The Rio Hondo Cross Country Finals were held at Lacy Park on a perfect November 2 afternoon. The Varsity squads were competing to advance to CIF competition, and all individual athletes were running for individual honors and personal bests. The Lady Titan varsity team qualified for CIF-D4 Prelims by again taking third place in 2017 league competition (77 points, to La Canada’s winning 21 points, and South Pas’ second place 64 points), lead by junior standout Olivia Ruiz who took 3rd place individually in an impressive 18:27. Sophomore Puja Balaji also took Rio Hondo first team honors by placing 7th in a time of 19:12. Meg Hannan (21st, 21:17), Karen Lee (22nd, 21:19) and Lily Tong (24th, 21:22) were the remaining Titan scorers. With no seniors and two freshman in the top 5, the ladies will have an opportunity to challenge South Pas for second next season. In the JV Girls race, the Titans placed 4th with 93 points. The first Titan finisher was freshman Bella Escobar who ran a 22:36 to finish 12th.
The Varsity Boys did not qualify for CIF, placing 5th in team competition (139 points) with no runners in the top 20. Sean Chen (23rd, 17:48) and Tom Moffat (24th, 17:52) were the first Titan guys to cross the finish line. In JV Boys competition, the Titans placed 4th as a team with 91 points. The top finishers were senior Grant Holt (12th, 19:02) and junior Auberon Lai (11th, 19:08). The Frosh-Soph Boys race offered a look to the Titan future -- with freshman Jonathan Karkafi having the fastest Titan guy time overall (17:43) to place 2nd, and sophomore Kai Barra having the fourth fastest Titan guy time on the day (18:06) to place 7th. The Frosh-Soph team placed 4th with 85 points.