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FSHA, Prep make stately splash

Cross-country: Three local teams move on to CIF State Meet with big day in finals.

November 22, 2010|By Gabriel Rizk,
  • Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy's Paulina Antaplyan participates in the CIF Southern Section Cross Country Championships at Mt. SAC in Walnut on Saturday.
Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy's Paulina Antaplyan… (Raul Roa, Glendale…)

WALNUT — A steady stream of rain Saturday morning led to a change of plans as relates to the famed cross-country course at Mount San Antonio College.

Now, three area cross-country teams are making new plans of their own to travel to Fresno for the CIF State Meet on Saturday after meeting the qualifying criteria on a rain-slicked, sped-up Mt. SAC course.

With the course's dirt trails and hills reduced to a muddy slop, the course was reconfigured to cover mostly paved areas and the finish line was relocated to the stadium's synthetic track, where Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy and the Flintridge Prep boys' team notched impressive third-place finishes in Division IV and Division V, respectively, while Prep's girls' team also made the cut for state with a sixth-place showing in Division V.

"I really liked it and I thought it was just a really fun race," Sacred Heart's Paulina Antaplyan said of the rain and the course change, which was much flatter and faster than the normal route. "We can't let it affect us. I think that we handled it well."


Crescenta Valley's girls' team and St. Francis also took a shot at state on Saturday, but neither was able to make the top-seven cutoff for team qualification, nor were the Falcons or Golden Knights able to qualify any runners individually by virtue of having one of the five fastest times from a non-qualified team within the top 20 overall.

The biggest surprise of the day came from the Tologs, who had anticipated having to fight to meet the cutoff for state.

"They really stepped it up," said Sacred Heart Coach Kirk Nishiyama, whose team scored 165 points to finish behind Junipero Serra (48) and Harvard-Westlake (138) and edge El Segundo by a single point. "I'm really proud of the girls. They surprised us. We were looking at seven."

Antaplyan, a junior, crossed the finish line first for the Tologs in 15th place with a time of 19 minutes 51 seconds. The race was won by reigning state-champion Cami Chapus of Harvard-Westlake in 18:41.

Following Antaplyan for the Tologs were freshmen Riley Gilmartin (18th, 19:57) and Casey Basso (36th, 20:48), junior Amanda Aguilar (50th, 21:11) and freshman Rebecca Armstrong (63rd, 21:31).

"Our goal was to pack up front," Nishiyama said. "Paulina and Riley and Casey would lead us up front and Amanda Aguilar really stepped up for us today and Rebecca Armstrong really stepped up. We talked about the fours and fives making a difference today and that was it."

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