By Nathan Cambridge
The cross-country season in the Rio Hondo League came to a head with the league finals for boys and girls taking place at Lacy Park in San Marino on Nov. 2.
In a runaway effort, the South Pasadena boys’ team came out on top with 22 points, outdistancing second-place La Cañada’s 59 to win the Rio Hondo League title.
“The boys dominated,” South Pasadena coach Mike Parkinson said. “It was a stellar performance.”
In a close race for the girls, the LCHS Spartans just edged out the Tigers 30-32.
“We knew South Pasadena has the strongest team on the girls’ side that they have probably ever had, and we knew it was going to be a shootout,” La Cañada girls coach Pete Magil said.
The Rio Hondo League individual championship in the boys’ race went to South Pasadena senior Keeran Murray in a time of 15 minutes, 49 seconds.
“I’m coming off a few injuries over the last month and a half, two months, so it’s good to be back racing with the team,” Murray said. “It was a hard one, but really glad to get the win.”
The Rio Hondo individual championship for the girls in the 3-mile run came down to the wire as Tigers junior Abigail Errington and Spartans junior Maya DeBrouwer battled to the tape. It was Errington who crossed the line first, taking the title in a time of 17:58.
“I really wanted to come away with the win, so, despite all the lactic, somehow I was able to keep up and push and run,” Errington said. “It definitely hurt a lot, [but] the only thing on my mind was going fast because it mattered so much to cross the finish line first.”
In total, all five of the Tiger runners who finished for score came in the top eight, with a total time of 1:21:36. Just six seconds behind Murray was Tiger freshman Michael Scarince, finishing second in 15:55.
“I was trying to go under 16 and I did it,” Scarince, who finished behind Murray for the first time this season, said. “It was pretty tough, but I had Keeran Murray to help me do that.”
South Pasadena junior Noah Aldana took fourth in 16:33. Tigers juniors Ethan Kung and Kallean Beebe Read took seventh and eighth in 16:39 and 16:40, respectively. The Tigers’ other two runners also finished in the medals, given to 14th place and up, with sophomore Kai Tilley and junior Adam Ruiz taking 10th (16:41) and 12th (16:46).
La Cañada’s second-place total time was 1:24:51.
“We knew first place was a little out of reach this year, so I told them this is the race we are going to use to make sure that we are ready for CIF next weekend, and we can give it our best to make it to CIF finals,” La Cañada boys’ coach Andy Rodemich said.
Monrovia finished in third and will join La Cañada and South Pasadena in advancing to the CIF Southern Section Cross Country Championships at Mt. San Antonio College starting Nov. 10. The finals begin Nov. 18.
The South Pasadena boys’ team will compete as the fifth-ranked team in the Division IV pool.
For the Tigers girls’ team, all five runners that counted for score came in the top 11 for a total time of 1:36:26. In addition to Errington’s victory, junior Saidbh Byrne finished a strong third at 18:35. Tigers junior Sofia Humphrey and sophomore Rose Vandevelde took eighth and ninth, respectively, in 19:26 and 20:04. South Pasadena junior Chloe Koo took 11th. Additionally, Tiger Alice Rowley was the top finisher among all freshmen, taking 13th in a time of 20:59.
“[La Cañada] has gotten us about nine of the last 10 years in this meet, but we’re close,” Parkinson said.
The Spartans and Tigers girls’ teams are two of the top-ranked teams in the CIF Southern Section Division IV polls, with La Cañada ranked fourth overall just ahead of South Pasadena at fifth.
Monrovia finished in third and will advance as a team to the CIF competition, joining the Tigers and Spartans. Meanwhile, San Marino finished in fifth with a score of 121 behind Temple City in fourth.
First published in the November 10 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.