Californians and the Kinney and Foot Locker National Finals - From 1979 through 2001 - how did Golden Staters fare in this prep National Finals competition - from Barasa Thomas and Roxanne Bier through Amber Trotter and Yong-Sung Leal!!

 

California and the Foot Locker Nationals

Doug Speck

1979 - San Diego -
Boys - The initial Kinney Cross-Country Championships (it had that name until the early 1990's), run in San Diego at Balboa Park by Laurel and 6th Streets in another area besides the now used Morley Field segment, had Kansan Brent Steiner winning over Kenyan exchange student Barasa Thomas (Santa Barbara HS), with Barasa a very tough and mature looking runner who finished five seconds down to Steiner, who ran 8:47.0 for two miles the previous year in track. Californians Andy DiConti (La Canada 4th), Jay Marden (Mission San Jose, Fremont 6th), and Jon Butler (Edison, Huntington Beach 8th), with the last twosome ready for some big things the next year as just juniors in 1979!
Girls - Ellen Lyons (Boise, Idaho) dominated the Girls race, winning by 14 seconds. In a humorous story about this first meet, they put a go-kart with a camera on it for the TV production, with Lyons waving the kart out of the way during the downhill runs when she was able to generate more speed than the motor driven vehicle on some steep areas of the course, which is in a different area of the park than that used today. Roxanne Bier from the San Jose Cindergals age-group program (student at Independence HS in San Jose) run by current San Jose State Coach Augie Augabright was fourth overall, with Vickie Cook (Alemany, Mission Hills) 6th. With these the early days of interscholastic athletics for young ladies, most of the female runners from this period had a strong age-group background. Cook would be the nation's fastest two miler that next spring track season of 1980 withb a 10:18.38 effort.

1980 - San Diego
Boys - The meet was back in San Diego again, run in a different area of Balboa Park than is used today. Jay Marden (Mission San Jose, Fremont), coached by his father Jack, was the individual winner this year, with Jon Butler (Edison, Huntington Beach) second overall, with California off to a super start traditionally in this competition. Butler later took the State 3200 in track that next spring with an 8:46.78 effort that featured a last lap well under 60 seconds in the great 1981 State meet at Cerritos that featured five national records! Mike McCollum of Palo Alto was sixth. Current Palos Verdes Coach Jeff Atkinson (then Mira Costa HS, Manhattan Beach), an Olympian from Stanford over 1500m, was 19th this year.
Girls - Ceci Hopp (Connecticut) was the winner by 50 meters here, with Vickie Cook (Alemany, Mission Hills), now a junior second, with Vickie 10:12.31 to win the state 3200 in track that year's spring season. Lori Lopez (Sacred Heart, LA) was 11th overall this year.

1981 - Orlando, Florida
Boys - The meet moved to the south as it looked for a home, with Charles Alexander (Virginia), who continued the line of top finishers who ended up at Stanford (Lyons - Hopp, and many others through the years), the winner, with tall and lanky Harold Kuphaldt (Bella Vista, Fair Oaks), second, and Eric Reynolds (Camarillo) third. Kuphaldt, one of the Sac Joaquin area's top distance runners ever, was the State 3200 champ in 1982 track at 8:51.99 (Nation's fastest for the year) with a 4:06.66 mile that same track season. Reynolds was a junior, with just under 8:53 that next spring for the eight lap distance in track, and ready for some big things the 1982-83 school year in these and other running championship meets. Before the days of State meets in Cross-Country in California, which did not begin until 1987, Kuphaldt and Reynolds were in separate ends of the state during championship time prior to their meeting at Kinney Nationals.
Girls - Connie Robinson (Ohio) was the winner here, with Vickie Cook, finally a senior, 6th here ahead of Tania Fischer (Chaminade, Canoga Park), currently the Santa Monica HS Coach (7th). Cook would finish out her prep track career the next spring with her third consecutive California State 3200 championship at 10:16.27 (#2 time nation for the year). She would add a 4:42.0 mile in track, with that the year Polly Plumer (University, Irvine), who never was into the Kinney Championship series in CC, setting the National Record of 4:35.24, and recently deceased Pennsylvanian Kim Gallagher 4:36.94 that strong year. Kathleen Ebiner (Bishop Amat, La Puente), part of a huge family of runners, was 11th, with Marilyn Davis (Miramonte, Orinda) 14th, and Lori Lopez, back again, 15th. Denise Ball (Newbury Park) was the sixth Californian on the West team in 17th place, as Golden Staters used to dominate the places on the Western regional squad on both the male and female side.

