Cross country has long been a successful sport in our public schools. However, last year it was Providence High that won the CIF Southern Section Division 5 boys championship.
This year the Pioneers will try to defend that title. Burroughs and Burbank are still both young and hoping to get back to the days of the past.
The Pioneers return four of their top six runners and certainly should have a formidable top three.
Senior Trevor Deane, who was the fifth man in CIF Finals last year, made great strides during the track and field season as he ran 4 minutes, 27 seconds over 1,600 meters.
Fellow senior Aidan Urbina, who was third on the team in CIF Finals, ran 4:32 for 1,600 in the spring.
Sophomore Henry Virtue ran 2:00 in the 800 as a freshman and should also be very strong.
Seniors Nareg Simitian, Ryan Sarmiento and sophomore Aadan Granish are hoping to be as close to the front pack as they can be.
Providence looks very strong on the girls’ side.
Sophomores Aubrey Eaton (5:22 in 1,600) and Reese Eaton (5:40) lead the way. Junior Erika Agazaryan (2:36 in 800) had a solid track season.
Sophomore Natalie Gonzalez (5:57 in 1,600) is another to look for.
Senior Emily Avila and juniors Nayirie Aladadi and Eva Barahona are hoping they can provide support to take the team far into the postseason.
The Bears girls’ team is led by senior Vivi Cannon, who was one of the Pacific league’s best a year ago. Sophomore Isabella Galustians and junior Mackenzie Monahan are two others who figure to play a key role on varsity. The remaining spots are up for grabs.
“We are very inexperienced this year, as we did not run many cross country races last year and we are mostly sophomores and freshmen, “ coach John Peebles said. “So this year is an opportunity for the kids to learn about cross country through getting in a good number races to learn what it takes to compete, challenge themselves, and simply improve as runners.”
For the boys’ team, seniors Frank Beckett and David Thompson as well as junior Nick Delgado are the most experienced. But a crop of young runners, led by sophomore Danny Camacho could emerge. Another to watch for is freshman Nathan Marca, the son of former Burbank High star and Bulldog coach Trevor Marca.
Defending Pacific League champion Amelie Guyot is just a sophomore. But she is now the established leader of the team. In the spring, Guyot ran 5:16.58 in the 1,600 and 11:31.39 in the 3,200. Seniors Maria Barajas (2:37 in 800) and Nicole Mireles are the others to look for.
On the boys’ side, the Bulldogs are led by junior Ricardo Mujica, who had a solid track season. He ran 4:30.53 in the 1,600 and 10:06.48 for 3,200 meters.
Seniors Isaac Arroyo and Kyle Deng (4:47 in 1,600) are the others to look for on a young Bulldog squad.