Photos by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
CHINO HILLS, Calif. - Senior Anahy Covarrubias (Los Angeles, Calif.) and sophomore Benjamin White (La Habra Heights, Calif.) continued their break-out cross country seasons at the SCIAC Championships over the weekend, easily qualifying for the NCAA West Regional scheduled for November 10 in Walla Walla, WA. Anahy and Ben will be going after one of seven individual qualifying spots for the NCAA Championships hosted at Lake Breeze Golf Course, Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Whittier's consistent No. 2 finishers, throughout the season, also qualified as individuals for the West Regional. Accompanying Anahy and Benjamin to Walla Walla will be freshman Jeanie Cox (Chino Hills, Calif.) and sophomore David Del Carmen (Huntington Beach, Calif.).
The Poet women came up a little short of team qualification for the NCAA's but gave it a great run at the SCIAC Championships. Covarrubias' 18th place among the 118 finishers wasn't enough as the Poet pack placed a little too far back. Even so, good efforts by Cox, freshman Elizabeth Donnelly (Langley, WA), sophomore Kelsi Ikeda (Honolulu, HI), and freshman Eliana Garcia (Pomona, Calif.) kept scoring close. Next season's team captain, junior Melissa Tobias (Norwalk, Calif.), and senior Jessie McCollum (Aurora, CO) also helped the team score by displacing other competitors.
The Poet men missed qualification for the NCAA Regional by just one place. Whittier's White battled All-American senior Sagehen runner Andy Reischling, along with a several other Pomona-Pitzer runners, for the first half of the race. The veteran Reishchling executed a long surge on a downhill section of the course, just past 3-miles, to break the race wide open. White stayed strong to claim 2nd place among the 124 conference finishers, and posted the 4th fastest Prado Park time in Whittier's history even though the course measured longer than usual at 5.05 miles. Whittier's Del Carmen was next for the Poets followed by freshman Ricardo Lira-Martinez (Bassett, Calif.), freshman Yosh Bhattarai (Irvine, Calif.), and junior Maxwell Koszowski (Denver, CO). Also displacing for the Poets were freshman Kurt Vanegas (Riverside, Calif.) and sophomore Benjamin Arrendondo (Sylmar, Calif.).