LA CRESCENTA — A strong regular season will go without one big prize for the Crescenta Valley High girls’ track and field team.
The Falcons entered Tuesday afternoon’s regular season-ending Pacific League track meet versus Arcadia hoping to dethrone the champions at home.
Despite a few strong efforts, the Falcons came up short, 83-53, to finish runner-up to eight-time titlist Arcadia, which also won the boys’ meet, 82-54.
“Hey, the girls did a great job, they have nothing to be ashamed of,” Falcons Coach Mark Evans said. “It was a case where we were missing a few key people to injuries or illness and Arcadia had a tremendous amount of depth. I’m proud of how my team battled.”
The Apaches (7-0) won nine of 16 events, but showed their depth in winning 10 of 16 second-place efforts and eight of 15 third-place finishes.
Yet, maybe their biggest advantage came with the absence of Falcons distance runner Megan Melnyk, who was out because of an illness.
Without Melnyk, Arcadia distance standout Veronica Yamane had no problems running to victories in the both the 1,600-meter and 3,200 runs, while the Apaches took 14 of 18 possible points in both events.
Crescenta Valley (6-1) tried to counter in the sprints with Kayleigh Carrillo.
The Falcons senior competed in four events Tuesday, running to victories in the 200-meter dash, in 25.07 seconds, and the 400 (57.08), while posting season-best times in each event.
“Whenever you go against Arcadia, they bring out the best in you,” said Carrillo, who also ran legs of the 4x100 and 4x400 teams. “There’s a lot of energy here.”
Perhaps one of the unexpected victories came from senior Erika Johnson, who claimed the 800-meter run in 2 minutes, 22.1 seconds.
“It was surprising to be in front, especially in front of Arcadia,” Johnson said while holding back a chuckle. “That wasn’t my best time, but I got a win.”
Alisa Shin won the shot put with a toss of 33 feet, Emmie Walker clinched the high jump (5-2), freshman Claire Schlueter was a surprise winner in the long jump (16 feet) and Samantha Phinney won the 100 hurdles in 15.72 to round out the Falcons’ victories.
On the boys’ side, Crescenta Valley (4-3) finished fourth in league in a battle for third with Arcadia (5-2) in the final standings.
“It’s kind of like the girls’ score,” Evans said. “We had some good results, but just not enough. Arcadia had too many wins for us.”
The Falcons tallied five victories, with perhaps the most exciting win being a half-victory from senior Nick Beatty.
The middle distance runner finished in a rare dead heat with Arcadia’s Jarrick Wenslow in the 800-meter event, with both runners’ chests hitting the finish line at the same time in 1:58.4.
Beatty was also part of the Falcons’ 1,600-meter relay squad, which won in 3:31.4 and included teammates Christ Ordookhanian, Kyler Chin and Matt Manalo.
Scott Bush won the pole vault (12 feet), Kenny Kang took the 300 hurdles (42.75) and Josh Ayo won the triple jump in 41-6.
Follow Andrew J. Campa on Twitter: @campadresports.