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Falcons, Knights return to finals

Cross-country: CV girls, St. Francis return to CIF finals with strong prelim showings.

November 15, 2010|By Gabriel Rizk,

GLENDALE — A return to the familiar ground of the CIF Southern Section Cross-Country Championships for the Crescenta Valley High girls' cross-country team was accompanied by the accomplishment of a goal St. Francis has spent the last two years pursuing.

Along with Flintridge Prep's boys' and girls' cross-country teams and Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy making strong showings and convincingly qualifying for the CIF finals, those were the local storylines that dominated Saturday's CIF Southern Section Cross-Country Preliminaries at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut.

Needing a top-four finish or better to qualify for the finals, which will be held at 7:45 a.m. Saturday at Mt. SAC, the Falcons girls' team is back in the finals thanks to a third-place showing in its Division I heat in 1 hour 36 minutes 53 seconds for a score of 78 points.


"There was a little bit of nervousness just about the fact that we didn't make it last year and we wanted to make it this year," said Crescenta Valley Coach Mark Evans, whose team was riding the momentum of rallying to claim a share of its eighth straight Pacific League title in the league finals meet on Nov. 4. "I think we did a good job. We had pretty good grouping, but I know they feel they can run better."

Senior Claudia Pham, whose foot injury prevented her from running in the 2009 prelims, where Crescenta Valley narrowly missed the cut with a fifth-place finish, led the charge with a fourth-place effort in 18:38 on Saturday.

"[Having Claudia] did make a lot of difference," Evans said. "I thought the girls ran well, we ran as well as we needed to run to make it into finals and they're just really excited."

Pham was followed by senior teammate Anneke Kakebeen in 10th in 19:04, freshman Erika Johnson (13th, 19:11), junior Brooke Moultrie (22nd, 19:42) and sophomore Ruby Hannah (33rd, 20:18).

Because Division III boys only ran three heats, a fifth-place finish would automatically qualify the Golden Knights, and that's exactly what they got in 1:22.50, with senior Kyle Palazzolo leading the way in fourth overall in 15:47 to get the team back to the finals for the first time since 2008 with a score of 123.

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