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Burbank High leads city cross-country pack again

Bulldogs hope to reach CIF Southern Section Finals in both boys' and girls' races.

August 27, 2013|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com

For the first time in years, there will be no Burbank All-City Cross-Country meet to sort, determine and highlight the top runners within the Media City.

Yet, just because there's no race doesn't mean there isn't a competition among the four local schools to showcase which is strongest.

BURBANK

When asked to describe the state of his boys' and girls' teams, Burbank Coach Trevor Marca gave a similar response for two squads hoping to post breakout seasons.

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"I would say both are determined and hungry to have big years," Marca said. "We're looking forward to having successful years."

In 2011, the Bulldog boys made history in becoming the first squad since 2002 to advance to the CIF State Meet, where Burbank finished 11th.

Last season, however, Burbank (89 points) finished third in the Pacific League behind powerhouse Arcadia (22) and Crescenta Valley (54) and advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division I preliminaries, where the team took fifth in its Division I heat and just missed qualified to the divisional finals.

While the day might have been disappointing, one exciting aspect was the effort turned in by returning senior Elliot Choe.

Only a week earlier, Choe finished 11th in 16 minutes, 11.72 seconds at the Pacific League finals at Crescenta Valley Park.

At Mt. San Antonio College, arguably a much tougher course, Choe finished ninth in his heat with a mark of 15:44.

Just as important as Choe's progression is the return of senior Arsen Mkrtchyan, who missed the 2012 postseason because of injuries.

Mkrtchyan recently won the College of the Canyon Summer Series race No. 6 on Aug. 15 with a time of 16:04.

Besides his top two runners, Marca has a strong stable with Ethan Moskowitz, who finished 24th at league finals last year (16:56.93), junior Enrique Vizcaino and senior Gabriel Ellman.

Perhaps the most interesting move during the summer involved the transfer of Brennan Doyle from Sherman Oaks Notre Dame. Doyle figures to be a top-five contender within the team.

Not be forgotten or ignored is senior Andres Vasquez, who was the team's top junior varsity runner a year ago.

"We've had the highest mileage summer since I've coached here. Many of the top runners have averaged over 70 miles per week and are continuing to do double days now that school has started," Marca said. "It is a hungry crew this year determined for success."

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