LA CRESCENTA — While having garnered their share of area accolades, success for Crescenta Valley High's Claudia Pham and Burroughs' Anthony Monroy has often understandably been overshadowed by those that finished ahead of them.
But on a humid Saturday morning at Crescenta Valley Park, there was nobody in front of Monroy or Pham at the Staub/Barnes Invitational.
Both runners claimed victory in their respective Division I races, while Pham led an impressive overall effort for the Falcons, who took first as a team with a 31-point tally.
"I didn't expect it to go like that, I didn't think I was gonna be able to take it in the end," said Pham, like Monroy a reigning All-Area Cross-Country Runner of the Year, who won the Division I race in 18 minutes 55 seconds. "It's definitely really exciting."
Like Pham and the Falcons, Monroy has run plenty of races at CV Park, but usually had to contend with former Crescenta Valley standout Zack Torres or current Arcadia standout Amaar Moussa. On Saturday, the course was Monroy's for the taking, as he ran away from the field with a first-place run of 15:33, 19 seconds in front of the second-place finisher.