All-Area Girls' Cross-Country Team – Los Angeles Times

Kayley Bond, Freshman, La Cañada

Another in a long line of impressive freshmen for the Spartans, Bond incredibly placed in the top three in eight of nine races, with three victories and no finishes outside the top 10. Bond finished second at the Woodbridge Invitational (17 minutes, 31.9 seconds) and Staub-Barnes Invitational (18:55.9). Bond won all three Rio Hondo League meets, capturing the league title in 18:06.3 for the league champion Spartans. Bond finished third (17:56.2) at the CIF Southern Section Division IV finals as La Cañada advanced to the state meet for the first time since 2012. At the state finals, Bond finished seventh (18:35.7).

Sasha Codiga, Junior, Flintridge Prep

The junior and former Prep League champion was a dependable runner for the Rebels and earned her second straight All-Area pick. Codiga finished second at the first Prep League meet (19:56.9) and Santa Clarita Valley Invitational (18:48.6). Codiga took fourth (18:06.5) at the CIF Southern Section Division V finals for the champion Rebels. Codiga also earned 13th (19:02.8) at the state finals on Nov. 25 as the Rebels also captured a state title.

Caitlyn Couch, Senior, Crescenta Valley

After three years of brilliant running at Division V Bellarmine-Jefferson, Couch made a big jump by transferring to Division I Crescenta Valley. She didn’t disappoint with five top-five finishes, led by a victory in 18:53.5 at the Staub-Barnes Invitational and a runner-up effort (18:33.9) at the Clovis Invitational extra-large schools race on Oct. 7. Couch also finished fifth (17:39) at the Pacific League finals. Her season concluded at the Southern Section Division I Championships when she took 16th in 17:32.4.

Sophie Gitlin, Senior, Flintridge Prep

The Rebels’ undisputed leader picked up two victories and eight top-five finishes. Gitlin won the first Prep League meet in 19:50.9 and placed first (18:08) at the Santa Clarita Valley Invitational. Gitlin was Flintridge Prep’s top runner at the Prep League finals in taking third (18:07) as the Rebels finished second to Mayfield Senior. Gitlin and Flintridge Prep bounced back to win the Southern Section Division V title on Nov. 18 as Gitlin finished runner-up in 17:59. Gitlin capped a fine cross-country career by placing fifth (18:32.9) at the CIF State Division V Championships for the state champion Rebels. This is Gitlin’s third straight selection.

Naila Ortiz, Senior, Crescenta Valley

Was a solid No. 2 runner for the Falcons and could almost always be found near the front of the race. Maybe Ortiz’s best finish was when she took third (19:26) at the Staub-Barnes Invitational. Ortiz finished eighth (18:08.7) at the Pacific League finals. In her final race for Crescenta Valley, she took 52nd (18:22.5) at the CIF Southern Section Division I finals.


Jill Henry, Flintridge Prep

It was another banner year for Henry, who took over the program solely after co-coaching for years with Mike Roffina. Henry missed the early part of the season on maternity leave, but the team didn’t miss a beat. The Rebels won the Woodbridge Invitational, Mt. SAC Division V Championship and Santa Clarita Valley Small Schools Invitational. Though Flintridge Prep lost the Prep League title to Mayfield, the squad rebounded to romp to a CIF Southern Section Division V Championship, 55-101, at Riverside on Nov. 18 for a fifth straight crown. Henry’s squad capped another wonderful season by winning a fourth consecutive state title, 74-120, in Fresno.

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