Glendale's Mike Williams (49th, 19:11), Tristan Pacba (50th, 20:06) and Thomas Peralta (55th, 20:50).

Holy Family's Alejandra Hernandez had the top finish for the Gaels, clocking 24:17 for 30th.

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