After a surprise victory in the high school division of the Stanford Invitational two weeks ago, the Arroyo High boys cross-country team may be the one to beat at the 38th annual Mt. San Antonio College Invitational Cross-Country Meet on Friday and Saturday at Walnut.
Arroyo, which defeated many of the top teams in the state at Stanford, will compete for the boys sweepstakes title at 10 a.m. Saturday. The Knights, ranked No. 1 in the CIF 3-A Division, are led by Jeff Gilkey, Gerardo Puentes and Derrick Powers.
Walnut may be the San Gabriel Valley's best hope in the girls sweepstakes race at 10:50 a.m. Saturday. The Mustangs, ranked No. 2 in CIF 2-A, are led by defending CIF 3-A champion Sandra Acosta. Palos Verdes is the solid favorite.
The valley is among the favorites in Saturday's individual sweepstakes. Two-time defending 2-A cross-country champion Tracey Williams of Mountain View is one of the top runners in the girls race at 11:10 a.m., and Aaron Mascorro of Rosemead is considered one of the best in the boys race at 10:30.
One of the top non-sweepstakes events will be at 4:21 p.m. Friday when valley standouts Karen Hecox of South Hills and Diane Pettit of San Marino meet in a Division I race.
About 7,000 athletes and 300 schools are expected to compete. Division I competition (for smaller schools) is from 2 to 5 p.m. Friday, Division III (larger schools) races start at 7:45 a.m. Saturday and Division II events start at 12:20 p.m.
The Azusa Pacific University football team couldn't have picked a better time to face Redlands in a non-conference game at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Azusa.
Redlands (0-6) is in the middle of one of its worst starts ever. The latest loss for the Bulldogs was a 20-14 setback to Menlo last week.
Azusa Pacific may have played its best game of the season in a 49-19 rout of the University of San Diego last week. The Cougars, ranked No. 13 in NAIA Division II last week, are 3-0-2.
Azusa Pacific had struggled on offense in most games but rolled up 514 total yards against San Diego. The leader was 6-3, 250-pound senior halfback Christian Okoye, who rushed for 162 yards and three touchdowns in 24 carries.
Two other key players in Azusa Pacific's powerful rushing attack, ranked No. 3 in Division II, are center Chuck Redman (6-3, 270) and tackle Steve Ward (6-4, 245).
The Cougars also benefited last week from a strong performance by quarterback Aaron Eames, who completed 10 of 16 passes for 131 yards in his first start.
In other games Saturday matching four-year colleges, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (4-1) plays host to Whittier (3-3) at 1:30 p.m. and Occidental (2-2-1) is at home against Pomona-Pitzer (2-3) at 7:30 p.m. in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
The Cal State Los Angeles soccer team will face its third nationally ranked opponent at San Diego State in a Southwest Soccer Conference game at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The Golden Eagles have not fared well in the first two meetings, losing to the University of San Francisco and Long Island University. Cal State is 4-7-1 (1-3 in conference).
"They're a well-coached team," Coach Berhane Andeberhan said of San Diego State. "I like their style of play. It's always a good game (when we play them)."
Cal State had mixed results last week, defeating William & Mary (3-1) and losing to the University of San Diego (3-1).
The Golden Eagles were led against William & Mary by freshman forward Paul Savare, a former San Gabriel High standout, who scored two goals. Cal State's top scorer is sophomore midfielder Mike Gregorian with four goals and one assist.
The Cal Poly Pomona women's cross-country team will tune up for next week's California Collegiate Athletic Assn. championships in the Bronco Invitational 5-K at 9 a.m. Saturday at Bonelli Park in San Dimas.
The Broncos were idle last week but still moved up to No. 4 in NCAA Division II rankings, their highest rating ever.
"Potentially we have one of the best teams in the country," Coach John Turek said. "Staying at home on the West Coast for the regionals and national meet (oth at UC Riverside) will help us this year. The course will be flat and fast."
Turek said he will not use all of his runners Saturday, but several of Pomona's top performers, including Joann Howard, Karen Farley and Gina Placencio, will compete.
"We want to remain healthy and race sharp for the conference and regional meets," Turek said. "We are fine-tuning at this point."
Cal Poly Pomona is also ranked No. 4 in the nation in men's cross-country heading into its Bronco Invitational five-mile meet at 9:45 a.m. Saturday.
Among the top teams in the meet are Cal State Long Beach, UC Irvine, Cal State Bakersfield and Point Loma.
This is the last meet for the Broncos before the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. meet Nov. 1 at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.