The first Rio Hondo League meet of the 2014 Cross Country season was held Thursday, September 25 at Lacy Park. Based on Titan times at the Phil Ryan and La Canada and South Pasadena times at the Woodbridge, pre-meet analysis indicated it would be an early season challenge.
The Titan Varsity Men stepped up and came away with a team winning score of 32, placing 5 runners in the top 10. John Judge led the team with a 16:41 (2nd), followed by Girish Balaji at 17:11 (5th) and Tomas Liu, who dropped another 6 seconds off his Lacy PR to come in 6th with a time of 17:12. Super Soph Eric Lew dropped 34 seconds off his PR to come in 9th with a time of 17:27, and Charlie Perry was close behind in 10th place with a 17:31 - an impressive 16 seconds off his previous PR. Justin Castleman’s 18:18 was over a minute faster than his time at the Ryan, and Cavanaugh Jue also improved with a 19:07. With less than a minute separating the top 5 scoring runners, the team time of 1:26:02 was down two minutes compared to the 1:28:09 result at the Phil Ryan just two weeks prior.
The Lady Titans, missing several runners to injury and illness, knew they had a challenge ahead of them going into the Varsity race. Senior Captain Sarah Linton battled throughout the race and came through in 2nd with a PR of 19:35, dropping 20 seconds off her previous best at Lacy. Carlin Koch’s 9th place time of 20:57 was a 16 second improvement over her Ryan Invitational time, and Angela Wang was close behind in 10th with a PR time of 20:57 (18 seconds better than her previous best). Rounding out the 5 scoring runners were Kelly McCrary and Sharmayne Siu, who came through together in a time of 22:41 for 18th and 19th place (almost 30 seconds better than their Ryan times). The Titan’s 3rd place team score of 56 points means they must win at League #2 and League Finals in order to repeat their 2013 Rio Hondo League championship.
Cara Roberts improved over 2 minutes from the Ryan and made a case for a Varsity spot, coming through with a time of 22:31 (5th) in the JV Girl’s race. In the Boy’s JV, Alex Lai was the top Titan with a time of 19:51 (11th). The Titans did not have enough scoring runners to have a team score in either JV race.
In the Boy’s Frosh-Soph race, PRs were in abundance -- Grant Holt’s 20:00 (8th) took almost a minute off his Ryan time, Kyle McCall’s 20:05 (10th) dropped his previous Lacy PR by over a minute, freshman Tom Moffat, 20:20 (16th) dropped 40 seconds off his previous PR, Ethan Deshaies continued to improve with a PR of 20:36 (20th), and Jonathan Chen dropped over a minute with a 20:41 PR. The Titans placed 3rd as a team with a score of 73.