Two defending state champions will lead the pack of Catholic high school cross country runners into the 2019 season that begins in late August.
Senior Anthony Grover of J.Serra in San Juan Capistrano and junior Audrey Suarez of Mayfield in Pasadena each captured state Division IV titles last November (the second, in fact, for Grover). Each then recorded top-five 1600-meter finishes at the state track and field championships in June, positioning themselves for a strong 2019-2020 season.
Additionally, the J.Serra boys’ and Mayfield girls’ cross country squads finished in the top 10 in the final regular season rankings, CIF-Southern Section championships and state championships. The Lions (with now-graduated Peter Herold placing second at CIF) were second in the rankings and in CIF and sixth in the state, while the Cubs finished eighth in the polls, fifth at CIF, and seventh in the state.
But they weren’t alone among Catholic schools in excelling last year:
In boys’ competition, Loyola was fourth in state and second at CIF in Division 2. Cathedral was fifth at CIF and 11th in state, and Phantom junior (now senior) Tyriq Granillo was sixth at CIF. Servite was eighth in D-3 team scoring at CIF, and Providence (Burbank) senior Nick Montijo was eighth in the D-5 individual race.
The girls’ season showed as much if not more excellence, especially in D-4 where Bishop Amat senior OIivia Perez was seventh, Chaminade freshman (now sophomore) Maddie Gutshall eighth, and Flintridge Sacred Heart junior (now senior) Lauren Nettels 10th at the CIF meet. In team scoring, J.Serra was seventh at CIF and 10th in the state in D-4; Santa Margarita placed fifth at CIF in D-3; and La Reina was ninth at CIF in D-5.
The 2019 cross country season meets are scheduled from Aug. 29 to Nov. 9. The CIF-SS prelims are Nov. 15 and 16, followed by the CIF-SS finals on Nov. 23 at Riverside Cross Country Course, and the State finals on Nov. 30 at Woodward Park in Fresno.
CIF-SS cross country divisional groupings are determined by enrollment. The 2019 boys’ divisions are as follows:
- D-2: Loyola, Mater Dei.
- D-3: Damien, Santa Margarita, St. John Bosco, Servite.
- D-4: Alemany, Bishop Amat, Bishop Montgomery, Cathedral, Chaminade, Crespi, Don Bosco Tech, J.Serra, La Salle, Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks, Paraclete, St. Francis, Verbum Dei.
- D-5: Bishop Diego, Cantwell Sacred Heart, Mary Star of the Sea, Pomona Catholic, Providence/Burbank, St. Anthony, St. Bernard, St. Bonaventure, St. Genevieve, St. Michael’s Prep, St. Monica Academy, St. Monica/Santa Monica, St. Paul, St. Pius X-St. Matthias, Santa Clara, Villanova Prep.
The 2019 girls’ divisions:
- D-2: Mater Dei.
- D-3: Santa Margarita.
- D-4: Alemany, Bishop Amat, Bishop Conaty-Loreto, Bishop Montgomery, Chaminade, Flintridge Sacred Heart, Immaculate Heart, J.Serra, La Salle, Louisville, Marymount, Mayfield, Notre Dame Academy, Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks, Paraclete, Rosary, St. Joseph/Lakewood, St. Lucy’s.
- D-5: Alverno, Bishop Diego, Cantwell Sacred Heart, Cornelia Connelly, Holy Family, La Reina, Mary Star of the Sea, Pomona Catholic, Providence/Burbank, Ramona Convent, Sacred Heart, St. Anthony, St. Bernard, St. Bonaventure, St. Genevieve, St. Mary’s Academy, St. Monica Academy, St. Monica/Santa Monica, St. Paul, St. Pius X-St. Matthias, San Gabriel Mission, Santa Clara, Villanova Prep.
Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News).
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