Birmingham High, which began the season with Granada Hills as the co-favorite for the City cross-country title, moved a step ahead of Granada Hills with a victory in the Mid-Valley League Championships this week at Pierce College.
Led by the second- and third-place efforts of Sven Haug (15:25) and Jeff Korn (15:30), the Braves placed five runners in the top 11 to score 31 points. Birmingham was followed by Granada Hills (40), San Fernando (80), Kennedy (91), Van Nuys (131) and Monroe (134).
Birmingham's victory avenged a 28-29 dual-meet loss to Granada Hills on Nov. 6. The key to the Highlanders' victory was the 1-2 finish of Ian Alsen and Todd Lytle.
Alsen won again on Monday, running a 15:18 over the three-mile course, but Haug, Korn and teammate Sabino Miranda (fifth in 15:46) all finished ahead of Lytle (seventh in 16:03).
The two teams should battle for the City title at Pierce on Dec. 13.
Taft 33, Chatsworth 57, Reseda 64, El Camino Real 94. Canoga Park and Cleveland (no score)--Taft's Rod Braunthal (16:02) surged past Greg Bettinger (16:05) of Chatsworth in the final 100 meters to win the West Valley League title at Pierce on Monday.
John Wells (16:28) of Reseda and Marlon Rodriguez (16:34) of Taft finished third and fourth.
Fairfax 40, Poly 72, Verdugo Hills 81, North Hollywood 85, Grant 86, Sylmar 140. Hollywood (no score)--Eddie Turner led Fairfax to the East Valley League title with a 15:57 victory over the three-mile course at Pierce College on Tuesday.
Alvaro Murrillo (16:02) of Grant and Kris Depen (16:34) of North Hollywood finished second and fourth.
Kennedy 17, Birmingham 62, Granada Hills 63. Van Nuys, San Fernando and Monroe (no score)--Sheri Lawson led Kennedy to its eighth consecutive Mid-Valley League title with a 18:38 victory over the three-mile course Monday. Teammate Olga Padron finished second in 19:54.
Lawson's time is the second fastest girls time of the of the year at Pierce.
El Camino Real 21, Chatsworth 52, Taft 62. Cleveland, Canoga Park and Reseda (no score)--Led by Susan Peck's 19:02 victory, El Camino Real placed three runners in the top five to win the West Valley League title Monday.