With two of the region’s top runners leading the way (literally), Mayfield Senior School is poised for another strong girls’ cross country season in 2018.

Freshman Audrey Suarez and junior McKenna Smith finished second and fourth in the 2017 CIF-Southern Section Division 4 individual championships, and third and fifth at the state Division IV championships in Fresno. As a team, Mayfield was second in CIF and fourth in state, the best finishes by any local Catholic school in 2017 championship competition.

Suarez and Smith (now sophomore and senior) also finished one-two in the 2017 Prep League championships. Suarez was among the fastest freshmen in the U.S. in both cross country and track last year in the mid- to long-distance races, placing fifth in the 1600 meter run at last June’s state championships in Clovis,and second at CIF (D-4) in both the 800 and 1600.

Other returning individual standouts for the 2018 season that begins late this month include J.Serra senior Nadia Tabrizi, sixth in state and seventh in CIF; Bishop Amat junior Morgan Rust, 20th in state and 11th in CIF; and her senior teammate Olivia Paez, 24th in state and tenth in CIF.

Bishop Amat and J.Serra were fourth and sixth at the state D-IV championships, repeating their CIF championship meet placements and continuing both schools’ tradition of strong cross country performances. Bishop Amat was second in 2014 and 2016, and first in 2015, while J.Serra won three straight D-4 titles (2010-12) after finishing second in 2009.

Pomona Catholic was 13th in the state Division V race, led by sophomore (now junior) Lilianna Garcia, and fifth in the CIF D-5 team event. Incoming junior Carissa Guardado of Providence/Burbank was 19th as a sophomore in the CIF D-5 event.

Divisional placements

Once again, the bulk of Catholic schools in Los Angeles Archdiocese and Orange Diocese will compete in Division 4 and 5 in 2018 girls’ cross country. Both State and Sectional groupings for cross country are determined by enrollment based on 2017-18; alternate placements are possible, depending on enrollments for 2018-19 as of Oct. 1.

The 2018 divisional groupings are as follows:

  • Division 1 (2017-18 enrollment 5652-2491): No Catholic schools.
  • Division 2 (enrollment 2490-2091): Mater Dei. 
  • Division 3 (enrollment 2090-1530): Santa Margarita.
  • Division 4 (enrollment 1529-601): Alemany, Bishop Amat, Bishop Montgomery, Chaminade, Flintridge Sacred Heart, Immaculate Heart, J.Serra, La Salle, Louisville, Marymount, Mayfield, Notre Dame Academy, Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks, Paraclete, Rosary Academy, St. Joseph/Lakewood, St. Lucy’s Priory, St. Paul.
  • Division 5 (enrollment 600 or lower): Alverno Heights Academy, Bishop Conaty-Loretto, Bishop Diego, Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary, Cornelia Connelly, Holy Family, La Reina, Mary Star of the Sea, Padre Pio, Pomona Catholic, Providence/Burbank, Ramona Convent, Sacred Heart/Los Angeles, San Gabriel Mission, Santa Clara, Serra/Gardena, St. Anthony, St. Bernard, St. Bonaventure, St. Genevieve, St. Mary’s Academy, St. Monica Academy/Montrose, St. Monica/Santa Monica, St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy, Villanova Prep.

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