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CHS cross country dominates field at league finals

Claremont cross country swept the Palomares League finals on Saturday at Legg Lake Park in South El Monte, winning both individual and team titles.

Claremont won team titles in the girls varsity, boys varsity, girls junior varsity, boys junior varsity and boys frosh/soph races.

Junior Sydney Hwang won the girls varsity individual title with a time of 17:03 over the three-mile course. The Pack’s top five was rounded out by Azalea Segura-Mora, third at 17:16, Kalinda Reynolds fourth at 17:36, Tess Rounds fifth at 17:36, and Angie Gushue sixth at 17:55).

Hwang set a school record on the flat course chopping 16 seconds off the previous school record set last year by Annie Boos.

During practice on Wednesday at the CHS, she was characteristically humble about her accomplishment.

“It was a whole team effort,” Hwang said, “It may start with one person but then ripples through the whole team. It gives you a little boost, running for more than just yourself.” Segura-Mora praised her teammates as well as Ayala’s Mikaela Ramirez, who placed second in the race.

“We all look up to her, she [Ramirez] is a hard worker. I could see her in front and saw Sydney [Hwang] pass her and I wanted to pass her too so I pushed myself,” she said.

The Wolfpack placed seven runners among the top eight finishers, scoring 19 points, followed by Ayala with 59, Bonita with 86, Glendora with 109, Diamond Bar with 134, and South Hills with 163.

Vicente Huerta won the boys individual title with a time of 14:44. Following Huerta were A.J. Reyes, fourth at 15:09, Jeremiah Alarcon, sixth at 15:24, Adam Trafecanty, eighth at 15:28, and Daniel Scheider, ninth at 15:30.

Huerta also set a school record for Legg Lake beating a time that was set three years ago by Steven Kahn.

“I just wanted to win. The Ayala guys went off fast, and I stuck with them. I made my move with about 1200 meters to go and did not look back,” Huerta said, but then amended that statement, adding, “I did glance once about 10 meters out.”

Claremont scored 28 points for the team title, followed by Ayala with 44, Bonita with 92, Glendora with 99, South Hills with 113, and Diamond Bar with 177.

Claremont junior varsity girls took all five top spots, scoring a rare perfect 15 points. Junior Haleigh Guerrero paced the Wolfpack with her individual win. Guerrero clocked 17:35 over the course, which would have earned her a fifth place finish had she been in the varsity race. Teammate Julie Marriott was second at 18:41, with Lily Widrig third at 18:44, Annette Hermelin fourth at 18:56, and Emma Carter fifth at 19:13. A total of 114 runners toed the starting line.

With runners finishing 1-4-6-7-9, the Claremont boys’ junior varsity cross-country team took first place.

Dylan Arreola claimed the individual title in the boys junior varsity race with a time of 16:19. He was followed by Kevin Hamel, fourth at 16:36, Marc Donnelly, sixth at 17:00, Moises Vargas, seventh at 17:05, and Andrew Patterson, ninth at 17:08 to round out the scoring top five. Claremont scored 27 points for the team title.

In the boys frosh/soph race, three Claremont runners clocked times that were faster than all of the runners in the JV race.

Diego Denison took first at 16:03, 17 seconds faster than JV winner Arreola. The CHS top five was rounded out by Yoon Cho, second at 16:07, Rowan Orlijian-Rhyne, third at 16:09, Brandon Apresa, eighth at 16:44, and Isaac Martinez, ninth at 16:44. The Pack took the team title with 23 points.

“Our training plan worked out but we haven’t raced our best race yet,” Coach Bill Reeves said.

CHS next races at the CIF prelim meet on Saturday, November 11 at the Riverside Cross Country Course.

—Steven Felschundneff

steven@claremont-courier.com