Crescenta Valley cross-country girls place first, boys second in league meet

ARCADIA — The cross-country runners from the Pacific League had to wait an additional four days to finally contest the second league meet of the season.

The event at Arcadia Park was originally scheduled for Thursday, but had to be postponed because of rain, hail and lighting that pelted the area.

The runners experienced a complete turnaround in weather conditions in the make-up meet Monday, as the athletes were greeted with bright sunshine and temperatures in the 90s.

Despite the extra time off, runners and teams turned in some impressive performances on the fast, flat  course.

Many expected the tightest competition from the meet to happen between the Arcadia High and Crescenta Valley boys’ teams after the Falcons placed first in the first league meet. However, the Apaches were able to roll to victory.

The real drama came in the girls’ race, where the Falcons held off the Apaches for a narrow 27-28 win.

“We have our whole team together for the first time, and that’s really great,” said Crescenta Valley girls’ runner Megan Melnyk, who paced the team with a fourth-place finish in 18 minutes 19.94 seconds. “We know other teams want to beat us.”

Although Arcadia (6-1) was able to capture the first two spots — with Veronica Yamane winning the event in 17:22.53 — Crescenta Valley (7-0) placed its No. 5 runner in the 12th spot, just one notch above the Apaches’ final scoring runner who came in 13th.

The other Falcons scorers were Erika Johnson (sixth, 18:23.56), Haley Witzeman (seventh, 18:29.34), Hannah Ruby (eighth, 18:33.78) and Cali King (12th, 19:06.09).

Breaking the top Arcadia tandem was Glendale’s Leana Setian, who placed third in 18:13.03.

“I felt pretty good today, I tried to run with no regrets,” Setian said. “I gave it my all but I really felt like I wanted to throw up the whole race. But I was pretty happy with the race that I had.”

The top Burbank-area runner was Burroughs’ Gracia Innocentia, who came in fifth in 18:22.28. The Indian started the race slowly, but began picking off runners as the event progressed.

“I like going slow in the beginning because I realize that a lot of people start dieing at the end, and that’s when I start catching people,” Innocentia said.

Burbank (5-2), which received a 10th-place finish in 18:56.69 by Arllette Movsesyan, placed third and Burroughs (4-4) was fifth. The Bulldogs defeated the Indians, 23-32.

Hoover’s top finisher was Lucik Minassian (24th, 20:16.94) and Pasadena’s first runner across the line was Fiona Faulkner (20th, 20:00.59). Muir had a single runner, Diane Romero, and she came in 46th in 25:33.53.

In the boys’ race, Arcadia (7-0) received a winning effort from Mitchell Pratt in a scorching 14:42.06. The Apaches placed all five of their scoring runners among the top nine finishers.

“Arcadia is always going to be tough on this course,” Crescenta Valley Coach Mark Evans said. “But we should also be able to run well on this course. You have to run on a lot of courses, and you should be able to preform no matter where you are.”

The Apaches out dueled the Falcons, 20-38. However, Burbank, which is running without its two top runners from a team that advanced to the State Meet last year, nearly got past Crescenta Valley, falling, 27-28.

“We had them beat, 27-30, with 100 meters to go,” Burbank Coach Trevor Marca said. “But then their fifth guy out kicked our sixth and seventh and their fourth out kicked our fifth, and that was a four-point switch right there. That’s how close we came to beating them.”

Crescenta Valley (6-1) received a fine effort from Gabe Collison, who placed third in 14:58.94. He was followed by Matt Manalo (fifth, 15:19.44), Aaron Esparza (12th, 15:41.15), Adam Rowton (19th, 15:57.56) and Nick Beatty (23rd, 16:12.24).

The third-place Bulldogs (5-2) received a sixth-place effort from Arsen Mkrtchyan in 15:25.59. He was followed by teammates Bernie Corea (seventh, 15:31.47), Elliot Choe (10th, 15:35.75), Chris Huezo (16th, 15:54.38) and Gabriel Ellman (24th, 16:12.06).

Burroughs (4-3) finished third and was paced by Ricky Mendez, who came in 13th in 15:42.34. The Bulldogs defeated the Indians, 20-37.

Hoover’s top finisher was Jeremy Zadoorian (11th, 15:37.94) and Glendale’s first runner across the line was Frankie Castro (33rd, 17:06.28).

Pasadena received a 30th-place effort from Michael Dondalski (16:53.75).

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