Collison, who made appearances at the cross-country and track and field state meets last season, showed why she might very well win her second consecutive cross-country league championship. The senior pulled away from Lange, her teammate, and Martinez of Burroughs with about a mile left to set a personal-best mark on the three-mile course.
“I didn’t feel tired because I ran relaxed and wasn’t pushing it too much,” said Collison, the area’s reigning Female Athlete of the Year. “I thought we made a statement because this league is very competitive and there’s a lot of depth.”
Lange finished second in 18:36 and Martinez took third (18:58). The Falcons, who are ranked seventh in CIF Southern Section Division I, had five top-10 runners. Crescenta Valley also turned to Michelle Callister (fourth, 19:35), Megan Doeding (fifth, 19:46) and Carlotta Pham (seventh, 20:26).
The Falcons are looking to win their fifth straight league title and make their third consecutive trip to the CIF-State Meet.
Crescenta Valley captured the boys’ race after senior Eric Kleinsasser clocked 15:36 to win the event. The Falcons, ranked sixth in Division I, had four top-10 finishes to upset second-ranked Arcadia, the defending league champion.
Burbank got stellar efforts to take second in the girls’ race.
The upstart Bulldogs had three top-10 finishes, including a sixth-place finish from Jennifer Velasquez (20:21). McKenzie Paul placed eighth (20:41) and an injured April Hishinuma was 10th (20:57).
“I’m happy with the effort,” Burbank Coach Darin Wolf said. “We still have a lot of work to do.
“We have some youth and we can be good in a couple of years. We’ve got to stay healthy for the key meets.”
Arcadia took third in the girls’ meet, followed by Burroughs, Hoover and Glendale.
Hoover’s Katherine Brouwer finished 15th (21:08) and Amy Ingram of Hoover was 23rd (21:38).