Glendora Cross Country

No Fear No Pain No Defeat

Glendora Cross Country - No Fear  No Pain  No Defeat

Nine Tartans Earn All-SGV Honors – Awards Wednesday

Since the Mt.SAC XC awards were revived in 2009, the Tartans have been well-represented and this year is no exception.  The awards are based on the best times on the Mt.SAC course by the 34 schools of the East San Gabriel Valley and will be presented this Wednesday, November 30, at 7:00 pm at Mt.SAC.

Our boys team ranked second behind Damien while our girls ranked third behind Claremont and Bonita.  Individually, awards are given to the top five by class – and three of our girls and six of our boys made the lists.

  • Juniors:  Ryan Sanchez (and his beard), Garrett Hernandez
  • Sophs:  Mike Duke, Damon Payne; Emily Hoey, Tori Whitworth
  • Frosh:  Jeff Kirwn, Andrew Rummens; Micaela Lamb

Mike and Jeff are the top athletes in their grades.  The complete list is here: 2011_All SGVXC_Awards

The Event begins at 7:00pm at Mt.SAC’s Founders Hall (Bldg 10 in the middle of the campus – map here) – doors open at 6:30.  Dress nicely and arrive early.

A note on parking from the hosts: Since Mt. SAC is still in session, parking may be quite congested at 6:30 PM. You must purchase a $3 parking sticker to park in a Mt. SAC lot. You can purchase the sticker at the main parking shack off of the entrance from Grand Ave., or you can purchase a sticker from any of the yellow ticket kiosks in each of the parking lots. We would suggest you arrive early to make sure you get a parking sticker and still can get to Founders Hall on time.

State Champs: We are the 2%

Photos? – send ‘em to

Also, whoever picked up my (Coach Ramsey’s) black adidas fleece pull-over – give it back, please!  Got it back!  Thanks…

Our boys team ended the 2011 XC season with an 11th place finish in the California State Division II Championships at Woodward Park in Fresno.  It was a great achievement for our boys to advance to the State meet for only the second time in school history.  We did well to move up three spots from our pre-meet ranking, but we still didn’t reach our full potential.

We were led by soph Mike Duke – his 58th/16:18 finish was good for 10th on the All GHS List for Woodward Park.  He was followed by Ryan Sanchez, Garrett Hernandez, Austin Mendoza and Aaron Forburger for our scoring five on a day when our 1-5 gap was only 13 seconds.  Brandon Nelli and Jeff Kirwin rounded out the team.  Special honor goes to seniors Austin, Aaron and Brandon who closed out their GHS XC careers on the biggest stage in our sport.

And while our performance may have been slightly disappointing, it’s helpful to take a larger perspective.  There are over 1500 high schools in California, and the guys finished 31st in a merge of all the divisions.  That puts us in the top 2% – and that’s pretty good.

Well done guys.


Preview: California State Championships

Thousands of miles and hundreds of miles have led to this Saturday.  For the second time in three years, our boys team has qualified for the biggest high school State meet around.  We’ll run Saturday at the California State Meet at Fresno’s Woodward Park – the same 5000 meter course used for the Clovis Invite.

At last year’s meet, only Anthony Castro (’11) advanced, finishing 14th.  In 2009, our CIF Champion boys team finished 2nd and Lauren Justus (’11) ran individually.  And now our boys are back.

Off of our skin-of-the-teeth qualifying performance at CIF Finals, we’re ranked 14th among the 22 teams, but we haven’t run our best yet.  If we can get five guys to perform their best, we know we can finish a lot higher.

Saturday, will be the final GHS XC race for three seniors.  Austin Mendoza was the #3/4 man on our ’09 Championship team as a soph, but struggled all last year with persistent sinus infections that led to surgery last summer.  Still recovering fitness and health, Austin has made huge strides in the past three weeks, coming as our #3 at last weeks’ finals.  Aaron Forburger joined our team as a soph and had a very modest first year.  A solid year of dedicated training brought him into our varsity team the second half of ’10.  Another solid year has made him one of our team leaders.  He earned All-Baseline League status and been third or better in our team in all but one meet.  Brandon Nelli ran with us his frosh year and then gave water polo a try.  Returning to XC last year, he made it on to the varsity for one meet, but persistent leg pain kept him JV for the balance of the year.  This season, he’s been in our first seven for every meet and scored for the first time with a big 20 second PR at last week’s CIF Finals.


