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Flintridge Prep's Alan Yoho runs away from field

Alan Yoho becomes Rebels' first-ever CIF Southern Section and state Division V champion.

December 31, 2013|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com
  • Flintridge Prep's senior Alan Yoho is the 2013 All-Area Boys' Runner of the Year. (Roger Wilson/Staff Photographer)
Flintridge Prep's senior Alan Yoho is the 2013 All-Area…

Somewhere over the last 12 months or so, Flintridge Prep senior Alan Yoho transformed from recreational cross-country runner to competitor, from middle of the pack to pacesetter, and from challenger into champion.

Ask the soft-spoken 17-year-old exactly when he knew he was in for a breakthrough 2013 season and Yoho doesn’t talk about any of his impressive efforts from the just-concluded season.

No, in fact, Yoho points back to the 2012 CIF State Division V Championships and one of the more agonizing finishes in Flintridge Prep cross-country history.

“Losing at state really changed my attitude. We were so close and it was really disappointing not to win, especially being with seniors who really wanted that title,” Yoho said.

The Rebels were nipped by the narrowest of margins, 86-87, by Alameda St. Joseph Notre Dame at Fresno’s Woodward Park on Nov. 24, 2012.

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On that day, Yoho finished 29th overall in 16 minutes, 36 seconds and was Flintridge Prep’s No. 4 runner.

“For the first couple of years, running was really a side gig, it was just something that I just participated in,” said Yoho, who recently verbally committed to Brown University of the Ivy League. “I didn’t really take it that seriously, but that changed. Some of that came from maturation, but I knew I could do much better and I wanted more.”

Yoho’s epiphany helped spark a wildly successful 2013 campaign that led the senior to a Prep League individual title, while his CIF Southern Section Division V and CIF State Division V individual championships were firsts in the history of the Flintridge Prep program.

On the strength of those performances, Yoho has been unanimously chosen the 2013 All-Area Boys' Cross-Country Runner of the Year by the sports writers and editors of the Glendale News-Press, La Cañada Valley Sun and Burbank Leader.

One teammate who noticed a difference after the 2012 state finals was Jack Van Scoter, then a freshman on the Rebels’ Division V runner-up squad.

Van Scoter finished 14th in the race in 16:19 and was the Rebels’ third-best runner, behind seniors Elias Ellison (12th, 16:10) and Aaron Sugimoto (14th, 16:16) and ahead of Yoho.

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