Mike Parkinson calls it a “uniquely special situation,” as both the boys and girls squads from South Pasadena High School have qualified to compete in the 2021 CIF State Cross Country Championships in Fresno this weekend.
“It’s the first time the girls have ever made it as a team and only the fourth time the boys made it in school history,” said Parkinson, the Tigers’ head coach.
The teams leave South Pasadena in school vans at 7 a.m. on Friday, November 26, and will be competing the following day at picturesque Woodward Park, home to many state competitions. The boys Division 4 race, in which the Tigers will take part in, gets underway at 9 a.m. Saturday while the girls Division 4 race starts at 10 a.m.
South Pasadena qualified for State after a strong showing recently in the CIF Finals at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut. Senior Brady Nakamura led the way for the boy’s team, finishing ninth and clocking 15:44 over the three mile distance. Not far behind was fellow senior Liam De Villa, who took the 18th spot at 16:06. Next in line for the Tigers were juniors Jason Baek in 38th (16:35), Jack Ishibashi 76th (17:23), Keeran Murray 85th (17:33) and senior Noah Kuhn 86th (17:34). The Tigers finished 7th overall as a team.
On the girls’ side, senior Sydney Morrow was the Tigers’ top finisher, coming across in the eighth position with a time of 18:22. Crossing the line next for South Pasadena was freshman Amelie Geofffron, in 31st at 19:17, freshman Abigail Errington 42nd (19:35) freshman Saidbh Byrne 48th (19:45), senior Gabriela Rodriquez 56th (20:05), and senior Kerrigan Riley 65th (20:18). The SPHS girls finished 5th overall as a team.