  • Race Time - 11:15 am – Div. II Championships
  • Dyestat Previews and Coverage are here.
  • Live Results will be here.  (Follow the link to learn how you can have live updates text messaged to your phone)
  • Depart: 9:00 am Friday from Circle Drive at GHS.  We’ll return around 6:00 on Saturday.

CIF Finals: Seven Men Earn a Trip to Fresno

The coaches like to tell our athletes that every place matters and every athlete matters – that you never know when just one place could make a difference.  (Actually, the coaches don’t like saying this.  They’d prefer to discuss how to remain gracious after another win with just 15 points.  That aside…).  But today was that day – when every man and every place matters.

The Tartans tied on points at 222 with Tesor0 and Saugus but advanced with better sixth man.  This means that if any one of our first five guys had finished one spot higher, our season would be over.  But because we fought for every spot, we’ll extend out season to the California State Meet next Saturday in Fresno.

Our top man was soph Mike Duke, 26th overall in 15:42 – a Mt.SAC PR and he’s #5 All-GHS.  Next came junior Ryan Sanchez in a PR 15:50, 36th overall and #7 AT-GHS.  Seniors took the next three places Austin Mendoza (50th/16:01), Aaron Forburger (60th/16:12) and Brandon Nelli (83rd/16:30 – a 20 second PR).  Frosh Jeff Kirwin (16:36) provided the critical sixth place at 87th – well ahead of Tesoro’s and Saugus’ #6.  Soph Damon Payne was our 7th guy at 16:45, but had Jeff faltered, Damon had us covered by placing ahead of the other two schools’ #6 too!  Our 80:15 team time was the third best ever by a GHS team, trailing only CIF Finals and CIF Prelims from our championship ’09 team.

And now, for the second time in three years, our boys team will compete in the California State Championship!

Split sheet:  11-CIF Finals

Full results at Dyestat here.

Deadline for Banquet Signups is… TODAY!

No, really.

Our Banquet celebrating the 2011 season is Thrusday, December 8th at the GHS Event Center.  It’s free for team members and $12 for everyone else.  Order form is here: ’11 XC Banquet

But because we really want everyone there, and because we like to be nice, you may hand deliver your order to 510 E. Dalton Ave through Sunday evening.


Brad Fry for GHS XC Boosters.

Preview: CIF Finals

For the third time in three years, our boys team will go to the line at the CIF Southern Section Divisional Finals at Mt.SAC.  As we’ve mentioned before, the Southern Section is HUGE – making the sectional Finals here is a bigger deal, and usually a much bigger deal, than making the State Finals almost anywhere else.

In last year’s meet, we struggled with illness to finish a disappointing 11th.  The highlight was Anthony Castro‘s (’11) stirring second place finish, in which he out-kicked a number of accomplished runners in the last 150 meters.  In 2009, our first time ever in the Finals, we were CIF Champions.

This year, we come into the race ranked 7th on a merge of the 16 qualifiers from last week’s prelims, run on the Rain Course again.  It looks like the weather will allow us to run on the regular, hilly 2.93 mile course for Finals.

Race time is 9:25am.  First seven teams advance to the California State Meet in Fresno the following Saturday.

Let’s do this.

CIF Prelims: Boys Move On, Girls Don’t :(

With rain threatening, this year’s CIF prelims were moved to a new, (apparently) 2.95 mile Rain Course at Mt.SAC.  This was no problem for the guys, as they finished third (by a point) in their heat to advance, while the girls ran well but fell victim to Div. II’s depth of competition to finish a non-qualifying sixth.

The guys were led by a return to form from soph Mike Duke, who led the team with 9th/14:52 finish, followed closely by by Aaron Forburger 14th/15:03 and Ryan Sanchez 17th/15:05.  Senior Austin Mendoza continued to come back from a long illness with his 29th/15:18 finish.  With a top runner sick, frosh Jeff Kirwin came through with the final spot, finishing 42nd/15:37.

We ranked 7th in a merge of the 16 finalists, so if we run and compete well at Finals, we can move on to Fresno.

