La Cañada High's Anna Frederich races to second Rio Hondo League championship

SAN MARINO — Having raced several times at Lacy Park during her successful career, Anna Frederich has mixed emotions about the venue’s loopy cross-country trail.

When the La Cañada High senior girls’ runner took to the three-mile course for the last time Thursday, she did so with something at stake.

Frederich shook off the warm weather conditions and clocked 18 minutes, 18.84 seconds to capture the Rio Hondo League championship.

“It’s not my favorite or my least favorite course,” said Frederich, who previously captured a league championship in 2010. “I’ve run this course a few times and I finally understand it because it’s got a lot of loops and it’s pretty short.

“Going into the season, one of my goals was to win league. I started out quick on the first mile and then it got slower in the second mile. When you get to the third mile, you have to keep motivated.”

La Cañada’s girls’ team saw its bid to win a third straight league championship come up short, however. San Marino won the league title with 32 points, followed by La Cañada (44 points), South Pasadena (52), Temple City (120) and Monrovia (125).

The Spartans will next compete in the CIF Southern Section Division III prelims on Nov. 16 at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut.

In the boys’ portion of the meet, the Spartans received a fourth-place finish from Ethan Angold (16:29.04). The Spartans took third and also advanced to the prelims.

La Cañada girls’ Coach Jenn Mora said Frederich raced to her strength.

“She’s an overall smart runner and she got off to a great start,” said Mora, whose team finished with a total time of 1:39.45.20. “She knew exactly what she needed to do.

“Coming into the season, you could tell that she was driven to win league.”

The Spartans got a third-place effort from Colleen Mispagel (18:58.80). Also finishing for the Spartans were Eloise Dimase-Nordling (11th, 20:29.27), Jenny Callen (14th, 20:51.74), Caitlin Mispagel (15th, 21:06.55), Sophia Lamb (18th, 21:30.13) and Emma Sheehy (25th, 22:16.07).

“It’s disappointing to not win league, but we are moving on and that means something,” Mora said. “San Marino wanted it and ran a beautiful race.”

La Cañada’s boys’ team entered Thursday’s race needing at least a third-place finish to extend its season. Angold put them in good position with his effort. Angold stayed within the top five through the first mile and then broke away from a pack entering the homestretch.

“The air was pretty dry and it affected me a little bit,” said Angold, a junior. “I had to work through it.

“It’s so amazing to be moving on as a team. We were able to run in a pack and the guys fed off each other.”

Josh Wilson of South Pasadena won the race in 16:07.34 and helped the Tigers win the league crown with 27 points. San Marino placed second (36 points), followed by La Cañada (80), Temple City (104) and Monrovia (143).

La Cañada first-year Coach Nick LaCapria, whose team had an overall mark of 1:28.58.52, said the Spartans had a good chance at achieving a top-three finish.

“I actually believed we could do it,” LaCapria said. “We knew South Pasadena and San Marino are very good teams, so we knew we had to beat [Temple City and Monrovia} to move on. They are beginning to learn to stay in a pack and that helped us.”

Alex Broess took 16th in 17:56. 21 for the Spartans, who got a 17th-place performance from Seve Rodriguez (18:04.27). Also finishing for La Cañada were Justin Michel (21st, 18:13.41), Mitchell Trout (22nd, 18:15.59), Josh Cabello (23rd, 18:22.09) and Ryan Newquist (30th, 18:59.41).

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