Area runners turn attention toward CIF-SS, L.A. City Section Cross Country finals this Saturday

Rubidoux’s Kevin Ramos, left, and JSerra’s Anthony Grover battle for positioning early in the boys individual sweepstakes race Saturday at the Mt. San Antonio College Invitational. (Photo by Chuck Utash)

Last week, the goal was simple for cross country runners. Survive and advance to this week’s CIF Southern Section championships.

This week, the championship races will take place Saturday, with running begins at 7:45 a.m. at the Riverside City Cross Country Course with the Division 2 race, Saturday. The final race is 11 a.m. with the boys Division 1 race.

Tickets are $10 and $5 for students with current high school ID. Parking is $10. Here is a look at how the area teams and runners qualified:

Boys

Mira Costa finished fifth in the Division 1 team standings in the prelims.

Redondo’s Christoph Waligorski (Division 1) qualified as an individual. Waligorski finished second in Heat 2 at prelims with a time of 15 minutes, 13.5 seconds.

West Torrance (Division 2) was sixth in its race, with Peninsula in eighth. West’s Alex Mainvielle and Joshua Murray were third and fifth, respectively with Peninsula’s Ewan MacFarlane in fourth.

Palos Verdes (Division 3) finished third, with its first runner crossing in 22nd place. Torrance and South were seventh and 10th, respectively.

El Segundo (Division 4) qualified with an eighth-place finish, led by Arend Verfaillie’s eighth-place individual time of 16 minutes, 19.7 seconds.

Chadwick finished fifth in Heat 1 of Division 5, led by freshman Joshua Thomas, who was eighth (16 minutes, 47.1 seconds). Hawthorne Math and Science also qualified in Division 5.

Girls

Redondo and Mira Costa qualified for Division 1. The Sea Hawks were eighth in their heat and the Mustangs were fifth, led by Daila Frias’ 5th-place time in Heat 3 (18 minutes, 24 seconds).

West Torrance is the lone area school in Division 2. The Warriors were 10th in their Heat.

In Division 3, Torrance, South and North all qualified. The Tartars were third in their heat with Angela Arellano leading the way (18 minutes, 39.4 seconds).

South and North were fifth and eighth, respectively in their Heat. Palos Verdes was second.

The Sea Kings are the team to watch, even though Savannah Scriven and Samantha Steman finished 34th and 35th, respectively.

South’s Lily Albert posted a second-place finish of 18 minutes, 18.7 seconds.

In Division 4, El Segundo and Bishop Montgomery qualified and in Division 5 Chadwick, Hawthorne Math and Science qualified.

Mary Star’s Clair Babbitt (Division 5) advanced as an individual. She was fifth in her preliminary race with a time of 19 minutes, 50.9 seconds.

Last season, Palos Verdes boys and girls captured the Division 3 championships.

The first seven teams in each Division 1 will qualify for the CIF State Championships, Nov. 30 at Woodward Park in Fresno.

City Section

San Pedro girls will run in the Division 1 race (8:50 a.m.) at Pierce College. The boys will run at 9:20.

In the girls Division 4 race, Port of Los Angeles’ Emilia Pirir qualified as an individual. Harbor Teacher Prep’s girls will run in the Division 5 race at 11:10 a.m., with the boys at 11:30.

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