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Flintridge Prep cross-country, Gabe Collison set to compete

Flintridge Prep squads chasing Division V titles, while Crescenta Valley Falcon flies solo.

November 23, 2012|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com
  • ARCHIVE PHOTO: Flintridge Prep finished second at the CIFSS Cross-Country Divisional Championships despite placing four runners in the top 20, led by sixth-place Aaron Sugimoto.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: Flintridge Prep finished second at the… (Raul Roa/Staff…)

It figures to be a big day for Flintridge Prep at the 2012 CIF State Cross Country Championships, as both the Rebels’ boys’ and girls’ teams have qualified to compete for the Division V crown at Woodward Park in Fresno Saturday morning.

Flintridge Prep’s boys are among the top contenders for their first state crown since 2004, if not the outright favorite, as the Rebels are the top-ranked team in the division according to PrepCalTrack.com and ended the season ranked second in Southern Section Division V by CIF behind defending state champion St. Margaret’s.

“Basically this whole season we’ve been working toward the final goal and that is definitely a podium finish and we would like to bring home a state title,” said Flintridge Prep boys’ Coach Ingrid Herskind, whose squad will kick off the meet in the opening race at 8:30 a.m.

The Rebels finished second behind St. Margaret’s at the CIF Southern Section Cross-Country Divisional Championships at Mt. San Antonio College on Saturday despite placing four runners in the top 20, led by sixth-place Aaron Sugimoto.

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Along with Thacher, which rounds out the top three in the Southern Section, the Rebels will also have to contend with St. Joseph’s Notre Dame of the North Coast Section and La Jolla Country Day of the San Diego Section, which are ranked third and fourth, respectively, in the state by PrepCalTrack.com.

“We had a decent race [at CIF finals],” Herskind said. “We definitely have one more really good one left in our tank and the course we’re running on Saturday is very suitable to our style of racing, much more so than the Mt. SAC track.

“We’re basically very hungry. ...It’s been a great year of competition between the top three teams [in the division] and we’re really excited to have another chance at them.”

Behind Sugimoto on Saturday, Elias Ellison (10th, 15:09), Alan Yoho (15th, 15:23), Jack Van Scoter (16th, 15:24) and Tyler Fong (26th, 15:41) all formed a tight pack and will need to try and move up as a team today in order to have a shot.

“We have to really move up against the other teams,” Herskind said. “Aaron, I think, definitely, needs to get in front of their No. 2. And we’ll have Elias right behind Aaron. Basically, if we can get somebody up a tiny bit, it would make a huge difference.”

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