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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW: Valley Christian cross country makes it three for three this season in Olympic League meets

March 11, 2021

By Loren Kopff

@LorenKopff on Twitter


The Valley Christian High boys and girls cross country teams participated in three Olympic League cluster meets in a span of one month and not much changed after each race. Both teams came out on top to become league champions this past Saturday with the top five runners claiming the same positions.

The girls picked up 36 team points and had four runners finish within the top nine. Maranatha High had 46 points while Village Christian High was third with 68 points and Heritage Christian High fourth with 72 points.

“The meet was a big success and from my point of view, everyone seemed to have a great time and enjoyed themselves,” said V.C. first-year head coach Craig Henry. “I just thank God that we made it out of this 2020/2021 season relatively unscathed. We survived Covid, the takeover of the capital, the fires, riots, demonstrations, stay at home orders and home schooling.”

Sophomore Wesli Oeh was the fourth runner to cross the finish line with a time of 22:00, a season best. But for scoring purposes, she locked down the second spot officially. Village Christian’s Sophia Harvey was first and the next two runners came from Whittier Christian High, which did not field enough runners to have a complete team.

Right after Oeh came junior Sophia Moreno at 22:02, also a season best. Freshman Juliet Chang was officially eighth with a time of 24:17 and ten seconds later came junior Meg Pheifer. Both of those times were also season highs. Sophomore Katherine Padilla officially claimed the 14th spot at 25:57 followed by Julianna Nguyen (15th, 26:12) and senior Angie Prieto (23rd, 27:48).

The Valley Christian boys had another strong performance with all seven runners finishing within the top 12 positions. The Defenders had 30 points, followed by Heritage Christian (41), Village Christian (89), Maranatha (90) and Whittier Christian (134).

Junior Daniel Koops came in second place with a time of 16:27 while in fourth place was sophomore Matthew Kubler at 17:25 and junior Caleb Wojciechowski (fifth, 17:45). The next four Defenders, all seniors, to cross the finish line would lock down the ninth-12th positions. Isaac Rubio had a time of 18:09 followed by Pedro Ventura (18:18), Thomas Fujimoto (18:58) and Stephen Chang (19:12).

In other cross country action, the 605 League will have the first of its three races this month on Saturday morning on the Cerritos High campus. It will be considered a time trial and all six schools will run separately in staggered times of 50 minute increments. Artesia High will begin at 8:00, followed by Cerritos at 8:50, John Glenn High at 9:40, Oxford Academy at 10:30, Pioneer High at 11:20 and Whitney High at 12:10 p.m.

The latest case rate numbers were released this past Tuesday and the numbers continue to drop for the eight counties that are home to a CIF-Southern Section school. Los Angeles County leads the way at 5.2 per 100,000 people. For high schools to return to play, the adjusted case rate needed to be at 14 or fewer cases per 100,000. San Luis Obispo County was at 5.7, followed by Orange County (6.0) and San Bernardino County (6.7). Because those counties are below seven cases per 100,000 people, weekly testing for football and boys and girls water polo is not required under the California Department of Public Health guidelines.

The Norwalk High football team is scheduled to have a scrimmage at Dominguez High on Saturday afternoon while its girls soccer will kick off the new season against Bell Gardens High on Mar. 19 at Excelsior Stadium.

The Valley Christian boys soccer team is scheduled to face Orange Lutheran High today, Mayfair High on Wednesday and Gahr High on Thursday. The V.C. girls tennis team is scheduled to take on Whitney on Monday while the V.C. girls soccer team is scheduled to host Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa High on Tuesday while the baseball team is scheduled to host Bishop Montgomery High on Tuesday.