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State on line for local cross-country teams

Crescenta Valley, Flintridge Prep and Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy to take part in CIF Finals.

November 16, 2012|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

The message has been sent out to her band of talented runners — visualize one of the toughest courses in the state before attempting to conquer it.

It might be a difficult task, yet Flintridge Prep boys’ cross-country Coach Ingrid Herskind said she’s confident the Rebels can handle it when they take part in the CIF Southern Section finals today at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut.

“It’s a tough course, but we know it and it’s one of our favorite courses,” said Herskind, whose team will take to the rugged 2.91-mile course in the Division V race at 7:45 a.m. “We are really excited because we’ve been running well the last couple of races.

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“You have to be able to focus on making the transitions on the course and be able to compartmentalize it. You want to be within striking distance around the midway mark.”

The Rebels come in with plenty of momentum, having won the Prep League championship for the 19th time over the last 20 seasons, winning the Mount San Antonio College Division V sweepstakes race in October and picking up a second-place effort in the Division V prelims Nov. 10 at Mt. SAC. They are expected to challenge rival St. Margaret’s for the division crown with a lineup that will be led by Alan Yoho, who clocked 16 minutes, 53 seconds for a seventh-place finish at the prelims. Yoho will be joined by Ellias Ellison, Aaron Sugimoto, Tyler Fong and Jack Van Scoter.

In addition to the Flintridge Prep boys’ squad, the other local teams that will be on hand in the finals include the Flintridge Prep girls in Division V, the Crescenta Valley High boys and girls in Division I and Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy in Division IV.

The Crescenta Valley boys’ team will compete at 8:05 a.m, followed by Flintridge Prep’s girls’ team at 8:25, Crescenta Valley’s girls at 8:45 and Flintridge Sacred Heart at 10:45. The top seven teams in each division will qualify for the State Meet, which will be held Nov. 24 at Woodward Park in Fresno.

Crescenta Valley Coach Mark Evans said both his teams will try to navigate their way through the course, while going up against some of the top teams the region has to offer.

“With the boys, we feel good that we have a shot to move on to state,” said Evans, whose team registered 78 points in its heat at the prelims. “A year ago, we didn’t even qualify for the prelims, so we’ve made a big jump to get back here.

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