Evan Gancedo, Sophomore, Pasadena Poly
Gancedo captured the Prep League title on Oct. 29 in 18:43 and continued to peak in the postseason after finishing fourth in her Division V heat in 19:07 at the CIF Southern Section divisional preliminaries at Mt. San Antonio College. She finished fifth (18:53) at the CIF-SS Division V finals. Then at state, Gancedo paced Poly to an 11th-place showing, while taking 10th in Division V in 18:59. Her state time was tied for second-best by any area runner.
Ali Johnson, Senior, Crescenta Valley
The senior finished runner-up (19:21) at the second Pacific League meet at Crescenta Valley Park. Johnson was then her team's second-best runner at the Pacific League finals at Arcadia County Park, finishing fourth in 17:49. At the CIF-SS Division I preliminaries, Johnson took 17th (17:43) and then rose to the occasion at the CIF-SS Division I finals, finishing 25th (18:29) in the race with the area's second-best time to lead the Falcons back to state. At state finals, Johnson was 45th in 19:05.
Cali King, Junior, Crescenta Valley
King took third at the Pacific League's first cluster meet at Griffith Park on Sept. 22 in 19:07 and followed that with a bronze performance at league finals, finishing in 17:43 at Arcadia Country Park on Nov. 3. King was the Falcons' fourth-best runner at the CIF-SS Division I preliminaries at Mt. SAC and claimed 21st in 17:49. King then finished 31st (18:38) at the CIF-SS Division I finals before taking 108th (19:50) at state.
Megan Melnyk, Freshman, Crescenta Valley
Freshman made a huge run toward the end of the year. She placed sixth at the Pacific League finals in 17:56, which was third-best on her team. At the CIF-SS Division I preliminaries, Melnyk notched a 12th-place finish in 17:30, which was the area's second-best time. The following weekend, Melnyk was 32nd (18:41) at the divisional finals as Crescenta Valley qualified for state. Finally, Melnyk led the Falcons to ninth in Division I while capturing 38th (18:59) individually. Her state time was tied for second-best in the area.
Stephanie Vargas, Senior, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy
Vargas made her senior season one to remember as she returned to old form. She finished second (18:33) at the Mission League's first league meet at Woodley Park. Vargas followed that by finishing fourth (19:47) at the Mission League finals on Nov. 2. At the CIF prelims at Mt. SAC, Vargas (18:07) took third. A week later, at the CIF-SS Division IV finals, Vargas finished ninth individually in 18:32, the third-best area mark, before finishing 27th (19:10) at state.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Mark Evans, Crescenta Valley
Navigated the Falcons back to the CIF State Meet after a two-season hiatus. Among the season highlights, his Falcons picked up a victory at their host Staub-Barnes Invite in the Division I race. Crescenta Valley also upset Arcadia, 25-33, in the second Pacific League meet, while finishing second to eventual CIF Division I champion San Clemente at Clovis on a tiebreaker. As for the postseason, the Falcons finished third in their CIF-SS Division I preliminaries heat and were sixth at the Division I finals in qualifying to their first state meet since 2008. At state, Crescenta Valley finished ninth.