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August 5, 2009 > Continuing on last year's success

Continuing on last year's success

For the American High, Newark Memorial and James Logan cross country teams, 2009 will be a year that each of the three schools will continue their building success.

With the girls JV squad placing first in the Mission Valley Athletic League (MVAL) finals last year, the boys varsity taking fourth and both the junior varsity boys and varsity girls teams taking third, the Colts are on their way back towards the top of the MVAL. Every runner for the Colts recorded a personal best at the 25th annual Moreau Catholic/Saucony Invitational in October, and Logan will look to build off of that.

Upcoming junior Ly Ho looks to lead the girls varsity squad to another MVAL title in 2009. Ho ran a 13:39.60 at the Saucony Invitational.

For the American Eagles, their challenge in 2009 - at least for the girls varsity - will be replacing distance runner, and recent graduate, Rachel Mitchell, who now runs track for Sacramento State.

The Eagles did very well at the Monta Vista Invitational, having four boys and three girls record personal bests in the two-mile run, highlighted by senior Daniel Brody's 12:20.84 in the boys two-mile run and Rachel Mitchell's 13.39.99 in the girls two-mile run.

The Newark Memorial Cougars also look to build on the success they found in 2008. The Cougars dominated at the Crystal Springs Invitational last October, with everyone on both the boys and girls side recording personal bests. They also ran well at the 25th annual Moreau Catholic/Saucony Invitational, with 14 boys and eight girls recording personal bests.

Rachel Borg highlighted the Cougars 2008 season, running a 19:32.00 in the girls 5,000 meter run in the CIF California State Meet in November.

In addition to American, Newark and Logan, the MVAL sports four more teams in the division: Washington, Mission San Jose, J.F.K. and Irvington.

Washington High School of Fremont's, Ben Rich, is one of the top returning cross country runners in NCS (North Coast Section). He won the MVAL championship in 2008. Both Washington boys and girls teams are expected to be strong in 2009.

Mission San Jose High School of Fremont is also expected to have very good boys and girls cross country teams in 2009. Their first meet is Tuesday, September 8, at the Monte Vista Invitational, two-mile course. Oak Hill Park in Danville is the site and up to 20 teams may participate in the Invitational.

J.F.K. and Irvington's coaches were unavailable for comment.

Biff Jones contributed to this article.

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