Cabrillo Compton Cross Country Jordan Lakewood Long Beach Poly Millikan St. Anthony Wilson

Long Beach Boys’ Cross Country Preview

The Long Beach Poly boys’ cross country team is currently on the longest league championship streak in Moore League history, having won the last dozen league titles and 22 of the last 23. The Jackrabbits made it to State the last two years and swept the top seven spots at the league finals last year, but that doesn’t mean that head coach Mike Fillipow is strutting confidently into the season.

“It’s definitely more competitive this year, other schools have reloaded really well, and we are not as deep this year,” said Fillipow.

Poly graduated five of its top seven runners from last year, including league champion Will Frankenfeld. Fillipow expects Wilson and Millikan to be nipping at his team’s heels this season, but is also pleased with his team’s progress early in the year.

Poly is led by Ronan McMahon-Staggs, a senior who’s got scholarship offers from Pac-12 programs like Arizona and UCLA, and figures to be a contender in almost every race he’s in this Fall and then in the Spring for track season.

“He’s very focused, very motivated, he’s got tunnel vision on what he wants to do,” said Fillipow. 

McMahon-Staggs won the UCSB Gaucho Invitational to start the season and led Poly to a team win as well.

The consistent No. 2 behind McMahon-Staggs is Zane Witter, with three runners right behind in Clark Boyce, Ezequiel Barraza, and Clark Boyce.


CJ Brewer’s Bruins are relying on some old-school multisport athletes this year as they try to make a run at the Moore League championship. Two of the team’s top three runners play basketball and soccer–but that doesn’t mean they’ve been shortchanging their homework in their cross country class.

“This senior-heavy group has progressed well over the years and is excited to surprise some people this year,” said Brewer. “They’ve broken records all summer when it comes to the measurable amount of work they have completed.”

Leading the way is Caden Elsesser, a senior who will challenge for the league championship this year. His three-mile PR of 15:04 is the second-fastest three-mile time in school history according to Brewer.

Zami Moscoso is another senior who’s done the rare triple-up in the Moore League as an XC runner, soccer player, and track athlete. After spending the summer training at elevation in Peru, Brewer expects big things from him. Nico Colchico was a breakout performer as a freshman last year and looks to make some noise this year before transitioning to the school’s basketball team in the winter. After that trio is senior Saul Haro, who is primed for major improvement this season.


Millikan coach Pedro Ramirez has been building the Rams into a contender, and he’s excited for this season.

“My expectation for this year is for our team to be more competitive than last year, I want to improve our team time and hopefully make it to CIF Finals,” said Ramirez.

Leading the way for the Rams will be Scott Kirchhoff (who was 10th at league finals last year), Jasper Loverude, Sean Whipp, Miguel Coronado, and Ramon Lopez.


Second-year coach Daniel Sorenson has Lakewood pointed in the right direction this season and is excited for the upcoming year with more experience under his belt.

“Every day I’m learning where we need to make adjustments to make our program better,” he said.

Another senior in the mix for a league title is Lakewood’s Aiden Alegria, who ran a 15:31 best last year and has championship aspirations. Senior Isaac Vera and sophomore Alejando Oliva will be the next finishers for the Lancers.


Jaguars coach Adrian Baer has a trio of strong returners in Henry Herrera, Angel Mendoza, and Salvador Hurtado.

“We have a strong core of returning runners this year, which will help in improving on all three levels,” he said.

Many of the Jaguars’ ranks have experience on the school’s water polo, soccer, and lacrosse teams.


Jordan lost one of the top runners in the league in Joe Espinosa; Espinosa finished eighth in league finals last year and as the fastest runner that day who wasn’t in a Poly uniform. The senior transferred out of the Panthers program after the season and will be eligible to compete at Wilson in the spring for track season.

Jordan coach Sharaud Moore will turn to senior Cezanne Lopez and sophomore Jesus Martinez to lead the Panthers on the trails this Fall.

St. Anthony

Ericka Brooks’ St. Anthony team has put the Saints back on the map after winning last year’s El Camino Real League championship. They graduated most of their roster but will return Alexander Born on the boys’ side.

Long Beach Girls’ Cross Country Preview

Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.