1982 - Orlando, Florida
Boys - In a meet in Florida Eric Reynolds, a senior now at Camarillo HS, overwhelmed the field with a nearly 100 meter triumph, running 14:35 in an effort observers describe as one of the great prep distance efforts ever. The course was relatively flat, but the footing was very inconsistent from stride to stride, making falling into a comfortable rhythmn very difficult. Reports from the course were that Reynolds' effort was amazing! Eric ran 8:44.0 for a full two miles in track that next spring track season, worth just under 8:41 for 3200 meters for the metric eight laps! Eric was a tall runner who went to UCLA. Jesus Gutierrez (Pasadena), a junior, was 7th overall, with Mark Junkermann (Los Alamitos - 10th), Jason Flamm (La Sierra, Carmichael, - 22nd), Jim Ortiz (Barstow - 25th), and George Yuster (Brentwood, LA - 29th) marked another time with six Californians on the regional squad.
Girls - Christine Curtin (New York) won this event, with Corey Schubert (Del Mar, San Jose), later that same year a 1600-3200 state track meet double winner in impressive 4:44.93 and 10:08.14 clockings (among the most impressive performances in state history in Hughes Stadium in Sacramento, third 35 meters behind in third. Laura Cattivera (Mira Costa, Manhattan Beach - 6th), Kathleen Ebiner (Bishop Amat - 15th), Nanette Garcia (another San Jose Cindergal - Silver Creek HS, San Jose 16th), Sandy Blakeslee (Vista - 17th), and Tania Fischer (Chaminade, Canoga Park - 22nd) marked another year with six Californians in the contest.

1983 - San Diego
Boys - The contest moved to San Diego's Balboa Park and the Morley Field course used until 1998. Matt Giusto (San Mateo HS, CCS) was a surprise winner, going from third place in the Region, and from some unbelievably far back place in the Region the year before to take the national title on the current Balboa Park course at 14:54.1. His win under popular Coach Don Dooley, was the first with some real Golden State personality to it, with his story an inspiration to all with his improvement during the year between eleventh and twelfth grade. Fellow Northern Cal star Calvin Gaziano (Castro Valley) was 10th overall, with Pat Watson (Palos Verdes) 12th, and Pete Vicencio (Del Oro, Loomis) 18th.
Girls - Janet Smith (New Jersey) was an impressive winner by 34 seconds at 16:43.7 to set an impressive CR. Kirsten O'Hara (Palos Verdes), eventual UC Berkeley star after an undefeated Fall season up through the Regional, was 5th, with Sally Pinkner (Davis), the Northern Cal Champ (with no state meet in those days) 13th, and Shannon Clark (Mountain View), daughter of the recently deceased Saratoga Coach Marshall, 17th as a soph, and Sylvia Mosqueda (San Gabriel), still a road star at the open level, 23rd. O'Hara had set a Mt. SAC Course Record on the old course that fall of 17:16, and would win the State 3200m in track later spring that year at 10:11.82.

1984 - San Diego
Boys - Scott Fry (Ohio), later a University of Wisconsin star, was a crushing 100 meter winner at 14:50.0. Fry did run 8:46 for 3200m later than year in track as the nation's fastest. Eric Mastalir (Jesuit, Sacramento), eventually a Stanford runner and eleventh grader this year, was 6th, with Greg Whiteley (University, Irvine - 8th), an eventual sub 4 minute miler at Brown University, and Victor Santamaria (Willow Glen, San Jose - 15th). Eric's brother, Mark, was 17th, with Jim Harvath (Thousand Oaks - 27th), and David Naranjo (Sanger - 28th). Calvin Gaziano (Castro Valley) was the seventh California member of the Western Regional squad, but he did not finish the race. Boy, did Californians dominate the make-up of these early Kinney National West teams! Calvin was a personality. When he dropped out of the race on the lower picnic loop, the course monitor who went up to Calvin expected to find him in real physical duress, probably needing medical care, which he did not. Calvin casually commented after dropping out, "Geez, I could never run a darn good race in San Diego." (he had dropped out of a San Diego indoor race also). Gaziano had been the Regional Champ by 50 meters in 14:49 at Woodward Park.
Girls - The Northeastern winning dominance continued this year, with Cathy Schiro (New Hampshire), receiving much publicity for her serious training and competing as a marathoner in high school, winning by 100 meters over Rebecca Chamberlain (Leigh, San Jose) at 16:48.1. Chamberlain, coached by Coach Bill Hotchkiss, was the State 3200 champ the next spring at 10:23.85. Laurie Chapman (Gunderson, San Jose) was 18th, with Tracey Williams (Mountain View, El Monte - 24th), and Melissa Sutton (Newbury Park - 25th) from California in that race. Marnie Mason (Klamath Falls, Oregon), coach there for recently with Ian Dobson and other stars at her former high school, was the regional champ for the west that year in a blistering 17:07 at Woodward Park (she was 8th in the National Finals).

