Mt. SAC Cross Country Invitational 2021 Preview
Top high school harrier racing returns to Mt. San Antonio College for its 73rd edition
By Erik Boal, DyeStat Editor
The 73rd Mt. SAC Cross Country Invitational is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Oct. 22-23 at Mt. San
Antonio College in Walnut, Calif. More than 430 teams are expected at one of the largest and most prestigious high school meets in the country.
Here are 10 storylines to follow:
1) Showcase of San Diego stars
Two of the top prep athletes in America’s Finest City will be traveling north to compete on one of the nation’s most prestigious, challenging courses, when San Diego Section standouts Kenan Pala of Francis Parker and Bryce Gilmore of Sage Creek square off at 5:50pm PDT Friday in the final race of the first day in the Division 3-4-5 boys individual sweepstakes race.
Gilmore, a Wake Forest commit, has developed into the top Division 4 competitor in San Diego, with the Yale-bound Pala establishing himself as the elite athlete this season in Division 5. Both are leading contenders for state championships in their respective divisions.
Pala produced the top overall time Sept. 18 at the ASICS Mt. Carmel Invitational, running 14:58.4 on the 2.95-mile course at Balboa Park’s Morley Field.
Gilmore achieved history Sept. 25 at the Dana Hills Invitational, eclipsing the 3-mile course record by clocking 14:13 to take down an all-time mark of 14:16 that was set in 1983 by Jesus Gutierrez of Pasadena.
The top Division 4 mark at Mt. SAC is 14:28, established by Big Bear’s Ryan Hall in 2000 and equaled by Duarte’s Mohamed Trafeh in 2003. The all-time Division 5 performance in course history is 14:33 by Tim Nelson of Redding Liberty Christian in 2002.
Adding even more depth to the race will be the presence of Division 3 state title favorite and 2019 individual sweepstakes winner Isaiah Givens of Pasadena, along with another top Division 4 contender in Max Sannes of Big Bear, who produced the fastest 1.92-mile performance Sept. 4 at Mt. SAC by clocking 9:46.3 at the Fastback Shootout.
Also pursuing sub-15 efforts on the full 2.93-mile Mt. SAC course will be Agoura’s Ethan Godsey, Cathedral Catholic’s Blake Levy, Fillmore’s Michael Camilo Torres, Hilltop’s Jimmy Byland, High Tech High’s Nathan Osborn, Servite’s Jared Steins, Sonora’s Alexandro Vielma, South Pasadena’s Brady Nakamura, St. John Bosco’s Christopher Chavez, Hacienda Heights Wilson’s Luis “Gio” Guidel and Stockton St. Mary’s teammates Daniel Winter and Elijah Sullivan.
2) More fast company for Frias
Following her all-time record 15:43.5 on the 3-mile course Sept. 18 at the Woodbridge Cross Country Classic, Mira Costa senior Dalia Frias has only raced once since, placing third Sept. 25 in a 5-kilometer race at Nike Portland XC in Oregon.
The Duke commit is entered in Mira Costa’s lineup Saturday for the Division 1-2 girls team sweepstakes race at 9:57am PDT, and Frias has the potential to join an elite group of female competitors in Mt. SAC history.
Only 10 prep girls have run under 16:40 on the 2.93-mile course, with six of them producing sub-16:30 performances, highlighted by the mind blowing 15:49 all-time effort achieved in 2017 by former Malibu standout and two-time Foot Locker national champion Claudia Lane.
Although Frias didn’t race in 2019 at the Mt. SAC Invitational, she qualified for the Foot Locker national final that season by clocking 17:10.7 on the 5-kilometer layout at the West Regional in Walnut.
Frias has run only once on the 2.93-mile course in her career, clocking 18:02 as a freshman in 2018.
Mira Costa will need another exceptional performance from Frias, along with Anna Chittenden and Ella Parsley, to help the Mustangs prevail against Division 2 rivals Anaheim Canyon, Claremont, Dana Hills and Westlake, as the top five Southern Section teams in the division are all scheduled to compete.
Anaheim Canyon, led by seniors Emma Hadley and Isabella Frisone along with sophomore Makena Oliva, is coming off a dramatic one-point victory Oct. 16 over JSerra to capture the first team title at the Orange County Championships in program history.
Claremont will showcase Maddie Coles and Denise Chen, Dana Hills is led by Allura Markow, Paige Scheer and Annie Ivarsson, with Westlake featuring Laura Castagna and Kalista Traversa.
Continue reading at: dyestat.com
Find more Mt. SAC HS XC Invite meet info HERE, including maps, course video, teams and more!