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Girls' Track Preview: Crescenta Valley is looking to chase down Pacific League crown

Falcons enter season with high hopes as do Flintridge Prep, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, Glendale, Holy Family and Hoover.

March 12, 2014|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com
  • Crescenta Valley High's Megan Melnyk and coach Mark Evans and hoping for a breakthrough 2014 season as are the rest of the local squads. (Cheryl Guerrero/File Photo)
Crescenta Valley High's Megan Melnyk and coach…

There’s a sense of excitement that the 2014 track and field season could be special in different ways for each of the Crescenta Valley High, Flintridge Prep, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, Glendale, Holy Family and Hoover girls’ teams.

Whether it’s competing for a league title, advancing deep into the postseason or proving formidable, each local squad is looking to make an impact this season.

At Crescenta Valley, the Falcons are hoping to challenge archrival Arcadia for a Pacific League title, as the squads are slated to face each other on April 22.

Before that, however, expect Crescenta Valley to show off its depth.

“I believe we can knock off Arcadia, but it’s still a while until then,” Falcons longtime Coach Mark Evans said. “We have strength in the distances, but I think we’re a sound all-around team.”

The Falcons return one of the area’s most dynamic runners in junior Megan Melnyk, who advanced to the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet last season in the 800-meter run after turning in a personal-best time of 2 minutes, 12.10 seconds at the CIF-SS Division I Championship at Mt. San Antonio College on May 18.

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Melnyk is also the league’s defending 1,600-meter (5:12.98) and 800 champion (2:19.36).

“You know what she was capable of last year and this year we’re just building off that,” Evans said. “We’re working on her fitness level and strength to make sure she can close that last 50 to 100 meters.”

Crescenta Valley, though, is certainly more than just Melnyk, as senior Kayleigh Carrillo may be the team’s most versatile athlete, as she’s been to known to compete in four events during league meets, but is the league’s reigning 400 (56.00) champion and runner-up in the 200 (25.28).

Speaking of utility, junior Emmie Walker is a league champion in the high jump (5 feet, 3 inches), while also having run in the 200 and 400.

Walker, senior hurdler Sarah Lapides and distance runners Haley Witzeman and Rebecca Mencia are also hoping to propel the Falcons to a league crown.

As for Flintridge Prep, fifth-year Coach Nick Ponticello has the benefit of a strong distance program inherited from the cross-country team, which finished third at state in Division V.

The majority of the Rebels’ bronze squad is on the track team, including seniors Kate Evans and Sarah Yoho, along with junior Ashley Lara.

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