2019 Rio Hondo League Finals were held at Lacy Park on November 7 to crown team and individual league champions as well as determine the varsity squads that will compete in CIF-SS championships. Although a bit touch and go due to construction at the park, the course was back to the traditional layout. In the Boys Varsity race, teams qualifying for CIF Prelims are league champion South Pasadena (24 pts), as well as La Canada (41 pts) and Temple City (79 pts). South Pas displayed great pack running (going 1, 3, 4, 5, 11) and was led by senior Sam Clark’s 16:44 winning finish. The Tigers had only one senior in their top 5 -- watch out in 2020. San Marino’s Jonathan Karkafi came in 7th and qualified for CIF as an individual. Links to complete results and the RioHondoLeague YouTube videos are below.
In the Varsity Girls race, La Canada won league (42 pts) and will be joined at CIF Prelims by South Pas (50 pts) and San Marino (62 pts). La Canada’s 1-2 punch of league champion Ellaney Matarese (18:50) and Sarah Auther were enough to overcome South Pas’ tighter scoring 5 gap. Monrovia’s Alayna Peters came in 4th and Temple City’s Clarissa Hong came in 5th to qualify to CIF Prelims as individuals. South Pasadena’s deep squad won the team battles in all remaining races: Frosh-Soph Boys (27 pts), JV Boys (20 pts), and JV Girls (21 pts). The Tigers also had league champs in JV Boys - Colin Grace (17:56) and FS Boys - Liam De Villa (17:38). Blair’s Genevieve Harvey won the JV Girls contest in 21:40.
In an interesting historical coincidence, the 2019 RHL Finals meet is the 40th anniversary of the Thursday November 7, 1979 RHL Finals featuring a battle between South Pasadena’s Mike Parkinson and La Canada’s Andy DiConti. The 1979 meet was held on the challenging Lower Arroyo course near the casting pond and Parkinson got the better of DiConti. San Marino won all but the Frosh-Soph Boys division. Much thanks to Andy DiConti for noticing the historical coincidence, and to legendary coach Phil Ryan for retaining his files all these years! Results provided by Phil are as follows: VARSITY BOYS; JV BOYS; FROSH-SOPH BOYS; VARSITY and JV GIRLS.