1985 - San Diego
Boys - Great weather and a deep race had Reuben Reina (Texas), later a star at University of Arkansas, the winner by 5 seconds in a still standing 14:36.8 course record over Mark Mastalir (Jesuit, Sacramento) 14:41.3, with Mark Dani (Valhalla, El Cajon -3rd) at 14:50.9. Marc Davis (San Diego) was the first underclass finisher in eighth place, with Eric Mastalir (Jesuit) ninth at 14:56.4. Daren Stonerock (Saugus) was 19th overall. This was the first year of ESPN coverage nationally, with that raising the level of awareness nation-wide of these championships. Mark Mastalir had been the Northern Cal Champ that fall, before the State CC series.
Girls - Erin Keogh (Virginia) started a two year win streak with one of those impressive wins, this time by 24 seconds at 16:43.8 (just one tenth off of the CR)! Suzy Favor, a household name at the Olympic level today, was second. Melissa Sutton (Newbury Park) was 6th as a junior, with Laurie Chapman (Gunderson, San Jose) 9th. Rebecca Chamberlain (Leigh, San Jose) was 12th, with San Diegan Kira Jorgensen (Rancho Buena Vista, Vista) an impressive 14th as just a frosh athlete. Tracey Williams (Mountain View, El Monte - 23rd), Laura Chapel (University City, San Diego - 28th), and Amy Dabul (Temple City - 29th). Seven Californians competed for the Western Regional team this year!! Chapman had won the Western Regional in impressive style by 18 seconds at 17:10, with Sutton next at 17:28.

1986 - San Diego
Boys - Marc Davis, who claimed he could sit in class across the valley and see the course from his classrooms at San Diego HS, followed the still standing Course Record run at Woodward Park in the Regionals with a 14:38.1 win at Nationals. The spirited San Diegan became the first local champion and probably started to peak local interest in the competition. Mason Myers (Vacaville) as 5th, with Aaron Mascorro (Rosemead 9th). David Scudamore (Palos Verdes) was 15th, with Bryan Dameworth (Agoura) 19th as just a ninth grader, and the first of that grade to qualify from the West region in its short history. Robert Lopes (Monte Vista, Spring Valley) was 24th from the San Diego area, with Paul Thomas (Jesuit, Sacramento) 32nd. Davis completed the year undefeated, breaking Eric Reynolds' Woodward Park CR during the Regional run.
Girls - Erin Keogh (Virginia) took this contest the second time in a row, with her 16:55 taking the win by another huge margin, 23 seconds and became the series' first ever two-time champion--she had won the Region meet by 45 seconds! Kira Jorgensen (Rancho Buena Vista, San Diego area) moved up to 4th as a soph, and was the first underclass finisher, resulting in great anticipation for her future prep running. Brigid Freyne (Poly, Riverside) was 6th, with Tracey Williams (Mountain View, El Monte) 9th. Mary Mendoza (Presentation, San Jose) was 13th, with Melissa Sutton (Newbury Park) 23rd, and Nicole Houle (Hesperia) 24th. Rayna Cervantes (Montebello) was the seventh California member of the Western Regional squad, but did not finish.

1987 - San Diego
Boys - Bob Kennedy (Ohio), eventually the top American Olympic level distance runner, led a strong mid-Western presence this year (14:59.0 win), with that region surprisingly five of the top eight places. David Scudamore (Palos Verdes) was 10th, with Jaime Ortega (Arroyo, El Monte) 14th. Ben Ayers (Christian Brothers, Sacramento) was 17th, with Frances O'Neill (San Pasqual, Escondido) 24th out of the San Diego area.
Girls - Kira Jorgensen (Rancho Buena Vista, Vista) became the first female San Diego winner, with a 40 meter triumph at 17:08.7. Kira was a bubbly personality with an infectious smile who helped continue to build local interest in the affair. Frosh Deena Drossin (Agoura) was eleventh to start a strong career here, with Katy McCandless (Castilleja, Palo Alto) 12th, and Robbyn Bryant (Hesperia) 14th, Rayna Cervantes (Montebello) 15th, and soph Nicole Robbins (Hesperia), second of Coach Joe Gomez' stars in the meet, 17th. Ashley Black (Palos Verdes) marked another of Coach Joe Kelly's PV stars here, with a 24th place finish, and the seventh Californian on the West team.

