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Burbank enjoyed unlikely success during 2011-12 campaign

Bulldogs teams, individuals surprised many with league, playoff and even state accolades.

August 07, 2012|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
(File Photo )

This is the first in a four-part series looking back on the sports accomplishments of the four local high schools during the 2011-12 year. This installment is Burbank High:

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It didn't take long from the beginning of the school year for a Burbank High team to enjoy a successful season, as the Bulldogs boys' cross-country squad surprised many during the fall campaign.

It had been nine years since the boys' program qualified for the CIF-State Cross-Country Championships. However, with a formidable 1-2 punch in sophomore Isaiah Amos and junior Sergio Fraire, Burbank qualified for state competition in Division I at Woordard Park in Fresno in November.

In the State Meet, Fraire paced the team by placing 30th in 15 minutes 49 seconds, as the Bulldogs finished 11th with a team total of 293 points. Fraire finished ahead of teammates Jonathan Stoll (66th; 16:16), Amos (78th; 16:25), Bernie Corea (79th; 16:25) and Arden Mkrtchyan (115th; 16:45).

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Prior to the season, Burbank Coach Trevor Marca hatched a plan to get the Bulldogs some much-needed experience last season and get the runners ready for a push for the State Meet in 2012. However, Burbank enjoyed success ahead of schedule.

The Bulldogs finished second behind a powerful Arcadia team in the Pacific League finals. In the CIF Southern Section preliminaries, Burbank finished second to top-ranked Rancho Cucamonga, 49-74, in the competitive Division I race.

In the CIF Southern Section Finals a week later, the Bulldogs notched the seventh and final qualifying spot, punching their ticket to state competition.

Two Bulldogs individuals also enjoyed success during the fall in girls' tennis.

Burbank's No. 1 duo of Ashley Basco and Meredy Gharabegi set the initial goal of making it to the finals last season after being eliminated in the semifinals in 2010. Once they accomplished that, the second-seeded Bulldogs tandem took aim at the title against Arcadia's Elizabeth Liev and Nadia Pacheco-Amaro, advancing to its first Pacific League championship match.

Basco and Gharabegi fell short of the championship, 6-3, 6-3, but were happy about reaching their goal of making the finals, which automatically qualified them for the CIF individuals Tournament.

The girls' volleyball team qualified for the playoffs in the fall with a third-place effort in the Pacific League.

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