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Staub Invitational not without twists

Cross-country: Race features seven locals and includes Burbank's upset of Crescenta Valley.

September 29, 2012|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com
  • Glendale High's Leana Setian runs in the lead at the start of the Staub Invitational Girls Div. I Varsity cross-country race at Crescenta Valley Park in La Crescenta on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. (Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)
Glendale High's Leana Setian runs in the lead at…

LA CRESCENTA — Perhaps the closest thing to an all-local cross-country meet took place Saturday at the 45th annual Staub/Barnes Invitational at Crescenta Valley Park.

Seven local teams participated over two boys’ and girls’ races, with the majority competing in the first varsity race, which included some interesting twists.

Varsity race No. 1 resembled a Pacific League meet with Crescenta Valley, Hoover, Burbank and Glendale highs racing with the Rio Hondo League’s La Cañada.

On the boys’ side, Burbank upset CIF Southern Section Division I No. 5-ranked Crescenta Valley, 98-99, for third place led by junior Arsen Mkrtchyan, who finished 10th in 16 minutes, 16 seconds.

“I just try to run the same way every time I race,” said Mkrtchyan, who set a new personal record. “I just give my best effort and try to get a lower time.”

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The Bulldogs placed three runners in the top 20, including Bernie Corea (13th, 16:22) and Elliot Choe (20th, 16:32).

Junior Gabe Collison was stout in taking fourth in 15:53 for the Falcons, who last week won the league’s first cluster meet at Griffin Park and defeated third-place Burbank, 20-35.

“It was exciting. The rest of our team has been doing really well today and Arcadia doesn’t run this, so this race was kind of stress free,” said Collison, who obliterated his previous personal-best time of 16:23.

Senior Aaron Esparza (sixth, 16:08) and junior Matt Manalo (17th, 16:29) also placed in the top 20 for the fourth-place Falcons.

In the crosstown battle between Glendale and Hoover, the Nitros prevailed, 234-263, in taking eighth, while the top two runners were Tornadoes seniors Jeremy Zadoorian (ninth, 16:15), who nipped Mkrtchyan at the finish, and Kenneth Trejo (12th, 16:19.00). Junior Brian Shieh paced the Nitros (42nd, 17:24).

La Cañada senior Brandon Newquist took 52nd (17:57) in guiding the Spartans to 11th.

As for the girls’ No. 1 race, Golden Valley clipped Crescenta Valley, 82-83, for the win, ahead of sixth-place La Cañada (117), seventh-place Burbank (134) and ninth-place Glendale (233).

The Falcons, though, defeated Arcadia, 83-103, after finishing runner up to the Apaches on Sept. 20.

While Falcons sophomore Megan Melnyk didn’t start strong, she moved up five spots over the final 300 meters in taking fifth (19:11.62), ahead of teammate Hannah Ruby (sixth, 19:12.40).

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