The 2014 cross country season is just a week away. It opens with the early season grass classic - The Phil Ryan Invitational, a week from this Thursday at Lacy Park. The event will consist of four races around the 3-mile course with the first gun at 3:30 in the afternoon. The frosh-soph girls kick it off, followed by the frosh-soph boys thirty minutes later. The junior & senior girls take off at 4:30 and the day ends with the junior & senior men at 5pm. Stick around for team awards at 5:30.
Aside from our Titans, there will be 8 other schools competing: Garfield, Antelope Valley, Flintridge Prep (girls team), Bishop Amat, Mark Keppel, San Gabriel, Blair and San Dimas. Garfield visits from the LA Section so we have not seen them at CIF. Antelope Valley and Flintridge Prep are Division 5 schools with Flintridge being the defending D5 champ. They easily won that division with a 1:37 team performance, going 4-5-9-10. Those 4 all figure to return this year along with sophs in the #5 and #6 positions.
But, those Flintridge girls will have their work cut out for them against the ladies from Bishop Amat. The Bishop team is loaded and young. They placed fourth in D3 last year with a 1:34 team time and went 5-12-29-52-59 with mostly frosh and sophs. Their guys aren’t bad, either. They took 14th at Finals in D3 last year and they lost only their #3 man to graduation. They get a break this year as they move down to D4 - to the consternation of the other D4 schools. A tough break for us.
We also get a couple of D2 schools with Mark Keppel (Alhambra) and San Gabriel High. Keppel made Prelims last year and turned in a 1:34 team time at SAC.
Rounding out the field we have D5 Blair, a fellow Rio Hondo League team. And, San Dimas, a D4 team who also lucked out by moving from D3 this year. They made Prelims in D3 last year and ran a 1:33 team time.
It is a very early season meet and no one will be taking the race seriously. These young teams may not even move their underclassmen up to the Jr/Sr race. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see how each team handles the grass and the heat (presumably). And, we will have race VIDEO!