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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW – Cerritos girls, Whitney boys take first 605 League cross country meet

September 15, 2022

By Loren Kopff • @LorenKopff on Twitter

The first 605 League cross country cluster meet wasn’t like past league races, but there were still enough runners to have a top three in team scoring for the boys and girls. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a fourth place team for either side.

The Cerritos High girls, predominantly dominant in the sport, had six runners and racked up 22 points to defeat Whitney High by 16 points this past Wednesday on the three-mile flat course at Artesia High. Oxford Academy, also with six runners, was third with 66 points while John Glenn High only had junior Melanie Hernandez, who finished in 14th place with a time of 23:15.

Cerritos junior Tatianna Chavez was the overall winner with a time of 19:38 while Whitney senior Dalia Luckhardt came in second at 19:51. The next two spots went to Cerritos sophomore Anna Field (20:48) and Cerritos senior Sydney Romero (20:55) while Whitney senior Ella Centeno (21:24) rounded out the top five. Coming in sixth place was Cerritos sophomore Zillian Liu (22:09) and in just her second race, Cerritos freshman Laureir Crook came in eighth place with a time of 22:27 to give the Dons their 22 points.

According to Cerritos head coach Jason Watanabe, the Dons were missing three varsity runners due to injuries and illness, and their top four junior varsity harriers and believes his teams should be much stronger for the second cluster meet, which will be Sept. 28.

“The course itself was nice, although the grass was a little bit of a challenge,” he said. “It actually flowed really well and would be a nice course to run in the future.”

The Whitney boys, led by senior Yash Zumale who came in second place with a time of 17:08 and sophomore Ethan Choi, a fifth place finisher at 17:20, had enough to edge rival Oxford Academy 36-40. Cerritos finished in third place with 47 points as there were 27 runners for the boys.

Cerritos and Whitney alternated runners from sixth place to 10th place-junior Mattson Laraneta (17:26), senior Colin Choi (17:35), juniors Elliot Kim (17:39), Arjun Harikrishnan (17:40) and Ben Giordano (17:56). Glenn had two runners in the race-senior Javier Reynoso, who came in 11th place at 17:59, and senior Diego Lopez (20:56).

“Whitney is a young team, has progressed nicely and will definitely have the edge moving into league finals,” said Watanabe. “However, in order to win in dual meet scoring (cluster #2) it will need to break up Oxford’s top three.”


Valley Christian High (1-3) @ Artesia High (0-2-1)-See Artesia game story vs. Marquez.

Prediction: V.C. 28, Artesia 21.

Troy High (3-1) vs. Cerritos (1-3) @ Artesia-This game was played on Sept. 15 and was Cerritos’ homecoming game. The Dons picked up their first win of the season, knocking off Ocean View High 21-12 last Friday night on the road. Senior quarterback Dylan Burton attempted four passes but completed three of them for 33 yards. He also scored one touchdown while junior running back Josh Park accounted for the other two scores as he led Cerritos with 105 yards on 19 carries. It was the third game in which Cerritos scored 21 points.

The Warriors had won three straight to begin the season before falling to Foothill High 20-15 last Friday. However, in its three wins, Troy combined to score 127 points. Quarterback Ryan Maturo has thrown for 442 yards and seven touchdowns but has also been picked off four times. The Warriors love to run the ball, having gained 973 yards and are led by Fischer Huss (67 carries, 570 yards, five touchdowns).

Prediction: Troy 38, Cerritos 14.

Santa Ana Valley High (3-1) @ Gahr High (0-3)-This game was played on Sept. 15. Last time out, the Gladiators had their best defensive game of the season, holding Garden Grove High and its vaunted rushing attack to 21 points and 145 points. But Gahr was shutout for the first time this season and has yielded 87 points. It won’t get easier as the Falcons, who blanked Godinez Fundamental 35-0 last Friday, come in on a two-game winning streak and have scored 94 points in four games. However, Santa Ana Valley has given up 81 points and Gahr’s defense has slowly been improving since the first game.

Prediction: Santa Ana Valley 35, Gahr 7.

John Glenn (2-2) @ Norwalk High (4-0)-There have been many mismatches in this longstanding city rivalry in which the teams compete for the Mayor’s Cup and this one has the makings of getting out of hand before the first quarter is over. Glenn lost to Bellflower High 60-6 last Thursday, setting a season low in points scored and a season high in points allowed. This past Monday, Glenn found out that its 32-13 loss to Long Beach Cabrillo High on Sept. 2 was ruled a forfeit as the Jaguars used an ineligible player. The Eagles have given up 134 points and it won’t get easier as for the second straight week, they face a team that runs the double wing offense.

Norwalk blasted South East High 48-0 last Friday for its first shoutout of the season and has put up 207 points while getting better defensively each week, surrendering 33 points, then 28 and finally six points before the shutout. How lopsided has this rivalry been? The Lancers, who crushed Glenn 51-7 last season, lead the series 38-17 and have scored over 50 points against their city rivals seven times out of the last 11 meetings.

Prediction: Norwalk 56, Glenn 7.

La Mirada High (1-3) @ Sunny Hills High (1-2)-The final non-league game for the Matadores comes on the heels of a 35-0 loss to the nation’s number two team, Mater Dei High, last Friday. All the points were scored in the first half, but La Mirada was limited to 70 yards while the Monarchs rushed for 193 yards on 27 carries. Sunny Hills blanked Brea Olinda High 16-0 last Friday after scoring a total of 10 points in its two losses. A win by the Matadores would go a long way entering their bye week and will give them that extra momentum heading into their Gateway League opener on Sept. 30 against Dominguez High.

Prediction: La Mirada 35, Sunny Hills 14.

Last week: 5-1-1

Season to date: 16-7-1