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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW: Norwalk’s Diaz, Valley Christian’s Ledezma, boys team move on to state championships

By Loren Kopff
@LorenKopff on Twitter

There is one final cross country race for the majority of the Valley Christian High boys team as well as V.C. senior Marian Ledezma and Norwalk High senior Misty Diaz. The combined nine runners will look to end their high school careers on a high note at the California Interscholastic Federation State Cross Country Championships, Saturday, at Woodward Park in Fresno.

The Crusaders finished in second place last Saturday at the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 finals, picking up 117 points, but had a pair of top 10 finishers. Senior Ryan Vreeke came in fourth place with a time of 15:30 while eighth place was claimed by senior Josh Rupprecht at 15:33. Vreeke became the first runner in school history to advance to the state finals all four years.

Almost a minute later was senior Payton Kooi (26th place, 16:26) and senior Hayden Lee (28th, 16:30). Rounding out the top five V.C. harriers was junior Mark Szekrenyi at 17:08. Senior Joseph Kamstra and freshman Isaac Rubio also crossed the finish line with times of 17:11 and 17:58 respectively. The boys race will begin at 9:35 a.m. with the awards ceremony at 10:20 a.m.

The V.C. girls came in 14th place but Ledezma’s time of 18:15 was good enough for seventh place and a trip to the state finals. Sophomores Kathryn Tamminga (20:18) and Cami Erickson (21:08) and seniors Molly Oeh (22:00) and Keely Long (23:09) rounded out the top five. Sophomore Arianna Otero (23:40) and Sierra MacDonald (24:08) completed the team at the divisional finals. Ledezma will race at 8:30 a.m. with the awards ceremony at 10:00 a.m.

In Division 2 action, Norwalk came in 16th place, but Diaz is headed to the state finals once again. She finished in seventh place with a time of 17:24. A little over a minute later was her tag team partner for most of the past four years, senior Ruby Galindo. She crossed the line at 18:32. A trio of Lady Lancers all finished within 16 seconds of each other-junior Viviana Rios (20:24), senior Bianca Barcelo (20:36) and freshman Andrea Gonzalez (20:40). Rounding out the team were juniors Elizabeth Gallardo and Elizabeth Romo at 21:32 and 21:54 respectively. Diaz will run at 10:35 a.m. with the awards ceremony at 11:20 a.m.


Boys basketball kicked off the season past Monday with Artesia High facing Hoover High in the first round of the El Monte Tournament and Gahr High squaring off with Oak Park High in the first round of the Pacific Shores Tournament. Those two tournaments run through Saturday.

The Artesia girls squad hosted Anaheim High this past Tuesday while the Cerritos High girls team begins action in the Downey Tournament today. Also, the V.C. Lady Crusaders visit JSerra High Saturday night.

In boys soccer action, Norwalk visited Chino High this past Monday and Whittier High this past Wednesday while Whitney High travelled to Whittier Christian High this past Tuesday while the Norwalk girls soccer team hosted Whittier this past Wednesday.