1988 - San Diego
Boys - Brian Grosso (Michigan) continued the Midwest string of wins with his 15:03.3 run. Bryan Dameworth, now a junior at Agoura, was fourth and the first underclass finisher. Bryan had a shoe clipped off in the 1987 regional meet as a soph, otherwise he would have probably been the first four-time qualifier from any region in the history of the affair. Frances O'Neill (San Pasqual, San Diego area) moved up to 7th this year, with Jimmy Rodriguez (Santa Ana Valley) 8th, and Scott Hempel (Walnut) 10th. Louie Quintana (Arroyo Grande), a national finalist as a soph was 32nd in the event, ill that date. Dameworth had already been a two-time California State Division I State CC champ, with that competition starting in 1987, and he was back in the 1988 fall season as the nation's quickest soph 3200 runner from 1988 spring with a 9:06.46 best for 8 laps.
Girls - Celeste Susnis (Indiana) was a Midwest Champ here at 17:14.4. Melody Fairchild (Boulder, Colo) set up her careeer her with a runner-up effort the first time through as a soph. Kira Jorgensen, primed for another championship performance her senior year, just did not have a great day, and was 21st, but was used by Meet Spokesperson Dwight Stones, Olympic High Jump star, as an example of one who took a big gulp and went on with life this wonderful weekend. Karen Hecox (South Hills, West Covina) was fourth, with the eventual UCLA NCAA 3000m champ, today married to former Carpinteria HS mile star Coley Candaele, who interestingly this 20o02 December weekend is the Head Coach of his High School's Football team playing in the Southern Section Finals! Rayna Cervantes (Montebello) completed her Kinney career with a 7th place finish before taking her running to the University of California at Irvine. Soph Deena Drossin (Agoura) was 17th, with Tina Gorbet (Lassen, Susanville) 18th. Jorgensen was the first ever four-time Foot Locker National Finalist, with Hecox a super junior year, undefeated and State Division II CC champ until the Regional qualifying experience.

1989 - San Diego
Boys - Bryan Dameworth (Agoura) closed out his three year Kinney career with an eleven second win his senior year at 14:49.9, with junior Louie Quintana (Arroyo Grande) at 15:10.0 the top underclass finisher. Eliazar Herrera (Hoover, Glendale) was eleventh place. The tall Dameworth, Coached by his step-father Bill Duley, was a three-time California State Division I Champ, was still the only ninth grade male ever to qualify for these championships back in 1986, and closed out a great prep cross-country career here before heading to the University of Wisconsin. Quintana, the only soph in 1988 to make the finals, was primed for a big senior race performance the next season (and had a 4A:12.24 1600 best as just a 10th grader that 1989 season in track).
Girls - Melody Fairchild (Colorado) moved up to the winning position this year at 17:05.5. Becky Spies (Livermore) was 11th, with Deena Drossin (Agoura), in her third year as a junior, 13th. Jeannie Rothman (Westlake, Westlake Village) was 16th, with Beth Bartholomew (Fremont, Sunnyvale) 29th. Jennifer Owens (South Lake Tahoe, California), was 12th finisher, with her school running in the state of Nevada during the prep season. Drossin was a two-time California State Division I Champ in CC already, with Olympic level star Sarah Schwald (Washington) the Regional champ that season.

