Flintridge Prep Girls Capture League Championship

First published in the Nov. 4 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The Flintridge Prep varsity girls’ cross-country team narrowly defeated Palos Verdes Chadwick to win the Prep League finals at Pierce College on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Flintridge Prep and Poly’s varsity boys’ cross-country teams placed third and fourth, respectively.

GIRLS’ MEET
Flintridge Prep’s top five runners matched Chadwick’s to tie the race at 50 points apiece, setting up senior Veronica Habashy (21st place, 21:55) — Prep’s sixth-place finisher — to beat Chadwick’s Marielle Alden by 10 seconds and bring home the championship for the Wolves.
“I would always choose a competition like [Saturday’s] where it’s a nail-bitter and every moment counts and every runner needs to be engaged and focused,” said Jill Henry, Flintridge Prep’s girls’ head coach. “This is what you live for as an athlete, to be a part of competitions like this and we’re glad it shook out in our direction but it was just fun to be in a contest that was that close.”
The Wolves had three top 10 placements — senior Nicole Mirzaian (fifth place, 20:12), junior Anya Rose (seventh, 20:28) and sophomore Hailey Wilson (eighth, 20:30).
“For the first mile and a half, [Rose] was running behind two Chadwick runners who were shoulder to shoulder,” Henry said. “Not only did she get in front of them, but she broke up their pack. Really by making the move to pass them on a downhill, she broke them up and then more of our runners got in front of them. Her move … really set our team up to break up their five runners much more efficiently than we could have otherwise.”
It is critical to break up packs in cross-country to spread the point values across the board instead of one team clustering together to score.
Sophomore Julia Bonk (13th place, 21:08), senior Rosalinda Chen (17th, 21:27) and Audrey Jung (32nd, 23:34) rounded out Prep’s seven total finishers.

BOYS’ MEET
Flintridge Prep and Polytechnic finished third and fourth, respectively, in the boys’ meet behind first-place Providence Burbank and second-place Chadwick.
Flintridge Prep accumulated 64 points and combined for a 1:27:29 time between its top five runners, while Poly scored 80 points with a combined 1:28:25 time.
The Wolves ended the race with two top 10 finishers — senior Dominick Schraeder (sixth place, 16:38) and junior Bryan Taniguchi (10th, 17:25). Meanwhile, Kevin Martinez (11th, 17:29) averaged 5:50 per mile.
Rounding out Prep’s runners were sophomores Evan Guyer (17th, 17:50), Nicolas Stanton (20th, 18:05), Ryan Ginn (24th, 18:27) and Max Goodman (27th, 19:20).

LCHS Takes to the Hills at Mt. SAC Invitational

First published in the Oct. 28 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Canada High School cross-country team joined more than 400 high schools and almost 9,000 competitors at last weekend’s Mt. SAC Invitational, which ranks as the second-largest invitational in the United States. Held at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, the three-mile course’s three long climbs — “the switchbacks,” “poop out hill,” and Reservoir Hill — have been fixtures of the Southern California cross-country experience for seven decades of high school runners .
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Spartans Fare Well Against League Opponents

First published in the Oct. 21 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada High School cross-country team won the varsity girls race and nearly scored an upset in varsity boys competition at last Thursday’s Rio Hondo League cluster meet, held in Pasadena’s Hahamongna Watershed Park.
The LCHS girls scored 24 points to runner-up South Pasadena’s 48 (in cross-country, low score wins) while the boys were edged by South Pasadena, 37-45. The league’s other four schools — San Marino, Temple City, Monrovia, and Blair — also competed.
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