On the verge of hitting the home stretch in the Pacific League, the Burroughs and Burbank high boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams arrived at Arcadia County Park with checklists.
The Bears and Bulldogs looked to achieve major goals, ranging from winning individual league championships to trying to advance to the CIF Southern Section postseason.
Most of the goals were met Thursday, as both Burroughs squads qualified for the postseason with third-place finishes in the team competition and Burbank’s Amelie Guyot took second in the girls’ race after winning the event last season.
Both Burroughs teams finished behind traditional powerhouses Crescenta Valley and Arcadia on the flat three-mile course. Guyot set a personal-best mark on the looping course in 17 minutes, 42.3 seconds despite suffering a right-ankle injury in the final mile.
In the girls’ portion of the meet, won by Reena Hsieh of Arcadia in 17:28.3, Guyot and Hsieh were out in front of the pack entering the third mile before Guyot ran into a small hole on the partially muddy course. Hsieh broke away, while Guyot valiantly continued the race while in discomfort.
“Reena and I were going and there were some tree roots and I hit the hole,” said Guyot, who won the league title last season at Crescenta Valley Park in La Crescenta. “I just didn’t see the hole in time, but I was able to get back at it. I ran a personal-best time on this course.”
Crescenta Valley won the girls’ event with 45 points, followed by Arcadia (65) and Burroughs (71) to qualify for the CIF prelims on Nov. 12 at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut. Burroughs will compete in Division II.
Burbank placed fourth with 88 points, Hoover was fifth with 119 and Glendale took sixth (121).
In the boys’ race, Crescenta Valley won league with 24 points and Arcadia was second (37). Burroughs and Burbank tied for third with 94 points apiece, but Burroughs grabbed the final postseason spot by virtue of having the sixth fastest runner against Burbank. Pasadena took fifth (133 points) and Hoover finished sixth (185). The Bears will take part in the Division II race in Walnut.
Burroughs’ Isabella Galustians finished fourth in the girls’ competition in 17:54.2, behind Crescenta Valley’s Emilia Greenway (third, 17:48.7).
“I like this course a lot, though I’m used to running races on hills, too,” said Galustians, who achieved a personal-best time on the course. “I felt good about this race today and I just had to stick with it. It’s great for the team to be able to go to CIF and get experience.”
The Bears received a fifth-place effort from Vivienne Cannon in 17:54.8. Also scoring for the Bears were Mackenzie Monahan (ninth, 18:19.4), Amy Harkins (26th, 21:37.5) and Anya Kallianpur (27th, 22:36.7).
“Our Nos. 1-3 runners were strong, but we were able to get some big points from our fourth and fifth runners,” Burroughs coach John Peebles said. “I liked the way we were able to close it out.”
Burbank’s Ashley Sosa took 16th in 19:40.1, followed by Maria Barajas (20:21.4), Leah Yaghoobov (24th, 20:52.7) and Nicole Mireles (25th, 21:00.5).
“We gave it our best in the girls’ race,” Burbank co-coach Gregory Simonds said. “We just came up short.
“With Amelie, she put herself in position to do well. She just had that bad break by stepping in that hole, but she still ran a spectacular race and had an overall real good day.”
Parker Simmons of Crescenta Valley easily captured the boys’ race in 14:20.9, followed by teammate Harrison Connors in 14:40.6.
For Burroughs, Liam Ellingsworth had its best mark in 16:22.3 for 15th place. Also scoring for the Bears were Danny Camacho (16th, 16:24.9), Justin Cano (19th, 16:33.8), Christopher Miguel (21st, 16:48.4), Nathan Marca (27th, 17:99) and Frank Beckett (24th, 17:01.2).
Burbank received a stellar performance from Ricardo Mujica, who took eighth in 15:00.3. The Bulldogs got an 18th-place effort from Sanjay Dhamodharan (16:29.5), followed by Issac Arroyo (20th, 16:39.1), Christopher Camarena (22nd, 16:54.9), William Klein (26th, 17:16.4) and Kyle Deng (28th, 17:45.4).
“We don’t have that front runner,” Peebles said. “We had to put as many people in front of the Burbank runners. [Mujica] ran a great race. Our guys were able to get ahead of the rest of the Burbank runners and it kind of felt like a dual meet.”
Said Simonds: “It was close and they gave it all that they had.”