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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW : Cerritos cross country teams dominate at ABC District Meet


By Loren Kopff
@LorenKopff on Twitter


For the first time since 2008, the Cerritos High cross country teams swept all its races in the annual ABC Unified School District Championships held at Knabe Park. The varsity teams easily won by at least 17 points while three other lower level races were won by seven, 10 and 30 points.

In the boys varsity race, the Dons claimed the top three runners, led by sophomore Cole Sawires Yager, who finished with a time of 16:34. Following him were seniors Mario Amaro (16:56) and Vraj Patel (17:17). After Gahr High sophomore Kishan Patel finished in fourth place at 17:20, Cerritos senior Fred Inada rounded out the top five with a time of 17:21.

Cerritos senior Jaineel Patel (17:48) finished in 10th place to give the Dons 21 team points. Gahr came in second with 38 points while Whitney High was third at 61 points. The top runner for Whitney was senior Justin Hogenauer, who crossed the line in 17:37. Artesia High had four runners compete and was not eligible for team points. The school’s top runner was senior Jesus Orbe, who came in 12th place with a time of 17:57.

On the girls side, Cerritos junior Jaide Lin (20:44) and senior Laura Sato (21:03) came in first and second respectively to help the Lady Dons pick up 28 team points. Three other Cerritos harriers came in the top 11-freshman Sofia Vasquez (21:37) in fourth place, senior Marie Chu (22:40) in 10th and junior Claire Lee (22:42) in 11th.

Whitney, which came in second place with 45 points, was led by senior Sunitha Vallinayagam, a third place finisher with a time of 21:22 and fifth place finisher, junior Christine Hamakawa (22:11). Gahr, with 49 points, had a pair of runners in the top 10-junior Aris Torres-Ortiz at sixth and sophomore Isra Malabeh in seventh, both at 22:22. Artesia did not have a runner in this race.

The Cerritos boys frosh/soph team defeated Gahr 24-34 with its top runner, freshman Michael Giordano coming in at 18:31 while Gahr freshman Andrew Romero was second at 18:34. Despite Gahr having the top two runners, followed by Whitney with the next two, the Cerritos boys junior varsity team still defeated the Wildcats 25-32.

Gahr juniors Oen Navarro and Noah Trigo had times of 19:00 and 19:41 respectively followed by Whitney junior Timothy Nguyen (19:45) and senior Austin Joseph (19:51). Cerritos junior Noah Opena came in fifth place at 19:59).

Finally, the Cerritos girls junior varsity team claimed 16 team points while Gahr had 46 and Whitney 75. The Lady Dons had the top four runners-juniors Isha Pema (22:51), Lauren Park (23:11), Patricia Gomez (23:36) and sophomore Emma Yang 24:13) while Gahr freshman Culberson (24:30) came in fifth place.


It’s rivalry night as Gahr will be the designated home team when it faces Cerritos at Hanford Rants Stadium tonight. Gahr was upset by Millikan High 23-16 last Friday while the Dons were stunned at home by Bolsa Grande High 21-9. The Gladiators have won 12 straight in the series, including last season’s 63-8 shellacking. In fact, the Dons have been held to single digits in 12 of the last 13 meetings, including their 6-0 win in 2004. Three seasons ago, Gahr barely escaped with a 24-20 victory.

Artesia defeated Magnolia High 40-21 last Friday in its season opener and travelled to Rosemead High on Sept. 7. The Pioneers will hoist Gahr a week from tonight. John Glenn High (1-1) fell to Peninsula High 33-12 and will host Bosco Tech High tonight while Norwalk High improved to 2-0 after blasting Long Beach Jordan High 42-15. The Lancers travel to Bell Gardens High tonight.