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Plenty to celebrate at Staub

Cross-Country: Johnson leads Falcons to DI girls' title, FSHA, Yoho win DIII girls' titles and Zadoorian prevails on boys' side.

October 01, 2011|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
(Raul Roa/Staff…)

LA CRESCENTA — Crescenta Valley High's Ali Johnson found it "weird" leading the way for the Falcons, La Cañada's Sonja Cwik took a step further in a season that's been quite the opposite from her previous year and Flintridge Prep's Sarah Yoho took her first-ever stab at taking first.

With SAT exams in the classroom and unseasonable heat on the course, there were a fair share of atypical occurrences on Saturday morning at the 45th Staub/Barnes Cross-Country Invitational.

Nevertheless, it was a championship day as it relates to the area cross-country landscape.

Cwik's second first-place invitational finish in as many weeks led to the Spartans' second team title in as many weeks in the girls' Division II race, Johnson led a Falcons' girls' pack to a team title in the Division I girls' race and Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy prevailed in the Division III race, overcoming Yoho's first-place run and Rebels teammate Kate Evans' second-place showing.

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On the boys' side, success wasn't as prevalent, but Hoover's Jeremy Zadoorian did his part to run past an overmatched Division II field for an individual win.

Overall, though, it was impossible to look beyond the absence of many of the participating teams' top runners due to taking the SATs, most notably in the realm of area runners, that of Burroughs' Anthony Monroy, the reigning All-Area Boys' Runner of the Year. Monroy was one of six Indians runners that missed the race due to testing.

"It's just kind of the way the calendar falls," said Crescenta Valley's Mark Evans, who traditionally schedules the Staub meet for the fourth weekend of the season, which sometimes overlaps with the SATs. "I think the depth of the field wasn't there [today]. The races were a little slower, part of that's the heat, and there wasn't the competition to push it."

Cwik needed little to push her, though, as she easily won her race.

"I really wanted to win, but I didn't think I'd win by that much," said Cwik, who took first in Division II with a run of 19 minutes 12.6 seconds, far in front of second-place Monika Gyalay (19:45.12) of Moorpark.

Cwik's time was the second-best girls' mark across all the divisions, with Golden Valley's Chelsey Totten winning Division I in 18:56.41.

It came a week after Cwik won her race at the Bellarmine-Loyola Cross-Country Invitational and led the Spartans to a victory, as well. This time around, La Cañada won with 37 points and three top-10 finishers, easily besting second-place Camarillo (81).

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