1990 - San Diego
Boys - Louie Quintana (Arroyo Grande), with one of the first three year careers at Kinney (32nd as soph, 3rd as junior), moved up to win at 15:07.2 by ten seconds, with Dave Hartman (Canyon, Canyon Country) third at 15:20.9. James Menon (San Luis Obispo) was 9th at 15:33.0, with Angel Margtinez (San Gabriel) 16th at 15:43.4. Louie was the 6th athlete ever to qualify for these finals three times as a male athlete, and came back with 4:07.20 and 1:51.90 1600 and 800 times from the previous track season. Louie interestingly is a track and cross-country coach today at Arizona State University, with Hartman at Texas A&M.
Girls - Melody Fairchild (Colorado) rolled to a Course Record 16:39.2 to win by nearly a minute under some warm conditions over Jeannie Rothman (Westlake, Westlake Village). Fairchild, having a super senior year, raced like a demon possessed on this day, in a zone that only Amber Trotter has seemed to be able to move into since. The slight Coloradan moved away early and destroyed a good group. California was well-represented, with Rothman in second followed by Veronica Barajas (Channel Islands, Oxnard) in 5th, Deena Drossin (Agoura) 6th, Milena Glusac (Fallbrook) soph 7th, Carrie Garritson (Rim of World, Lake Arrowhead) frosh 11th, and Shelley Taylor (Edison, Huntington Beach) 12th. Erica Sumi (Wilson, Long Beach) was the seventh Californian this year at 18th overall. Garritson had been an age-group wonder on the road racing circuit, with her first season at the prep level a good one as she had been the State Division III CC Champ. Drossin was one of five four-time female qualifiers for these championships by this, her senior year.

1991 - San Diego
Boys - North Dakotan Corey Ihmels was a dominating 100 meter winner over Jeff Wilson (Newbury Park) at 15:03.6. Angel Martinez (San Gabriel) was 4th, with recently retired Hoover of Glendale mentor Greg Switzer having Margarito Casillas 5th this year. Brazilian import Daniel Das Neves (Helix, La Mesa) was 7th, as Golden Staters took four of the top seven places on the male side! Ryan Wilson (Agoura) continued Coach Bill Duley's string here with a 28th place effort. Wilson was a two-time State Division III Champ, undefeated for the year until the Region, where he was second to Casillas.
Girls - On the girls side it was Liz Mueller (Connecticut) the winner at 17:21.0, with Carrie Garritson (now at Sunny Hills HS in Fullerton) 6th, Maribella Aparicio (Filolmore) 7th, and Christina Blackmer (Upland) 12th. Shelley Taylor (Edison, Huntington Beach) was back at 21st place, with Milena Glusac 30th this year. Gretchen Klein (Ketchikan HS in Alaska) was on the west team that year, relating to us that she used to have her coach come along on her recent training runs, driving her out to run back with the wind in her area, as it was tough to train against 30-50 mile per hour winds, and it was nice to have a car to jump into when a bear came along (and you think you had it tough!).

1992 - San Diego
Boys - New Jersey's Brendan Heffernan was the winner at 15:13.4, with Jaime Martinez (Orange) the first Golden Stater at 10th, with Jim Cera (Upland) 18th, Michael Love (Katella, Anaheim) 26th. The Martin twins, Theo and Tim, Indians from Page, Arizona, were 1-2 in the region, with Matt Davis (Mead, Spokane, Washington third there.
Girls - A good girls contest had Maryland's Amanda White the winner at 17:34.1 over Milena Glusac's 17:38.1 for the Fallbrook local star. Amy Skieresz (Agoura) was third, with Carrie Garritson (Buena Park), at her third school by this time, 19th. Karen Bockel, a German exchange student at Nordhoff (Ojai) was 26th. Glusac was undefeated coming into the race, with the current American distance star at the Olympic level a great local favorite, was a two-time State CC Champ and National Junior 3000m Champ with thousands flocking to Morley Field for the event.

1993 - San Diego
Boys - Coloradan Adam Goucher was the winner in an impressive 14:41.7, with San Diego HS's Mebrahtom Keflezighi, third in the regional, the runner-up at Nationals at 14:53.0. Matt Farley, the lastest of Coach Walt Lange's Jesuit stars to qualify, was 9th, with Mark Hauser (St. Augustine, San Diego), 11th as a local star. Jaime Martinez (Orange) was back again, in 13th. Mead of Spokane's Matthew Davis had won the Western Regional, with his junior brother Micah the eighth qualifier from that team to Nationals for Coach Pat Tyson.
Girls - Erin Davis, from the Saratoga Springs program of Coaches Art and Linda Kranik, was the individual winner as just a frosh, racing 17:11.8, with Western Regional Champ Melissa Lucas (Oregon) second. Molly Mehlberg (Peninsula, Rolling Hills), with Palos Verdes HS and Coach Joe Kelly moving their act to the new area school at Peninsula, was 14th, with Carrie Garritson (Buena Park), a four-time nationals qualifier 17th. Garritson's father had some amazing quotes whille she ran at the elementary and junior high level, with Carrie a very good but not significantly improved career as a prep.

