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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW Valley Christian boys cross country team ends season with a strong finish

By Loren Kopff

@LorenKopff on Twitter

One of the best, if not the best seasons, that the Valley Christian High boys cross country team has ever had ended with a very high placing in the California Interscholastic Federation State Championships last Saturday morning. The Crusaders finished in third place in Division V with 134 points, trailing fellow Southern Section members Desert Christian (Lancaster) High, which had 70 points, and Flintridge Prep High, which picked up 103 points.

The Crusaders combined time was 1:22.58, nearly two minutes behind the combined time of Desert Christian. Junior Ryan Vreeke finished in 12th place with a time of 16:07. That was also good enough for 172nd out of 990 runners amongst five divisions.

Senior Nathaniel Tamminga wasn’t far behind, finishing in 17th place with a time of 16:16. He would finish in 240th place overall. Four places later was junior Josh Rupprecht with a time of 16:23. Rounding out the rest of the V.C. harriers who scored points were junior Hayden Lee (17:02, 64th) and sophomore Mark Szekrenyi (17:08, 75th). Juniors Payton Kool (17:41) and Joseph Kamstra (18:10) completed the seven runners that made their way to Woodward Park in Fresno.

Team-wise, Valley Christian picked up 1,475 points, which were the 53rd most points out of the 117 teams on the boys side that participated in the state championships.

V.C. also had one girls runner as junior Marian Ledesma finished in 29th place with a time of 19:42. Out of 986 runners on the girls side, she placed 399th.

Norwalk High junior Misty Diaz finished in 22nd place in the Division III race with a time of 18:34 while her teammate, junior Ruby Galindo, finished in 59th place with a time of 19:09. There were 204 runners in the division. In addition, Diaz had the 102nd best time out of the 986 runners on the girls side while Galindo ranked 243rd.


The Gahr High team opened up the regular season before Thanksgiving and when the holiday weekend was over, had captured the consolation championship of the Pacific Shores Tournament, hosted by Redondo Union High. The Gladiators lost to the host school 66-59 on Nov. 21 before picking up victories against Harvard-Westlake High (64-57), Rancho Christian High (65-52) and Inglewood High (78-56) in succession, the final game being played last Saturday. The Gladiators will travel to Oak Park High tonight before taking a week off in preparation for their yearly home and home tussle with Cerritos High.

In other boys basketball action, Artesia High will be hosting its own tournament all next week. The Pioneers will face Santiago High on Tuesday and Westchester Charter High on Wednesday in pool play action.

John Glenn High will visit Compton Centennial on Wednesday while Norwalk High hosts Valley Christian High tonight before participating in the V.C. Tournament next week with pool play games against Samueli Academy and Bonita High early next week.


The top event next week will be the Glenn/Norwalk Tournament where Gahr High will face Mary Star of the Sea High and Whitney High will play La Serna High at Glenn on Wednesday while Norwalk will host Mark Keppel, also on Wednesday. Due to an overbooking error, Glenn will not participate in its co-hosted event.

Also next week, Cerritos will participate in the Ocean View Tournament and V.C. will visit Lakewood High on Wednesday.