The562’s cross country and track & field coverage is sponsored by an anonymous donation, in appreciation of Coach Ron Allice.
All eyes will be on Mt. SAC on Saturday morning as the top distance runners in the CIF-SS will race for championships and hope to earn a spot in the CIF State meet.
Long Beach will have representation in both of the Division 1 races, with the Millikan boys’ team looking to continue their historic season. On the girls’ side, Long Beach Poly will have its squad at Mt. SAC along with Millikan’s Nadia Mejia competing as an individual.
The boys’ race is up first, scheduled for an 8:05 a.m. start while the girls’ race will get going at 8:55.
This year’s course will look a lot different than in years past. Due to inclement weather in the forecast, the CIF has switched to the “rain course” for Mt. SAC in order to ensure the safety of the runners. The three-mile course uses almost entirely paved surfaces, with almost no elevation, a stark contrast to the traditionally hilly, off-road course.
Millikan senior Jason Parra was the top finisher in his heat last weekend, throwing down a 14:48 to help lead the Rams to a second place finish in their race. After winning their first Moore League title in 31 years, the Rams are hoping to end their memorable season with a trip to State.
For Parra individually, the Notre Dame commit has finished 8th and 12th in his two trips to the CIF-SS Championships. He’s yet to go sub-15, but he smashed that mark in prelims and was the only D1 runner to break that time during the preliminary heats. Teammates Aiden Ransom, Maximiliano Ramirez and Lucas Crockett also finished in the Top 25 of their heat.
For the girls’ Mejia finished fourth in her heat to qualify as an individual, posting a time of 18:33. She’s had more success on flatter courses this season, so perhaps the switch to the rain course will be an advantage for the sophomore league champ.
Long Beach Poly finished third in their heat, led by sophomore Avery Peck who ran an 18:30, posting the fastest time for the Long Beach runners. Alexa Hernandez Lujan, Evelyn Hernandez Lujan, and Estefany Garcia Hernandez were the next finishers for the Jackrabbits, all in the Top 26 with times under 21 minutes.
Live results from Saturday’s finals will be available via Finished Results.