RECAP Torrance, Redondo, Los Al Dominate at Central Park


HUNTINGTON BEACH -- It was easy to tell which cross country teams were most successful as they left the 41st annual Central Park Invitational's course area on Saturday afternoon.

Just look for the ones carrying the mini wooden surfboards. The top three teams in boys and girls varsity, JV, freshman and sophomore races as well as the top individual in each one received a unique surfboard "plaque." 

Competing in the second half of the invitational with school enrollments of 2,200 and below, the Torrance (SS) boys and girls teams placed among the top three in all eight races on the afternoon schedule. The Tartars won two titles (girls freshman and sophomore), finished runner-up in four (JV boys and girls, boys freshman and sophomore) and earned third-place finishes in two others (boys and girls varsity).

"It was a great day for all of us," Torrance Coach Israel Pose said in a post-meet video. "We were a little tired after racing on Wednesday and we don't usually compete twice a week, but I told the team let's have fun and let's work on some things like running in the pack, believing in each other, work as a team. We have great team spirit and I think it showed. The kids get all of the credit. They put in the hard work and I'm real proud of them."

Of the eight races, Torrance's closest call was breaking a tie for third place on the strength of finish by its boys varsity sixth runner's finish. The Tartars and Riverside's Woodcrest Christian (SS) tied after five scored runners, but Torrance's Matthew Anaya finished 48th overall (17:47.3) and after scores were adjusted to eliminate individuals not running for a full team, his score was 46. Sixth man for Woodcrest Christian, Wyatt Elliott (17:41.9), finished 78th, but was moved to 68th in final scoring.

Top Torrance finishers in each race were senior Solato Nakagawa, who was 11th in the boys varsity in 16:11.9; Senior Amber Anderson, running 19:29.6 for seventh place in the girls' varsity race; Junior Juan Avellana went 18:11.6 for eighth place in the JV boys race; Audrey Dinco, a junior, went 22:04.2 for third overall in the JV girls race; Ioan Evans took 13th in the freshman boys' race in 18:54.3; Riley Gibson was fourth in the freshman girls' race in 22:43.5; Jack Campbell was 10th overall in the sophomore boys race in 18:22.2; and Katherine Gibson was third overall in the sophomore girls' race in 21:59.3.

The meet's morning schedule, designated for larger schools and higher student enrollment, was dominated by Redondo Union (SS) and Los Alamitos (SS) with seven and six top-three team awards, respectively. Redondo also had five individual race winners, therefore the Sea Hawks took home a total of 12 surfboards.

Redondo's team awards came from winning titles in boys' varsity, freshman and sophomore races, finishing runner-up in girls' varsity and sophomore races, and JV boys and claiming third in the girls' freshman race. Individual Redondo champions were: Lyla Fedio, junior, 17:17.8, girls varsity; senior Jacob Dick, 16:43.8, JV boys; Emma Cordray, 21:09.7, freshman girls; Alexander Barbarie, 16:41.5, sophomore boys; and Devyn Townsend, 20:21.6, sophomore girls.

Los Alamitos won the freshman girls team title, was runner-up in sophomore boys and JV girls, and went third in the girls varsity, freshman boys and sophomore girls events. Key performances for the winning freshman girls team came from three top 10 finishers, Pheobe Grimshaw's fifth-place overall finish in 22:14.4, Alyssa Maciel in 22:25.5 for seventh, and Swasya Kadiam, ninth, in 22:26.9.

Other team title winners from the morning section were Mission Viejo Trabuco Hills (girls varsity and JV boys), Paramount (JV girls) and Downey's Warren (sophomore girls). Danica Brinkman, a senior for Trabuco Hills' girls varsity, was runner-up in 17:45.8 while junior Cole Arimond was runner-up in the JV boys race in 16:57.5 for the Mustangs. Monse Malo was the top runner, also a second-place finisher, for Warren's title winner.

The three non-Redondo individual winners from the morning were Jimmy Dominguez of Santa Ana (SS), a senior, who turned in the fastest time of the entire day, 14:56.7, to win the boys varsity title; Paramount's girls JV team title win was paced by junior runner Azairah Banderas, whose time of 19:03, was 98 seconds faster than anyone else in the race; and London Webster of Venice (LA), who won the boys' freshman race in 17:00.2.

The top time performance in the afternoon was turned in by Eyan Turk, a sophomore from Woodcrest Christian, who finished the boys varsity race in 14:59.2. Individual winners from the afternoon were: Karissa Kira, South Torrance, 18:07.9, girls varsity; Ildefonso Arizmendi-Suarez, Santa Ana's Saddleback, senior, 16:34.7, JV boys; Maddie Mummery, South Torrance, sophomore, 20:17.9, JV girls; Baker Carlisle, Ventura's Foothill Technology, 17:32.9, freshman boys; Katie Yoshihara, South Torrance, 20:43.3, freshman girls; Luke Chavez, Rosemead, 17:25.2, sophomore boys; and Julieta Colin, Costa Mesa, 21:32.5, sophomore girls.

Team title winners in the afternoon were Las Vegas, NV's Faith Lutheran, boys varsity; South Torrance, girls varsity; Anaheim Savanna, JV boys; Lakewood's St. Joseph's, JV girls; Foothill Technology, freshman boys; Torrance, freshman girls; Foothill Technology, sophomore boys; and Torrance, sophomore girls.

To see complete Central Park Invitational team and individual results, please visit the Results page.

Ryan Blystone is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to MileSplitCA

Interviews by Ryan Blystone