Over the last two years Burroughs High’s Emily Virtue and Crescenta Valley’s Colin FitzGerald have been the dominant female and male cross country runners in the Pacific League.
But in a pair of surprises, the defending league champions came up just short of a repeat Wednesday in the Pacific League Finals at Arcadia County Park. Instead it was Burroughs Jagdeep Chahal, who defeated FitzGerald in a photo finish in 14 minutes, 39.6 seconds over the flat, 3-mile course.
“The plan was just to take it easy and move on to CIF prelims. I was trying to get second or third and work with Alex (Hirsch) and stay together,” Chahal said. “In the last stretch I was feeling good and I had it in me so I decided to give it all I had.”
Virtue, who had not lost in league since her freshman year, finished second in 17:11.5 behind Arcadia’s Jasmine He, who won in 17:06.9.
“It was a little disappointing since it was the last one. I wasn’t feeling great today and I didn’t push through it like I could have,” Virtue said. “In the grand scheme of things, it isn’t going to get me down. I’d rather have a bad race here than at CIF Finals.”
Burroughs finished second in the girls’ team standings behind Arcadia with 66 points. Burbank finished third with 70 after being tied with Crescenta Valley through five runners. Burbank beat the Falcons on the basis of having a faster sixth runner.
Also for Burroughs were Catrina Villalpando (14th, 18:48.5), Vanessa Reveles (15th, 18:53.9), Lakely Nealis (17th, 19:09.2), Julianna Navarro (18th, 19:14.3), Jordan Guzman (20th, 19:16.6) and Ana Villalpando (30th, 20:28.1).
Burbank was led by sophomore Sol Fernandez, who finished seventh in 18:03.2. Also for Burbank were Noemi Apreza (ninth, 18:31.7), Shalom Mejia (13th, 18:42.8), Jordan Delgado (19th, 19:15.4), Lydia Forsyth (22nd, 19:20.4), Jamie Levin (25th, 19:29.4) and Raelene Aldana (40th, 23:14).
In the boys varsity, Burroughs finished second in the standings behind Crescenta Valley, but ahead of Arcadia, which had defeated the Indians in the first two league meets.
A very young, but talented Burbank team finished fourth.
Sophomore Victor Goli led the Bulldogs by taking 10th in 15:10.3. Also for Burbank were Andres Leon (13th, 15:21.9), Jahir Olvera (24th, 16:07.8), Dayne Ellis (27th, 16:22.6), Anthony Chiaravalle (28th, 16:23.2), Tadeh Shanazari (32nd, 16:38), Peter Al-Hasani (37th, 17:29.9).
“I’m really happy with how we did today,” Goli said. “Considering we have one freshman, four sophomores and two juniors, we did way better than I thought. We have a lot of potential as a team.”
Also for Burroughs were Hirsch (third, 14:44.3), Raymond Berrellez (ninth, 15:10.2), Andrew Hoxsie (20th, 15:54.3), Jeron Straker (21st, 15:59.2), Cory Ellis (26th, 16:16.8), and Johnny Padungyothee (34th, 16:51.3).