El Rancho heads pack With the return of top runners Manny Mejia, Julio Jimenez, and Luis Guevara, El Rancho High School figures to be the team to beat in the boys division of the Del Rio League. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Janet Martinez, who finished second in last year’s league finals, is the top returner for the Cardinal girls. Precious Nelson, who took fourth place in league, also returns. The Cardinals will also look for big things from junior newcomer Brittany Bishop, who won the league crown in the freshman/sophomore division last year. Defending league champion Justine Diaz returns for La Serna . Diaz, who won the league title with an 18:40 clocking, leads a group of returners that also includes Jen Goetz, Mitra Emami and Abeni Moreno. The Lancers boys feature a pair of 2004 all-league performers in sophomore Richard Minuse and junior Eric Magana. Jesus Torres, a junior, also returns. David Williams and Anthony Montano, both juniors, make the move up from junior varsity. “I’m excited about the year,’ said La Serna first-year coach Joe Orr. “I’m looking forward to the league competition.’ California , which finished fourth in 2004, will look to improve with the return of senior Miguel Valencia, junior Ruben Ceniceros, sophomore George Leon and junior Daniel Coppola. The El Rancho girls should also contend for the league title. Key returners include Lupe Ramirez, Mary Rojas, Cynthia Martinez, Socorro Hinojosa, and Veronica Galvan, who all earned second team all-league honors a year ago. The team that figures to loom as El Rancho’s biggest threat is Whittier. The Cardinals return all-leaguers Luis Dorantes, Luke Galvan, and Albert Robles. Other key performers include returning sophomore Alphonso Cano and freshmen Paul Mora and Jean Reyna. The Condors’ top newcomers include sophomore Eddie Muro and freshmen Noah Coppola, Aaron Montalvo and Brian Lopez. Eight girls return for the Condors, who feature sophomores Johanna Servi, Alejandra Valencia, Stephanie Alvarez and Alexandria Salas, juniors Kristen Cadena, Rebecca Blake and Stephanie Heckle, and senior Karen Cortez. The freshmen trio of Laura Perez, Brianna Gavaldon and Anna Monroy will also look to make an impact. Four key upper-classmen return for Santa Fe’s boys team, including senior Ryan Diaz and a trio of juniors Julio Delgado, Oscar Ornelas and David Flores. The Chiefs’ top newcomer is freshman George Ruiz. The Chiefs’ top girls returner is junior Sarah Muniz, second team all-league last year. Other key returners include senior Christina Gutierrez and sophomores Alexandra DeVilla and Yvette Orejel. Sonia Mendoza, a senior who makes the switch from tennis, will look to be a valuable addition to the Chiefs. Felix Quintero takes over the coaching duties for Pioneer , which will look to rebound from a a sixth-place finish by the boys and a fifth-place effort by the boys. Susie Montoya, Erica Juarez, and Stephanie Lopez all return for the Titans, who also feature newcomers Samantha Berumen and Cassandra Miramontes. The top boys returning for the Titans include juniors Ryan Adams and Andrew Arce, and sophomores Andrew Rodriguez and John Perez. ALMONT LEAGUE Montebello coach Victoria Flores has high hopes for her boys team, which finished second in league last season. The Oilers return three key seniors in Javier Ceja, Chris Duran and David Santana. The Montebello girls will feature a mostly young cast, which includes junior Adrianna Roque and sophomores Anita Szeto, Vanessa Madrijal and Amber Luna. Schurr will also look to play a major role in the league race. The Spartans boys feature a trio of key returning seniors in James Zuniga, Arturo Martinez and Everett Lam. The top newcomer is sophomore Ezquiel Tolentino. Tatiana Ojanesian, Jenny Lam and Lisa Kwan all return for the Spartans girls. A trio of varsity newcomers Ashley Vu, DeMaris Moran and Elizabeth Sesma will look to improve the Spartans’ prospects. CAMINO REAL LEAGUE Cantwell , which finished second in both the boys and girls division, returns a senior-laden boys team, which features returners Sergio Ibarra, Armando Castro, Jeremy Cerda and Ernesto Cardenas. The Cardinals’ promising newcomers include juniors Luis Pena and Brian Stratford and sophomore Joshua Vasquez. Key returners for the girls include senior Darlene Gonzalez and juniors Lindsay Eddow and Melissa Cabral. The Cardinals also feature a trio of promising freshmen in Roseann Cabrera, Roxannabelle Perfecto and Jessica Vasquez. DEL REY LEAGUE St. Paul , which finished second in the girls race last year, feature three key returners in sophomore Brittany Valdez and juniors Rebecca Sales and Nicole Trost. A pair of varsity newcomers, senior Anjelica Mendoza and junior Veronica Pedroza also figure to help the Swordsmen. Swordsmen coach Anthony Ossa also has high hopes for the boys, who return their entire squad. The top returners include juniors Scott Perez, John Ayers and Noah Monhdragon. FREEWAY LEAGUE The La Habra boys team, which finished second in league last season, returns key performers in seniors Ryan Frost and Tyler Hernandez and junior Scott McMichael. Jacqueline Steele, a senior, is the top girls returner for the Highlanders. Steele finished seventh in last year’s league finals. “Staying healthy is always the huge thing,’ La Habra coach Mark Gonzales said. “We’re going to try and peak at the right time.’ OLYMPIC LEAGUE The Whittier Christian boys will look to rebound from a fourth-place finish and the girls will attempt to improve from a sixth- place showing. David Abernathy, a senior, will lead the Heralds boys. Returning along with Abernathy are senior Daniel De La Torre, junior Daniel Zorub and sophomore John McDonough. Denise Schrout is the Heralds’ top girls returner. Rosemarie Gonzales and Andrea Carrizales, a pair of varsity newcomers, will also look to make their presence felt. SUBURBAN LEAGUE La Mirada , whose girls team has won the past four league titles, returns the all-league trio of senior Destinie Martin, junior Adele Mata and sophomore Karina Gonzalez. The Matadores’ top newcomers include junior Jenna Pasillas and sophomores Clarissa Negrete, Stephanie Felix and Sarah Jeon. Pasillas won the junior varisty league title last season. The boys, who took second place in league last season, figure to experience a transition year as they lost almost all of last year’s team to graduation. Key runners include seniors Andrew Diaz and Kevin Andrews, junior Andrew Bueno, sophomores Mark Gillaspy and Dennis Ly, and freshman Michael Palmer. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!