With a dominant performance, Cathedral High School won the state Division IV boys’ cross country team championship Nov. 25, and J.Serra’s Anthony Grover won the individual D-4 title.
In earning their first-ever state title, the Phantoms posted a combined time of 1:21:57 at Woodward Park in Fresno, nearly a minute ahead of the runner-up, with five runners in the top 50: senior Alexander Cantu (sixth), sophomore Tyriq Granillo (11th), juniors Alberto Lopez (22nd) and David Salazar (29th), and sophomore Andrew Cantu (50th).
Two other local Catholic schools finished in the Division IV top 10: J.Serra (eighth) and Bishop Amat (tenth). Grover, a J.Serra sophomore, posted a winning individual time of 15:31.5 over the three-mile course, eight seconds better than his nearest competitor. His J.Serra teammate, junior Peter Herold, finished fourth.
Grover is the first runner from a local (L.A. Archdiocese or Orange Diocese) Catholic high school to win an individual state title since La Salle’s Daniel De La Torre won the D-4 crown in 2012.
In girls’ team competition, Mayfield finished fourth in Division IV, the best girls’ team finish by a local Catholic school, with Bishop Amat sixth and J.Serra ninth. Mayfield freshman Audrey Suarez placed third individually, and her teammate, junior McKenna Smith, was fifth, followed by J.Serra junior Nadia Tabrizi (sixth), Bishop Amat sophomore Morgan Rust (20th), and Bishop Amat junior Olivia Paez (24th).
It was the fourth straight strong finish in the state D-4 event for Bishop Amat, which was second in 2014 and 2016, and first in 2015. J.Serra previously won three straight D-4 titles (2010-12) after finishing second in 2009.
Pomona Catholic was 13th in the girls’ Division V race, led by sophomore Lilianna Garcia (48th individually). The boys’ Division V event saw junior Joseph Domingues of St. Joseph (Santa Maria) finish seventh.
Loyola finished fourth among Division I boys teams, led by seniors David McAndrews (28th), Joshua Ma (29th) and Liam Jamieson (30th). The Cubs were second in last year’s Division 2 race, having won the D-2 title in 2015; Loyola leads all local Catholic schools with six state championship in boys’ cross country.
Among Division III boys’ teams, St. John Bosco was ninth, led by senior Diego De La Torre (35th). The Braves have won three state titles, most recently in 2012.