ARCADIA — While top efforts were at a premium at the 47th annual Arcadia Invitational Track and Field Meet, that didn’t stop a handful of athletes from Crescenta Valley, Flintridge Prep and St. Francis high schools from thriving Saturday afternoon.
Three entrants posted top-five finishes, led by the Crescenta Valley boys’ distance medley team.
The distance medley event, which calls for a relay format of a 1,200-meter run, 400, 800 and 1,600, was run by the Falcons’ foursome of senior Nick Beatty, sophomore Armin Cardenas-Nuno and seniors Matt Manalo and Gabe Collison, respectively.
Crescenta Valley took fourth in the open competition with a time of 10 minutes, 28.10 seconds, impressive considering the team was 12th at first handoff.
“We had a bit of a slip to start, but we came back,” Manalo said. “To end this race taking fourth is amazing.”
Manalo and Collison, in particular, helped moved the squad up four positions into fourth by the end of the competition.
“We had a strong finish that got us a medal,” said Cardenas-Nuno, who filled in for injured teammate Christ Ordookhanian. “Those guys closed.”
In the very next event, the Crescenta Valley High girls’ 4x400 team of Erika Johnson, Courtney Iannello, Emmy Walker and anchor Kayleigh Carrillo ran a season-best time of 3:58.48 in taking third in the open fourth heat, which was good for sixth overall.
“When you’re going against so many great runners and teams, it’s definitely a motivating advantage,” Iannello said.
The Falcons quartet entered Saturday having turned in a time of 3:59.27 at Thursday’s Pacific League meet at Burroughs and is trying to get back on pace of the squad’s top mark of 3:54.27, set at last year’s CIF Southern Section Division I Finals.
“I think we’re on a good pace,” Carrillo said. “We still have a ways to go.”
The event was the third and final for Carrillo, who individually finished 17th in the open 400-meter dash (57.32) and 21st in the open 200 (25.45).
Flintridge Prep distance runners Jack Van Scoter and Alah Yoho ran near identical times in different 1,600-meter run to varying degrees of success.
Van Scoter, a sophomore, placed fourth in the one-mile rising stars run with a time of 4:20.12. Van Scoter’s place marked the highest individual finish for any Rebels athlete in the two-day invitational.
On the flip side, Yoho was 10th later the same day in the seeded one-mile run with a time of 4:20.27.
“I don’t know what’s going on, but something isn’t working,” a frustrated Yoho said afterward. “I have so much more potential than is showing right now, it’s just so disappointing. I should be so much better at this point of the season and I’m not.”
Crescenta Valley’s Megan Melnyk competed in the final local event, the 800-meter invitational run and took 11th with a time of 2:18.
As for the Golden Knights, St. Francis senior Eric Knowles concluded a two-day run by taking eighth in the open triple jump with a distance of 44 feet, 5 3/4 inches, which fell short of his personal-best of 45-11 3/4.
“I guess I’m alright with that,” said Knowles, who also finished fifth in the open long jump (21-11 1/2) on Friday, of his result. “This is more of a preparation meet for the rest of the season.
“Obviously, this wasn’t my best day, but I can’t be that disappointed.”
Fellow Golden Knight Ross Niederhaus took advantage of his opportunities Saturday.
Listed as an alternate, Niederhaus was a late entry in the open 400-meter dash and took fourth in his heat and 12th overall with a mark of 49.19.
Niederhaus’ time was only .02 out of a top-10 place.
Niederhaus’ position ended up being three spots better than his 15th-place effort in the open 200-meter dash, where the junior turned in a time of 22.42.
St. Francis’ Jasher Foster was his school’s last entrant and participated in the open 110-meter hurdles, where the junior was fifth in the fifth heat and 23rd overall with a mark of 15.31.
Crescenta Valley’s Nick Beatty rounded out the local effort by taking 42nd (2:05.23) in the open 800-meter run.
Follow Andrew J. Campa on Twitter: @campadresports.