Cross Country

PREVIEW: Signal Hill Cross Country Meet

The562’s coverage of cross country and track and field is sponsored by Bryson Financial.

The Moore League cross country season continues on Tuesday evening, as the league’s runners will converge on Discovery Well Park in Signal Hill. The lower level races start at 3 p.m., with the boys’ varsity race scheduled for a 5 p.m. start and the girls’ varsity race starting at 5:30 p.m.

Emotions were high a fortnight ago when Poly’s Cameron Rhone edged out Millikan’s Jason Parra at the finish line at El Dorado. Both runners maintained a blistering pace, with Parra suffering an ankle injury towards the end of the race. If he’s healed up and ready to go on a tough, hilly course, he’ll be the one to beat. But as Rhone has shown on multiple occasions, he’s the best candidate to unseat Parra for the top spot.

Despite Rhone edging Parra at the finish, Millikan’s depth prevailed to give the Rams the team victory for the first time in nearly three decades. However, Poly should be stronger this time as their lineup fills out. A few of Poly’s top runners were under the weather at El Dorado and are feeling better for this meet, but the addition of Lamarr Kirk, Jr. to the lineup should be the biggest positive for Poly’s outlook. 

Kirk is a senior who transferred in from South Torrance and projects to be one of the Jackrabbits’ top finishers. It could be another two-man race at the top, but the battle in the chase pack will determine the team result.

On the girls’ side, Poly’s freshman phenom Avery Peck continues to turn heads and rewrite record books. After comfortably winning her first Moore League race at El Dorado by more than a minute, the 9th grader ran a stunning time of 18:22.4 up at Fresno’s Woodward Park over the weekend. Only one runner in Poly history–Fiona O’Leary (2015)–has ever run a faster three-mile time, putting Peck in pretty elite company so early in her career.

Wilson’s Natalie Maahs was Peck’s closest challenger at El Dorado, but the Jackrabbits have a group of experienced runners who could benefit from their knowledge of the tough, hilly terrain.

We’ll have live updates from Signal Hill letting you know the varsity winners, and will follow up with full coverage after the meet!

Tyler Hendrickson
Tyler Hendrickson was born and raised in Long Beach, and started covering sports in his hometown in 2010. After five years as a sportswriter, Tyler joined the athletic department at Long Beach State University in 2015. He spent more than four years in the athletic communications department, working primarily with the Dirtbags baseball program. Tyler also co-authored of The History of Long Beach Poly: Scholars & Champions.