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CHS girls cross country win big; complete sports highlights

Freshman Maddie Coles, 14, had the run of her young racing career on Saturday, coming in sixth place in the prestigious Eastern States Girls Championship cross country race during the Manhattan High School Invitational in New York City.

Her time of 14:44 over the short 2.5-mile course anchored the Pack’s attack, leading the girls to a first place team title at Van Cortland Park. Claremont scored 72 points for a fairly comfortable victory over second-place Liverpool at 85. Champlain Valley was a distant third place with 165 points.

Junior Azalea Segura-Mora was right on Coles’ heels, finishing seventh at 14:46. The girls usual top runner, Sydney Hwang, had a bit of an off day, taking 12th place at 14:58. Rounding out the scoring places were senior Kalinda Reynolds in 17th place at 15:16 and senior Julia Marriott in 30th place at 15:35.

Claremont was one of the teams favored to win the title, so it was not a surprise when they did. Still, the win was historic since the last time a west coast team brought home the trophy was in 1990. This also solidifies the number one national ranking from the sports news website, High School Harrier, at the beginning of the month.

“It’s not league finals or state or NXN [Nike Cross Nationals], so I’ve got to take it one race at a time and see how it goes,” Coles said during practice on Monday. “Azalea, Syd and Kalinda push me really hard and I feel like I have them pushing me forward and pushing me to go faster,” she added.

Coles got a side cramp in the final 800 meters just as she and Segura-Mora were about to cross the line shoulder to shoulder. Coach Ancona said it looked as though Coles was going to stop, but she pulled though.

Coach Jose Ancona noted the coaching staff encourages the team not to push too hard or too early, so that they also don’t peak early or risk injury.

Coach Ancona said the race strategy was to run in a tight pack supporting each other along the way for the team win. This particular course has a bottleneck in the first 800 yards, so the plan was to go out fast and be in the top 30 places at the point where the trail narrows. “It all went according to plan,” the coach said.

The boys delivered an outstanding performance as well, taking third place in the Boys Eastern States Championship. Claremont scored 117 points, just behind second place Fayetteville-Manlius at 113 and the champion Bishop Hendricken with 92. Even though Claremont’s top finish was only 14th, senior AJ Reyes at 12:46, the boys crossed the line in a tight pack, which secured their spot on the podium.

The rest of the scoring positions were as follows: senior Jacob Moran 19th at 12:48; senior Ryan Cowgill 20th at 12:49; senior Vicente Huerta 31st at 12:56; and sophomore Jack Keough-Lansford 33rd at 12:57.

Even with the top 14 runners on the east coast, Claremont junior and freshman boys won the team champion titles and the senior girls were runner up at the Bell Gardens High School Invitational meet on Saturday. The race is organized differently from most, shedding the Varsity and JV teams and racing by grade level instead.

Next up for Claremont will be some much needed rest as they prepare for the Palomares League prelims and finals next month.

 

GIRLS GOLF

Claremont freshman Kelly Xu crushed the competition during the Palomares League Girls Golf Championships on Wednesday at Western Hills Country Club. Xu won the two-day, 36-hole tournament by 13 strokes and was the only golfer to shoot under par. Xu shot a 69 during the prelims on Tuesday and a 74 on Wednesday for a total score of 143.  

Senior Sally Wang finished 4th overall, earning a spot on the first team all league, while Freshman Madison Stout placed 15th overall, placing her on the second team all league. Amanda Gale and Mikala Purugganan also made the cut at the prelims, advancing to the final round.

Xu and Wang will represent the Wolfpack at next week’s CIF individual tournament that will also take place at Western Hills.

BOYS WATER POLO

Claremont got a huge boost in their quest to earn a league title with an away victory over Glendora, 8-5, last Thursday. The match was a must win for the Pack and it virtually guarantees that the boys will take second place.

On Tuesday Claremont got another step closer, with a fairly easy 16-8 win over Colony at home.

Alta Loma defeated Claremont in the first round, but the Pack won in the second. CHS still has an outside chance to share the league title by winning its remaining two games and Alta Loma losing one.

First the boys will have to get past Bonita at home, in a match played on Thursday, and Ayala on Tuesday. Look for results on the COURIER website.

Claremont is now 6-2 in league and 9-6 overall.

FOOTBALL

Claremont lost an away Palomares League game, 38-23, to Colony on Saturday in Ontario. The game was scheduled for Friday night but, like many other outdoor matches, it was cancelled because of electrical storms.

Senior Cole Weaver had seven completions from 19 attempts for 169 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Elijah Bennett had 16 carries for 173 yards. Sophomore Alex Sotolongo had three receptions for 132 yards and two touchdowns.

Junior Josh Kennedy had 13 tackles, seven solo, while seniors Josh Rivera and Moses Salcedo both had nine tackles.

Claremont, 3-0 in league 3-5 overall, has its homecoming game against Bonita at CHS Friday night.

—Steven Felschundneff

steven@claremont-courier.com