Striding to finish in best times


Victoria Artale

Senior Lukas Amare ran a 15:39 to break the DBHS Mt. SAC Invitational record.

As the Diamond Bar cross country team finishes its final races of the year, they look forward to placing at league finals tomorrow.

On Oct. 12, the runners had a strong showing at the Bell Gardens Invitational in Cerritos. Many of them improved for the season while several seniors obtained their lifetime personal record times.

“George [Rosales] broke sixteen while Lukas [Amare] broke fifteen again and I’m really proud of them both,” head coach Malinali Cooke said.

With times of 15:44 and 14:36, respectively, seniors Rosales and Amare led the varsity boys to another successful turnout. Rounding out the top five were sophomore Andrew Kim, junior Nathan Sinn and senior Brandon Rodriguez.

Cooke was also pleased with the varsity girls, who only had a four second gap between the first four runners: juniors Keili Ishitaini, Allison Ear, Victoria Artale and Cameron Tsao.

The Brahmas competed on Oct. 25 at the 72nd annual Mt. SAC Invitational. Amare was able to exceed Cooke’s expectations, placing first out of 109 runners in the varsity boys division while breaking Diamond Bar’s record for a Mt. SAC Invitational with a time of 15:39. On the girl’s side, Ishitani, Ear, Artale and Tsao kept their positions as the Lady Brahmas’ top runners.

Throughout this season, the girl’s team has faced injuries that prevented them from doing their best at league meets, leading them to place third place both times. Top runners Ishitani, Ear and sophomore Henna Gonzalo have all had difficulties. However, the girls’ immense improvement at Bell Gardens and Mt. SAC makes Cooke hopeful, despite Ear suffering  a hip injury at the Mt. SAC meet.

“I think we can cinch second place,” Cooke said. “We might take third again, which is upsetting because we took first last year.”

Cooke expects the boys to win first, repeating their success from three previous league meets. However, she notes that their competition is intense and the margin of error isn’t forgiving.

For the girls, she predicts that Chaffey will win first and Diamond Bar will have to face Ontario for second place.

Regardless of the outcome, Cooke has been impressed that almost all her runners have reduced  their times compared to the start of the season

“We’ve had a couple injuries here and there but for the most part they’ve improved consistently,” Cooke said. “It’s always heartbreaking to see a kid improve and then plateau and drop but we haven’t really had that this year.”

Although she is sad to see the seniors graduate, Cooke still sees potential for growth and rebuilding from the underclassmen.

 As of now, Kim and juniors Sinn and Joshua Booker stand by to fill in the seniors’ shoes next year but she admits it’s hard to know for sure.

“I just keep watching the younger boys and newcomers because you never know which of them is gonna develop and suddenly take off,” Cooke said.