The Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy and St. Francis High School cross-country teams participated in Mission League dual meets last Saturday, marking the official beginning to the much-delayed fall season.
Other schools will certainly follow suit after Los Angeles County gave the green light for schools to host inter-team competitions for cross-country, swimming, tennis, and track and field as long as students and coaches adhere to health and safety guidelines.
The Tologs traveled to Sherman Oaks to face Notre Dame High School and fell to the Knights, 24-31. Izzy Mozillo of FSHA led all runners in the three-mile course with a time of 21 minutes, 51.5 seconds. Teammate Annie Ramirez finished fifth with a time of 23:49.9 and Emily Wong wasn’t far behind to place sixth with a time of 24:47.1. Eva Lopez finished in 25:13.2 to place ninth, Morgan Birkett was 10th with a time of 25:23.3, Bridget Byrne crossed the finish line in 26:50.6 to place 11th, Josie Perkins was 12th with a time of 27:38.4, Abigail Blea finished in 27:44.1 for 13th place and Campbell Buffington placed 16th with a time of 29:36.8.
d off [during the winter surge of COVID-19 cases]. There’s always that nervousness in the first race, but once the girls ran, they just had a good time. It was really nice to see them run.”
St. Francis made a trip to West Hills to take on Chaminade and defeated the Eagles 22-34. Owen Hayden paced the Golden Knights with a winning time of 12:03.06 and Luke Metcalf finished in 12:35.81 to take second. Noe Barraza placed fifth with a time of 13:37.56, Timothy Parisi wasn’t far behind and placed sixth with a time of 13:39.56, Mark Polenzani finished in 14:07.72 for eighth and Alden Hauser placed 10th with a time of 14:26.59.
Nishiyama gave kudos to Mission League athletic directors and coaches for providing a safe return for the runners. Neither competition had any parents or fans in attendance.
“We felt comfortable going [to Sherman Oaks] and running,” he said. “It’s a different atmosphere. Without having the goal of competing [for a CIF Southern Section championship], the girls can just go out there, compete and enjoy being together.”
In an effort to give high school fall sports teams as much of a regular season as possible, CIF officials canceled the fall playoffs due to state restrictions following a winter surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. The result was of no concern to FSHA head coach Kirk Nishiyama, who considered being out and competing against another team during a pandemic a victory.
“It’s been such a long road,” he said. “We’ve been training since June, and it’s been on an
The California Department of Public Health recently updated its youth sports guidelines and will base the return of high school sports on each county’s adjusted case rate per 100,000 people. Beginning Feb. 26, the threshold for outdoor sports to resume is 14 cases or lower per 100,000. On Tuesday, Los Angeles County reported that metric to be 12.3 per 100,000, allowing football and water polo athletes to compete as long as players and coaches are tested weekly. Results must be made available within 24 hours of competition.
However, L.A. County may have more restrictions in place than the CDPH. As of Tuesday, local public health officials had not updated its guidelines to align with those of the state.
Though the CIF Southern Section remains in discussions with state officials about the return of indoor sports, Commissioner Rob Wigod said that schools within counties that meet the threshold can schedule indoor sports — such as basketball, volleyball and wrestling — to be played outdoors.