Tologs, Knights improve showing

Cross-Country: Locals take same places, but improve times, overall performances.

October 08, 2010|By Grant Gordon,

LA CRESCENTA — For Paulina Antaplyan and the surging Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy cross-country team, at first look, not much changed from the first Mission League meet of the season to Thursday afternoon's second league get-together at Crescenta Valley Park.

After all, reigning league and CIF-State Division IV champion Harvard-Westlake still took first and Sacred Heart still took second, just in front of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.

But Sacred Heart tightened the gap between itself and Harvard-Westlake and also widened the margin between itself and Notre Dame in the process.


"That was our goal today," said Tologs Coach Kirk Nishiyama, whose squad tallied 43 points to first-place Harvard-Westlake's 34 and third-place Notre Dame's 60. "I think we made [Harvard-Westlake] race today."

For St. Francis, after a scare at the scoring table, it was able to hold on to its third-place position — which it garnered in the first meet — behind a spirited run from junior Colin Peterson with 81 points behind first-place Loyola (28) and second-place Notre Dame (66) and just in front of Harvard-Westlake (83).

"I came in today and I told the guys every second counts, every place counts," said St. Francis Coach Pat Donovan. "This is a sport of seconds and individual places. … Meets like this really drive the point home. Everything counts up to the finish line and sometimes beyond."

The battle for third place came down to St. Francis' No. 5 runner Danny Velledao, who tumbled across the finish and created a domino effect of chaos. Upon first tally, Valledao was deemed to have finished 26th in 17 minutes 31 seconds and Harvard-Westlake had 83 points to St. Francis' 84. But upon further discussion, the change was made for Valledao finishing 24th in 17:28 and St. Francis vaulted ahead of Harvard-Westlake by a point. A third and final change was made to the final total, though it did not affect placement. Thus, officially, Velledao took 23rd in 17:28.

Locally, Glendale resident Richard Lucas of Notre Dame had the best finish, taking third in 15:51, as Loyola's Elias Geydon dominated to the tune of a first-place run of 15:44, while Notre Dame's Will Conway took second in 15:51.

Peterson led the St. Francis charge with a ninth-place mark of 16:17.

"Colin came in here today and he said his goal was to break 17 minutes," said Donovan, who saw all five of his top-five runners improve their times from the first league meet. "He came in and just destroyed it.

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