For the first time, the Southern Section high school cross-country finals also served as a qualifying meet for the State Championships, scheduled for Fresno on Nov. 28. So, while 16 team and individual winners were decided Saturday at Mt. San Antonio College, the preparation for more important races two weeks away was just beginning.
The biggest winners this time were Palos Verdes, Newport Harbor of Newport Beach and Maranatha of Sierra Madre, all of whom qualified their boys' and girls' teams for Fresno. Palos Verdes, the No. 1 program in the state this season, also had the boys' 4-A individual champion, David Scudamore, and the girls' 4-A runner-up, Ashley Black.
To say the Sea Kings performed as well as expected on the three-mile course in Walnut might be selling them short.
"Maybe better," Coach Joe Kelly said. "The girls really did a job. They could have gone out and run so-so or just average and still done well, but you can see from the team scores that they really hammered the race."