By Isabel Barbera and Olivia Chiu
Photos by Hana Tyszka
Boys and girls’ cross country completed their second Rio Hondo league meet Wednesday, October 14th at Crescenta Valley County Park. Both teams performed exceptionally in their second to last match against their league competitors.
The girls’ squad placed second to La Cañada by a narrow margin of seven points, demonstrating significant improvement since League I when the Spartans held the Tigers 46-27. Senior Emily Ye led the pack with a time of 18:58, and an impressive third place out of 28 runners. Newest varsity asset, freshman Elizabeth Bock, secured fourth place with a time of 20:51; senior Maaike Wielenga followed closely at 20:58, taking seventh place. Freshman Lindsey Calva (9th, 21:11) and senior Briana Nuñez (15th, 21:38), took the last two scoring positions for the Tigers. At the final league race, the Tigers hope to finally bridge the gap between the Spartans and themselves and win the league title.
“We were very close to defeating La Cañada this time,” Ye said. “I think that if we continue to put in our best efforts and keep up the teamwork, we can definitely win league in three weeks.”
Varsity boys maintained their dominance in league by securing first as a team. South Pas frontrunner junior Kieran Press-Reynolds once again secured an individual and team place of first with a time of 16:45. Sophomore Oliver Chang finished shortly after at 16:51 and an individual place of second. Freshman Francesco Fortunelli (17:41, eighth) and juniors Robert Steele (17:47, ninth) and Jaehyung Choi (18:06, 12th) crossed the finish line third, fourth and fifth, respectively, in the team. The Tigers accumulated a score of 32, defeating their closest opponent, San Marino, by 27 points.
The team is set to compete next at the 68th annual Mt. SAC Invitational —the nation’s largest invitational— Friday, October 23rd. It is recognized as one of the most difficult races of the season due to its looming hills and formidable switchbacks. In the next coming weeks, the Tigers will continue to prepare for the culmination of their season at league finals on November 5th.