1994 - San Diego
Boys - Matt Downin won the Finals over fellow New Hampshire star John Mortimer at 14:58.3-15:03.1. Eleazar Hernandez (Camarillo) was 5th for the West, with Antonio Arce (Palmdale) 7th. Brett Strahan (Hart, Newhall) was 26th.
Girls - Julia Stamps (Santa Rosa) burst on the scene here with her 16:41.9 win that was a 30 second winner! The age-group star rolled to a near course-record run after setting the Woodward Park CR in her Regional win there. Courtney Pugmire (Esperanza, Anaheim) was 9th before moving on to BYU, with Amyu Skieresz (Agoura) 14th, with frosh Elaine Canchola (Nordhoff, Ojai) 19th, with the lastest Garritson (Heather) (Buena Park) 23rd for the west. Stamps was the State Division I CC Champ at 17:07 at Woodward Park by a 59 second margin, with her 16:45 Regional win a big Course Record (and showing the similarity timewise between Woodward and San Diego's Balboa Park Morley Field course on the clock).

1995 - San Diego
Boys - Abdul Alzidani (Michigan) won over fellow Sharif Karie (Virginia) at 15:12.4. Tom Prindiville (De la Salle, Concord) was 15th, with Will Bernaldo (Nordhoff, Ojai) 22nd, as Daniel Sikiric (Leland, San Jose) did not finish. Sikirc had the top time in California during state meet competition, in winning Division II, with Prindiville impressing after a seventh at state to make the nationals team.
Girls - Julia Stamps did not finish the nationals this year, and Kim Mortensen (Thousand Oaks) started her amazing senior year out from under the shadow, rolling through a 5:11 opening mile and 10:45 two mile on the way to her 17:12.4 win by 16 seconds. Annie Ebiner, the latest of that running family (St. Lucy's, Glendora) was 8th, with Kim Welsh (Yucaipa) 16th, Katie Nuanes (Santa Margarita, Rancho SM) 17th, and Emily Allison (Leland, San Jose) 22nd, with soph Elaine Canchola (Nordhoff, Ojai) 26th. This was the school year that Mortensen, in a zone, set the national prep 3200m record in track of 9:48.59!

1996 - San Diego
Boys - Mohamud Abdirizak (Massachusetts), who only listed a 4:30 1600m best on his bio form, took the Nationals at 15:21.0, with African immigrants going 1-2 with Sharif Karie (Virginia) next. Michael Kasahun (Fresno) was 4th, with David Lopez (Hoover, Glendale) 13th. David Rodriguez (Mission San Jose, Fremont) was 20th, with Geoff Fleming (Roseville) 22nd. This year featured a very casual early pace, with 4:52 at the mile and 9:55 at two miles before Abdirizak charged off the final hill into the lead to win.
Girls - Great California battle had Julia Stamps (Santa Rosa) out under 5:10, with a 70 meter lead through two miles at 10:56 over Kristen Gordon (Carondelet, Concord). At the base of the final hill Julia led by 12 seconds over Gordon, but Julia had some serious problems over the final half mile, and fell right near the finish, and did not make it across the line. Gordon emerged the winner at 17:34.7. Jen Schindler (Ponderosa, Shingle Springs) was 8th, and Katie Nuanes (Santa Margarita) 24th. Stamps had difficulties near the end of some of her high school races, with her physical collapse in an event like this kind of scary to observe.

1997 - San Diego
Boys - Mohamud Abdirizak (Massachusetts) took his second consecutive contest at 15:22.7 over junior Jorge Torres (Illinois). Isaiah Festa (Morro Bay) was third, with Ronnie Buchanan (Righetti, Santa marika) 7th. Mike Altieri (Jesuit, Sacramento) was 8th, with Steve Smith (Ayala, Chino Hills) 12th. Mark Gleason (Mission Viejo) was 15th, and Dusty Herman (Nordhoff, Ojai) 18th.
Girls - Vermont's Erin Sullivan was the winner at 17:22.0 over Oregon's Mariel Ettinger from the West. Sara Bei (Montgomery, Santa Rosa) started another Santa Rosa career here, with her 10th place effort and the first frosh finisher. Lauren Fleshman (Canyon, Canyon Country) was 14th as a junior, with Kimi Welsh (Yucaipa) 16th. Trina Cox (Santa Rosa) was 24th, with Allyson Marquand (University, Irvine) 28th, and Jennifer Burris (Ayala, Chino Hills) 29th. Cox had been the State Division I Champ in CC, with Bei winning Division III.

