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Stock rises, falls at finals

Cross-country: Tologs have "terrible race," while Golden Knights look to be headed down right path.

November 04, 2010|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com

LA CRESCENTA — When the dust settled and the scores, times and standings were finalized for the 2010 Mission League cross-country season, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy took second and St. Francis High finished fourth.

The teams' respective final standings were hardly representative of their final reactions, however.

"I'm very happy with how the guys did today, I think we ran a pretty darn good race today," said St. Francis Coach Pat Donovan, whose team took fourth in Wednesday afternoon's league finals at Crescenta Valley Park, notching 82 points to finish behind first-place Loyola (26) and then a logjam thereafter with Harvard-Westlake (75) taking second and Notre Dame (80) finishing third. "That was a really close race. That's somebody edging you out at the line.

"But notwithstanding that, it was definitely a good effort."

St. Francis tied for third in the final standings with Harvard-Westlake, but the latter won a tiebreaker.

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Sacred Heart, in contrast, took third on the day with 61 points, falling behind champion Harvard-Westlake (25) and Notre Dame (48), but having finished ahead of Notre Dame in each of the previous two league meets, took second in the standings. It was hardly of any solace to a disappointed Kirk Nishiyama, the Tologs' veteran coach.

"It was a terrible race," said Nishiyama, adding that he gave his team a bit of a tongue lashing after its performance. "I rarely get on them, but I got on them today."

On an unseasonably hot afternoon, conditions were far from ideal, but that didn't seem to bother Harvard-Westlake, as the defending CIF-State Division IV champions ran their best league meet this season with three top-five finishes and their scoring five finishing in the top nine slots. Defending state individual champion Cami Chapus took first in a dominating run of 18 minutes 25 seconds, nearly a minute in front of teammate Amy Weissenbach (second, 19:21.2).

Sacred Heart's Paulina Antaplyan led the Tologs' charge, as the team's most consistent runner all season long clocked 20:24.9 to take sixth place.

"I think we are disappointed," Antaplyan said. "It was really hot and it was a hard race.

"Speaking for myself, I think I underperformed. But I also think Notre Dame ran a great race.

"I think today was [Harvard-Westlake's] race to really race. When we started they really got out far ahead. They definitely brought their best game."

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