The girls ran well, but not not well enough.  As a team in which all of the runners run well on hills, none of our girls were helped by the move to the nearly flat rain course, but we everyone ran the same course and we just came up short.  Our front five ran well as a group, with only 23 second gap, but were just too far back in a heat loaded with excellent runners.  Cori Harral 21st/17:59 was our leader on what was easily the best ever Tartan performance – 91:05 team time – on a flat course.

This is the boys third straight year of advancing to finals after never having qualifying before 2009.  The girls will have to wait until next year to be GHS second team ever to make finals.

Complete results are here.  Split sheet for boys and girls is here: 11-CIF Prelims

Preview: CIF Prelims

There are no more guaranteed “next weeks”.  From this point on, we either handle our business or go home.  For the second year in a row, both teams have advanced to CIF Prelims, and for the first time, both teams are ranked – boys #6 and girls #13 – and seeded to advance.  But the seeds go away once the starter shoots his gun – we have to finish in the top four of our heat to advance to next week’s CIF Finals.

At last year’s meet, the boys team and Lauren Justus (’11) advanced to Finals, while the girls were the fastest non-qualifying team in the meet.  (Something of a GHS tradition – the boys did the same in ’08 and ’07).  Anthony Castro (’11) led the boys with a 15:16 GHS Mt.SAC record.

With the possibility of rain, we may end up using the new Rain Course.  This two loop, 2.91 mile course starts on the airstrip and ends in the stadium, avoiding the hills that become dangerously slippery with even a little rain.  You can download a map of the Rain Course here.

Athletes should be mentally and logistically ready for a wide variety of conditions.  Bring lots of extra clothes and especially socks.  Rain may also require some adjustment to the schedule, so be ready and have your phone on.

Key Details

  • Arrive at the Stadium Gate: 11:30 boys, 2:00 girls – we’ll enter together
  • Race Time – 1:28 boys, 3:55 girls
  • Run: fast.

CIF Prelims Heats Posted

We were fortunate to advance both teams to CIF again this year.  Both teams will race in the afternoon at Mt.SAC.  Hopefully, we’ll run the classic 2.93 mile course, but if it rains we’ll be on the 5000 meter rain course.  In either case, we’ll be looking to advance!

The boys will lead off at 1:28 in Heat 3 of Division II.  Top seed is our former Sierra League rival Ayala, and we appear to be the 2nd seed in the heat.  We’ll also face ranked Arroyo Grande and Valencia, who beat us at Mt.SAC.  Top four advance to Finals.

You can read more here.

The girls are in the final race of the day at 3:55, Heat 4 of Division II.  The fourth heat has seeds #4, 5, 12, & 13.  The latest rankings haven’t been released yet, but Woodbridge and Tesoro, #4 and #5 from last week rankings are in our heat.  It would appear and we and Claremont have the other two seeded positions.

But that’s all just on paper (or pixels).  The only rankings that matter on the ones they make up at the finish line next Saturday.

Let’s Do This.

Chris Vega 50/50 Report

On Friday, October 28, after competing in the Arcadia Apache Cross Country Invitational, about twenty of our athletes fought rush-hour traffic and hurriedly ate cold Subway sandwiches, all to sell 50/50 tickets at the Homecoming football game at Citrus College.  Although several students PR’d that afternoon, their best work was to come later that evening.

The GHS Football Boosters  had graciously agreed to donate their share of that night’s 50/50 money to the Chris Vega Fund, benefitting the Senior runner recently diagnosed with leukemia.  The cross country team partnered with the football boosters (big thanks to Dan with the Football Boosters who kept things running smoothly) to sell tickets; shattering the unofficial record by grossing over $3500 (including huge participation by fans of the visiting Upland Highlanders).  That night’s winner, a teacher from Sandburg (whose name I wish I could remember) handed back $500 for the fund.  Including cash donations collected over the course of the evening, the Chris Vega Fund received over $2300.

Then, like runners do, our athletes ate (again), slept for 7 or 8 hours, then got up and ran.

Many athletes and boosters donated time, money and food to ensure a successful evening.  And while each of them deserve a HUGE THANK YOU, what they did that night wasn’t about thank yous or pats on the back. Friday night was about our friend and teammate, Chris.

- Brad Fry - For GHS XC Boosters