Cross Country Lakewood Millikan

Millikan Cross Country Sweeps Dual Meet With Lakewood

Both Millikan boys’ and girls’ cross country teams were dominant again on their three-lap campus course Wednesday as the Rams cruised to wins over the visiting Lakewood Lancers. Millikan freshman Jason Parra was the boys’ winner again with a personal-best time of 15:09, and senior Hazel McIntosh took the girls’ race for the Rams at 20:12.

Last week, Millikan beat Wilson in the first Moore League meet since 2019. This week, Millikan rounded off some sharp corners on their campus course in the hopes it would make for better times, and it worked for Parra. The freshman ran out to another early lead and said he was feeling better physically during the race.

“I felt like I could actually race,” Parra said. “I really like running up front and I’ve really never run any other way.”

Millikan coach Pedro Ramirez said he’s not going to do anything to change the way Parra is handling himself.

“Right now he likes running (in front) like that so we just let him loose,” Ramirez said.

“I didn’t think I’d be this dominant, I thought I’d struggle more, but I haven’t raced Poly and they’re our biggest competitor so we’ll see how that goes,” Parra said.

Millikan is scheduled to visit Poly on March 10, and the Rams have looked strong with the top five finishers Parra, Scott Kirchhoff, Sebastian DeBiase, Ramon Lopez and Sean Whipp.

Senior Fabian Barales was the top Lakewood finisher in sixth. He ran cross country in middle school, but stopped to play soccer, and is back for his last chance to run.

“I just want to play all the sports and finish the year strong,” Barales said. “It’s probably not the best start but hopefully we can improve as a team and do better next time. There’s always room for improvement.”

Compton had a pair of runners compete in the boys’ race because Lakewood is traveling with Jordan and Compton runners this season. Kevin Guzman was the top Compton finisher in 10th with a respectable time of 18:29.

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In the girls’ race, Millikan was without 2019 Moore League runner-up Isabella Stockalper. The senior is nursing a minor ankle injury, so the Rams decided to switch up their race strategy by running together from the outset.

“We wanted to be more consistent than we were last week because we were kind of off on our times,” McIntosh said. “We wanted to see how long we could stay in a group to work each other, and work off each other, as much as we can.”

McIntosh pulled away from the pack towards the end of the second mile and grew her lead down the stretch.

“She was our second girl last year and is used to being out front and taking that lead if need be,” Millikan coach Angela Ibarra said. “That’s what I expected from here. We didn’t have Bella here so (McIntosh) needs to be the leader.”

“It kind of pushed me to take more initiative and try and step up and see if I can push myself without anyone else around me,” McIntosh said of running without Stockalper.

McIntosh added that she enjoys the campus course experience.

“It’s very different because we’re usually at parks,” she said. “Even though its in the school it’s still kind of fun going though it since we’re not on campus right now.”

Lakewood senior Nina Draffen finished strong and took fourth at 20:30 behind Rams Erin Aguirre and Rebecca Perez.

“As a team we’re not putting high expectations (on ourselves) because our season has been cut down but we still have high hopes to improve ourselves,” Draffen said.

Lakewood coach Daniel Sorenson said that he didn’t expect much from his squad after less than a month of training with limited depth, but was happy to have all of his runners finish.

“With low numbers it’s really hard to judge where people go but it’s great to just see people out there competing again,” Sorenson said.

Lakewood, plus the runners from Compton and Jordan, visit Poly next Wednesday.

M – Jason Parra 15:09
M – Scott Kirchhoff 15:39
M – Sebastian DeBiase 16:33
M – Ramon Lopez 16:42
M – Sean Whipp 16:46
L – Fabian Barales 16:48

M – Hazel McIntosh 20:12
M – Erin Aguirre 20:25
M – Rebecca Perez 20:28
L – Nina Draffen 20:30

VIDEO: Millikan vs. Lakewood, Cross Country

PHOTOS: Millikan vs. Lakewood, Cross Country

JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.