Immaculate Heart’s Varsity Cross Country Team crushed its challengers at recent league finals to capture the Sunshine League Championship for the third straight year. Its top runners have since capped that achievement by qualifying for CIF-SS Finals next weekend.

“I am extremely proud of our cross country team,” said Maureen Rodriguez, Immaculate Heart athletic director. “The team’s hard work, dedication and passion for running are amazing. Hats off to the runners and to Coach Florence Eedi on a great season.”

Immaculate Heart’s varsity team went into league finals at Crescenta Valley Park with a 6-2 record. Among 33 varsity runners from five different schools, Immaculate Heart’s team earned the winning score — thanks to sophomore Amber Creasey, junior Katie Hughes, sophomore Lily Kachikis, senior Danielle del Rosario and freshman Lola Salinas, who finished third, fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth at the event, respectively.

All five of Immaculate Heart’s top varsity runners were named to the Sunshine League’s First Team All-League. They advanced, along with junior Carolyn Najera and sophomore Catherine Gibson,  to the CIF Division 4 prelims Nov. 14 in Riverside. There, the team finished eighth out of 22 teams, and Amber Creasey placed ninth out of 156 runners. These results ensured a berth for the team at the CIF-SS Finals Nov. 21 in Walnut, California.

The Immaculate Heart Junior Varsity Cross Country Team garnered a strong second place finish in the league. Showing their fleet feet at league finals were sophomore Mary Spearman, seniors Si Yeon Lee, Olivia Ramirez and Sarah Garsten, and junior Dominique Hernandez.

Throughout the season, runners earned numerous awards and medals at tournaments. Team members also shined at the Stanford Invitational, one of the largest meets in the nation, by placing 12th out of 32 teams in their Division 3 race.