Crescenta Valley cross-country duo ends long season at Mt. SAC

A cross-country season that officially began in the sweltering heat of late August concluded on an overcast day in December for a pair of Crescenta Valley High runners.

Falcons juniors Gabe Collison and Nick Beatty both competed and ended their 2012 campaigns with varying degrees of success at Saturday morning's boys' seeded race at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships West Regional at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut.

Collison and Beatty, who had both raced at Mt. SAC two weeks ago in the CIF Southern Section Division I Finals, placed 75th in 17 minutes and 184th in 18 minutes 12 seconds, respectively.

"It was a hard race and there was a lot of good talent from all over the West," Collison said. "I was kind of happy with my result. I wasn't too happy or sad, just medium."

Saturday's race, ran a week after the CIF State Championships at Fresno's Woodward Park, included a gathering of the top individual runners from throughout 12 western states and a few overseas military installations.

The goal for entrants in either boys' or girls' seeded race was to finish in the top 10, which would earn advancement to the following week's National Championships at Balboa Park in San Diego.

Collison and Beatty both prepared for Mt. SAC's rain course due to precipitation that hit the area the last few days.

However, on race morning, the duo was informed that Mt. SAC's traditional, more hilly course was available and in good enough shape to be utilized.

"I thought it was going to be on the rain course, but either way it was going to be a fast race," Collison said. "I don't know if I over-prepared for the other course or not, but it was a curveball."

Two weeks earlier, Collison had clinched advancement to the state championships by finishing ninth in the Division I race, ran on Mt. SAC's sleeker rain course, in an area-best mark of 14:18.

As for Beatty, a year after running at Foot Locker in the frosh-soph race, the junior said there was a sizable difference in the seeded race.

"It was a huge race. There were a lot more runners this year than in last year's frosh-soph race," Beatty said. "In this race you had talent from all over and everyone was great."

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