1998 - San Diego
Boys - Jorge Torres (Illinois) marked a four year career here with a win at 15:16.4. Josh Spiker (Ventura) was 14th, with Celedonio Rodriguez (Maria Carrillo, Santa Rosa) 18th.
Girls - Erin Sullivan (Vermont) won at 17:35.7 before heading off to Stanford, with Lauren Fleshman (Canyon, CC) second and joining Erin there for a fabled college running career. Sara Bei (Montgomery, SR) moved up to third this year, with fellow Santa Rosan Trina Cox 6th. Allyson Marquand (University, Irvine), Stanford great (but in soccer), was 16th,

1999 - Florida - the meet marked a turn to Orlando, Florida within the confines of Disney World there
Boys - Dathan Ritzenhein (Michigan) started a magical period in prep distance running with his 14:29.8 win on the flat golf course in Florida. Augie Escobar (Villa Park) 12th, Jesse McLeod (Lassen, Susanville) 19th, Travis Laird (San Marcos) 25th, Daniel Mejia (Katella, Anaheim) 26th were Californians there.
Girls - Hawaii's Victoria Chang was the winner at 17:05.8 with Anita Siraki (Hoover, Glendale) 4th. Alejandra Barrientos (San Lorenzo Valley, Felton) was 18th with Valerie Flores (San Pedro) 19th overall.

2000 - Florida
Boys - Ritzenhein would meet Alan Webb (Virginia) in a classic duel, with the duo felt to be among the best prep distance runners ever. Ryan Hall (Big Bear) had done some super things in California and was mentioned in the same breath as the amazing top duo by many! Webb would run a 3:53 mile in the spring, with Ritz a 13:44.70 5000 meter (three 4:25 1600's back to back) track season 2001, with Hall a 4:02.62 1600 (and 3:42.70 1500). Webb could not hang with Ritz in the middle of the event, with Rizenhein a 14:35-14:55 winner. Hall ended up a fine third at 14:59, with Brett Gotcher (Aptos) 22nd. The course was changed from 1999 to 2000, and made tougher with turns, angles, and areas of rough run through.
Girls - Californians up front battling!! Anita Siraki (Hoover, Glendale) was up front most of the contest, with Sara Bei (Santa Rosa), not qualifying her junior year, starting way back in the contest and gradually moving up. Over the final half mile in Florida it was a classic struggle, with Bei winning on the sprint, and the contest closer than the 16:55-58 margin listed on the results. It was breath-taking! Liza Pasciuto (Murrieta Valley) was 6th and the first frosh finisher at Nationals to start her running career off in super style, with Amber Trotter (Ukiah) 7th. Clara Horowitz (Head Royce, Oakland) was 21st as a junior, with Natalie Stein (North Hollywood) 25th at Nationals.

2001
Boys - Timothy Moore (Michigan) the individual winner over Virginia's Bobby Lockhart by a second in 14:50.5. Yong-Sung Leal (Arroyo, San Lorenzo) was the second junior finisher behind Chris Solinsky (Wisconsin), third here (who would go on to run 8:48 in the Arcadia 3200). Billy Nelson (Taft) was 9th to finish out a story-book senior year, with Tim Nelson (Liberty Christian, Redding) 20th. Carl Dambkowski (Granada, Livermore) was 29th finisher. Leal, State 3200 Champ at 9:00.49 as a soph in 2001 was primed for a big 2002 year, but injury took out most of his training time during the spring, summer, and early fall, and he was a non-qualifer this year. Tim Nelson is back for the west and planning on a big race this weekend.
Girls - It was Amber Trotter's year, as the Ukiah senior crushed the field with a 16:24.1 clocking that won by 40 seconds! Not since Melody Fairchild had there been some domination of these championships, with the Californian probably the top harrier in Golden State history on this day. Amazingly, there has not been much of substance to Trotter's running career since that great effort. Melody Fairchild went through some of the same, heading to Oregon for a running career that had its ups and downs as a Collegian, with some good open level running after that period. Julie Allen (Corona del Mar, Newport Beach) was 11th in the contest. 2002 Foot Locker West Regional Champ Zoe Nelson (Montana) was 20th in the 2001 finals.

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