As the meets got bigger, Dana Hills’ Evan Noonan got better.
He started his sophomore season last year with a 19th-place finish at the Cool Breeze Invitational. There was a 33rd-place result at the Clovis Invitational.
Then came a second-place finish at the Orange County Championships and a first-place run at the Mt. SAC Invitational. Noonan in November finished first in the South Coast League championships and first in the CIF Southern Section Division 3 final.
Noonan is looking for a better start for his junior year, and is confident he has done the work to make it happen.
“I’m probably better at preseason training for this season,” said Noonan who was the Orange County boys cross country athlete of the year in 2022. “At this time last year I was going 9:50 for 2 miles and now I’ve been under 9:20 recently.”
Meets that Noonan is certain he will enter are the Woodbridge Invitational (Sept. 15-16 at Great Park), the Bob Firman Invitational (Sept. 22-23 in Idaho), the Clovis Invitational (Oct. 7), the Orange County Championships (Oct. 13-14 at Oak Canyon Park) before league finals and CIF-SS prelims and finals follow.
Noonan figures that to make his dreams come true he needs plenty of sleep.
“The most important thing I’m stressing,” he said, “and I know it sounds lazy, is making sure I sleep close to nine hours every night.”
JSERRA GIRLS SET FOR ANOTHER TITLE RUN
JSerra girls cross country coach Chase Frazier said “There is a very unique situation going on.”
He said that because JSerra’s girls team, which was the CIF Southern Section and CIF State Division IV champion last year, has the depth to be even better this season.
At a time trial last week at Dana Hills, six JSerra girls finished a 2-mile run in under 11 minutes. During last year’s cross country season, 19 girls in the nation finished a 2-mile race in under 11 minutes.
Among the Lions returnees are Brynn Garcia, a junior who was sixth in last season’s state Division IV final, sophomore Summer Wilson who finished 13th in the state Division IV final, and state Division IV 16th-place finisher Kayla Tasser, who is a sophomore.
Brynn Garcia of JSerra runs the anchor leg and wins of the Distance Medley Invitational during the Arcadia Invitational track and field meet at Arcadia High School in Arcadia on Saturday, April 8, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)
Other standout Lions are: senior Georgia Jeanneret, whose strong suit could be the 800 meters during track season; junior Sophie Polay who transferred from Santa Margarita where she finished seventh at last year’s CIF-SS Division III final; and sophomore Chloe Elbaz who transferred from Xavier Prep in Palm Desert where she was the CIF-SS Division V champion.
Elbaz and Polay must observe the “sit-out period” that delays their eligibility until Oct. 2 for cross country and March 24 for track and field.
JSerra competes in the Cool Breeze Invitational Saturday at Pomona Fairplex.
Last year’s Orange County girls cross country athlete of the year, Holly Barker, transferred from Laguna Hills to Trabuco Hills. She is immediately eligible at Trabuco Hills. …
Jayden Hernandez, All-Orange County last year as a Godinez junior when he won the Dana Hills Invitational elite division boys race, transferred to Dana Hills. …
The Saddleback Cup Invitational is Friday at Trabuco Hills High on a 2-mile course. Racing starts at 6:15 p.m. with lower-levels competition. Girls varsity racing is scheduled to start at 7:25 p.m. followed by boys at 7:40. …
The Laguna Hills Invitational is Sept. 9. …
The Woodbridge Classic will be held Sept. 15-16 at Great Park and will have many nationally-ranked teams in it. …
CIF-SS preseason rankings compiled by PrepCalTrack.com have San Clemente at No. 1 and Trabuco Hills is No. 2 in boys Division 1. Dana Hills and Santa Margarita are 1-2 in boys Division 3. Dana Hills is No. 1 in girls Division 3.
CIF-SS boys and girls cross country preseason rankings, Aug. 28
Transfers add to JSerra’s already powerful girls cross country, track teams