Girls’ cross country defends league; seniors win boys’ and girls’ individual titles

By Julius Pak

The cross country teams continued their form of making records from their last cluster meets at yesterday’s Mission League Finals. Aaron de Toledo ’12 became the first runner not from Loyola to win the boys’ league title in over a decade with his 15:42 course time at Crescenta Valley Park. With de Toledo’s victory, the Wolverines once again took the top spots in both the boys’ and girls’ divisions at a league meet.

In the race right before the boys’ heat, captain Cami Chapus ’12 took the league championship, finishing the course 81 seconds faster than the second-place runner, co-captain Amy Weissenbach ’12. Chapus’ victory today made her the first girl to win the league title all four years of her high school career.

The girls’ team once again defended their league title with a 36-45 victory over second-place Notre Dame. Chapus and Weissenbach helped to cement Harvard-Westlake’s dominance in their league. In a rare meet where both were present, they ran almost the entire race in the top two spots, with nearly 20 seconds between Weissenbach, the runner-up, and the next finisher. Every runner on the team also finished within the top 17 of the 39 contestants in the league. All five of the scored runners finished in the top 13, with four members, Chapus, Yasmin Moreno ’13, Monica Nimmagadda ’14, and Weissenbach, qualifying into the “All Mission League” team. ESPN HS named Elle Wilson’s ’13 performance yesterday as the “Golden Anchor” performance as her run was the fastest overall fifth-place team scorer in the meet.

In the final tally, including the other two league cluster meets, Harvard-Westlake took the championship with 17.5 points to Notre Dame’s 13. Despite Harvard-Westlake’s dominance, today’s league field was not an easy one as for the first time in league history, four girls ran under 20 minutes at the finals.

The boys’ team could not replicate last year’s second-place finish despite de Toledo’s win as Loyola’s scored runners were all able to finish in the top ten. The Wolverines’ scored runners, save de Toledo, in order, Judd Liebman ’12, Justin Berman ’13, Larry Zhang ’14, and David Manahan ’14 finished together in 19th through 22nd place. The boys’ team took third place, losing to Loyola and Crespi, 24-83 and 73-83, respectively.

With their performances, both teams qualified to postseason runs, starting with the CIF Preliminaries at Mt. San Antonio College next Saturday, Nov. 12.