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La Cañada High's Anna Frederich takes 1st in 1st Rio Hondo League meet

Cross-Country: La Cañada senior finishes first, leading team to second-place finish in league's opening run.

September 25, 2013|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com

IRWINDALE — Unexpected delays, last-minute changes and a brand new course provided the backdrop for what was a wild and unpredictable afternoon at the Rio Hondo League’s first cross-country meet at Santa Fe Dam.

La Cañada High, which had hoped to flex its muscles on the girls’ side and show signs of improvement in regards to the boys’ team, was overshadowed by a historic effort from rival San Marino, which won both varsity races for the first time in more than two decades on Wednesday afternoon.

The Titans defeated the Spartans, 35-39, in the girls’ race, while San Marino finished with 33 points on the boys’ side, well ahead of the fourth-place effort of La Cañada.

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“Our goal was to win this race or, at worst, finish top two,” Spartans junior Colleen Mispagel said. “This course is flat, but there is sand on some parts, concrete on others and grass. It took a while to get used to.”

Maybe the flashiest race was the girls’ varsity contest, which featured 2012 CIF State Division III finalist La Cañada and CIF Southern Section Division IV No. 6-ranked San Marino.

Despite the drama surrounding the scoring, there was no question that Spartans senior Anna Frederich was the best runner Wednesday.

The All-Area first-teamer was untouchable, racing to a 25-second lead over Mispagel at the halfway point before steadily increasing her lead over the sand and concrete portion of the course.

By the time Frederich zipped by the finish line in a time of 18 minutes, 6.84 seconds, she had built up over a minute lead against runner-up Alissa Barraza of San Marino (19:15.54).

“I kinda had an idea that I had a big lead because I heard fans from South Pasadena saying ‘You’re out ahead’ and ‘You’ve got a huge lead,’ so I kept going,” Frederich said. “I didn’t really have a goal time-wise, I just wanted to win.”

Mispagel finished fourth in 19:29, while senior Eloise Dimase-Nordling was 10th in 20:32.12, just a spot ahead of Jenny Callan (11th, 20:36.53).

La Cañada’s final scorer was freshman Caitlin Mispagel, who was 16th in 21:07.14.

Unfortunately for the Spartans, the Titans pushed their five scorers through first 14 spots.

“This is a difficult course, but we had fun out there and the scenery was majestic,” Frederich said. “We have two more races to continue to improve.”

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