WALNUT — Winning a sweepstakes race at the Mount San Antonio College Cross-Country Invitational is a rare feat.So rare it seems, that Flintridge Prep boys’ cross-country Coach Ingrid Herskind was at a loss when asked the last time her program boasted an individual champion.“Maybe Tom McLean did it, but honestly I don’t know. I don’t remember,” said Herskind, as her Rebels where one of a handful of locals consisting of Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, La Cañada, Hoover and St. Francis.McLean did indeed win the Division V Sweepstakes in 2004, and now has company as senior Alan Yoho highlighted a brilliant day of regional efforts in claiming the boys’ Division V sweepstakes in a time of 14 minutes, 58 seconds.“The race doesn’t start until after the first mile. There’s no point in tiring myself,” Yoho said of his game plan. “I let the guys take it out. After that, I made my move. It seems to be a pretty good strategy. It’s been working this year.”Yoho didn’t take control of the race until the midway point, when the senior began to separate from St. Joseph’s Gabe Arias-Sheridan. With a mile remaining, Yoho led by 10 seconds and eventually cruised to over a 20-second win over Arias-Sheridan (15:20).As for the team finish, the state rankings shook out as expected with top-ranked Alameda St. Joseph defeating the Rebels, 39-72, in a meeting of the division’s top two teams from last year.“I’m satisfied with the results from today. We had some excellent times,” said Herskind, whose squad was nipped at last year’s state final by St. Joseph, 86-87. “We knew that St. Joseph was an excellent team and I can’t be disappointed. We still have some more running to do.”Following Yoho were sophomore Jack Van Scoter (third, 15:31), senior Tyler Fong (13th, 16:07), sophomore Nikhil Poole (25th, 16:42) and junior Alex Orloff (32nd, 17:05).One of Yoho’s biggest supporters was his sister, senior Sarah Yoho, who also guided her team to a runner-up finish in the Division V Sweepstakes as Flintridge Prep tallied 56 points, beating California top-ranked Branson (107) and falling just short of West Point Grey Academy of Vancouver, Canada.Sarah Yoho finished fifth (18:54) and thanked much of her success to her teammate, freshman Natalie O’Brien (sixth, 19:03).“This is the first time I’ve had somebody like her,” Sarah Yoho said of O’Brien. “It’s awesome, this girl keeps me going.”Rebels junior Lacy Coan ran a personal-best time of 19:47, good for 16th, and finished just ahead of teammates Ashley Lara (17th, 19:54) and Maia Cohen (23rd, 20:16).While Flintridge Prep turned in the best boys’ and girls’ team finishes, the top local girls’ time was set by La Cañada senior Anna Frederich, who clinched second in the Division III Sweepstakes with a mark of 18:13.“I didn’t pass out this year, so we’re making progress,” Frederich quipped. “I really wanted to get a sub-18 minute [time], so this is a little disappointing, but I am happy to finish second.”Frederich led the Spartans to 11th place with 232 points as La Canada’s next highest finisher was junior Colleen Mispagel (15th, 18:50).The Spartans ran in the only sweepstakes that featured two locals as Hoover placed 16th with 398 points.“This was fun because we’re really looking forward to getting to CIF and this will give us a good taste of how CIF will be,” said Tornadoes senior Lucik Minassian, Hoover’s top finisher, who was 58th in 20:16. “It helps to run in the Pacific League with so many competitive teams because that prepared us for today.”Flintridge Sacred Heart kicked off sweepstakes competition in Division IV and finished 17th with 383 points.“This is always tough and we’ll learn for this,” said Tologs junior Kayla Grahn, who paced her team by taking 47th (20:14).No event had as many locals involved as did the boys’ Division III race, which featured Hoover, La Cañada and St. Francis.The Golden Knights took 15th with 335 points, led by sophomore Chris Rodriguez (34th, 16:56), in defeating cross-town rival La Cañada, which was 16th with 395 points.Spartans junior Ethan Angold did have the top local finish in the race, though, earning 23rd in 16:40.Hoover was 18th with 422 points. Junior Vladimir Climasevschii was the Tornadoes’ leader, taking 36th in 17:00.
Andrew J. Campa
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