The California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section high school cross-country championships have been held since 1925, primarily at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut. Boys’ and girls’ competitions are broken into multiple divisions, the structure of which has grown and changed down through the years as more schools have participated.

The first local Catholic high school to earn a “top two” berth in boys’ team competition was Pater Noster in Glendale (now closed), which placed second in the Small Schools division in 1962. A year later, Crespi Carmelite of Encino finished second in team competition, while Rich Martinez of Cantwell in Montebello (now Cantwell-Sacred Heart) became the first individual CIF champion from a Catholic school, running 9:59.5 over the two-mile course at Long Beach State.

The first Catholic school to win a team championship was St. Bernard of Playa del Rey, co-champions of Division 1-A (with Rio Mesa of Oxnard) in 1968. St. Bernard was runner-up in 1969, and won titles in 1970 and 1971. From that point on, Catholic schools have been well represented among the top finishers in boys’ competition, with Loyola and Salesian each earning five team championships.

And, in girls’ competition, too, soon after the first girls’ championships were held in 1976. In 1978, Chaminade’s Vicki Cook ran the two-mile Mt. SAC course in 12:12.2 to earn the first of three individual titles on three different courses for two different schools. Cook transferred to Bishop Alemany and won in 1979 (at Lake Castaic) and 1980 (at Saddleback College), the year Sacred Heart’s Lori Lopez won the 1-A championship.

As a team, Alemany placed second in 1979 and 1980 in 2-A competition, while Bishop Amat also was second in 1979’s 3-A event. Paraclete of Lancaster became the first Catholic school to win a CIF-SS girls’ cross country team title in 1980 (1-A), and Sacred Heart captured the 1-A title in 1981 as Lopez won a second straight individual title.

More recently, J.Serra won four straight titles (2010-13), with runner-up finishes in 2009 and 2014, to establish itself as a formidable presence in girls’ cross country. (Note: This article was prepared prior to the 2017 CIF-SS Championships held Nov. 11.)


Boys Team Champions (by school):

Loyola (5), 1984 (2A), 1985 (2A), 2002 (I), 2004 (II), 2007 (II).

Salesian (5), 1972 (1A), 1975 (3A), 1979 (2A), 2011 (4), 2012 (4).

St. Bernard (3), 1968 (1A), 1970, (1A), 1971 (1A).

Bishop Amat (2), 1973 (2A), 2014 (4).

Don Bosco (2), 1997 (III), 1998 (III).

La Salle (2), 1979 (1A), 1981 (1A).

St. John Bosco (2), 2003 (II), 2006 (II).

Alemany (1), 1978 (1A).

Mater Dei (1), 1981 (3A).

St. Anthony (1), 1989 (1A).

Santa Margarita (1), 1993 (IIIAA).

Santa Clara (1), 2000 (V).


Boys Individual Champions:

1963: Rich Martinez, Cantwell (SS).

1966: Paul Peterson, Pius X (SS).

1967: Fred Ritcherson, Salesian (1A).

1968: Fred Ritcherson, Salesian (2A).

1969: Chris Hoffman, St. Bernard (1A).

1970: Chris Hoffman, St. Bernard (1A).

1971: Tom Razetto, St. Bernard (1A).

1974: Guy McCloskey, Loyola (3A); Sean Green, La Salle (1A).

1975: Brian Russell, Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks (3A); Joe Baker, Cantwell (1A).

1978: Mark Ruelas, La Salle (1A).

1983: J.P. Hall, La Salle (1A).

1985: John Trafecanty, Cathedral (1A).

1986: John Trafecanty, Cathedral (1A).

1989: Oscar Perez, Pater Noster (1A).

1992: Geoff Wullschlager, La Salle (IV-A).

1994: Michael Murray, Santa Margarita (III-AA).

1995: Matt Wickersham, Mater Dei (I-A); Michael Murray, Santa Margarita (II-A).

1998: Armando Solis, Don Bosco Tech (III).

2000: Steven Murray, Santa Margarita (III).

2002: Mike Powers, Santa Margarita (III).

2003: Mark Matusak, Loyola (II); Tony Arredondo, Santa Clara (V).

2004: Mark Matusak, Loyola (II); Nick Mosey, Servite (III).

2008: Elias Gedyon, Loyola (II).

2009: Elias Gedyon, Loyola (2).

2010: Elias Gedyon, Loyola (2); Will Conway, Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks (4).

2011: Danny Martinez, St. John Bosco (3); Daniel De La Torre, La Salle (4).

2012: Myles Smith, St. John Bosco (3); Daniel De La Torre, La Salle (4).

2015: Andrew Burkhardt, JSerra (4).


Girls Team Champions (by school)

J.Serra (4), 2010 (4), 2011 (4), 2012 (4), 2013 (4).

Bishop Amat (3), 1992 (II-A), 1994 (II-A), 2014 (4).

Santa Margarita (2), 1995 (II-A), 2003 (III).

La Reina (1), 2008 (IV).

Louisville (1), 1995 (IV-AA).

Mayfield (1), 2015 (4).

Paraclete (1), 1980 (1-A).

Sacred Heart (1), 1981 (1A).

St. Joseph/Lakewood (1), 2002 (III).


Girls Individual Champions:

1978: Vicki Cook, Chaminade (2A).

1979: Vicki Cook, Alemany (2A).

1980: Vicki Cook, Alemany (2A); Lori Lopez, Sacred Heart (1A).

1981: Tanya Fischer, Chaminade (2A); Lori Lopez, Sacred Heart (1A).

1982: Tanya Fischer Chaminade (2A); Lisa Garnett, Marymount (1A).

1983: Patty Almendariz, St. Monica (1A).

1985: Wendy Logsdon, St. Monica (1A).

1993: Annie Ebiner, St. Lucy’s (III-AA).

1994: Shaluinn Fullove, Louisville (IV-AA).

1995: Annie Ebiner, St. Lucy’s (II-A); Shaluinn Fullove, Louisville (IV-AA).

2003: Lauren Magdaleno, St. Paul (IV).

2007: Melissa Bauer, Paraclete (IV).

2008: Sabrina Lopez, Sacred Heart (IV).

2012: Danielle Shanahan, Bishop Montgomery (4); Ashley Flores, Sacred Heart (5).

2014: Emily Serhan, Mayfield (5).