State Preview

1987 California Reebok State High school Cross Country Meet Preview by Doug Speck – Arcadia HS/California Track & Running News (in the article below, the following section abbreviations are used – San Diego (SDS), Southern (SS), Central (CS), Central Coast (CCS), North Coast (NCS), Sac Joaquin (SJS), and Northern (NS) We are all an exciting bit of history today! This inaugural California Reebok State High School Cross Country Championship will be the first of many gatherings that will showcase the finest in prep distance running talent. It is great to realize that at the end of each Fall Harrier season the best in California from the North and South and the far reaches of the nation’s most populous and athletically successful state will gather to compete for coveted Individual and Team Championships. Many of the finest runners in the entire nation are here today. Our competition today will start with a battle for California team supremacy among a fine group of Division I Boy’s squads. Arroyo (El Monte—SS), Dana Hills (SS), and Palos Verdes (SS) are all very strong, Arroyo is undefeated this fall, the section 3A Champion and winner of big Invitationals at Stanford and Mt. SAC, while Dana Hills upset Palos Verdes for the 4A Section title. Bellarmine Prep (San Jose) was beaten by the best from the South at Clovis and Stanford, but shocked with a perfect 15 point team score in the Central Coast Section Finals, and is obviously a group peaking in superb style. Upland (SS), Vacaville, the Sac-Joaquin Section Champion, and San Ramon (Danville-NCS) are also coming on strong. Interestingly, Arroyo and Dana Hills have not competed in the same race this fall, even though they are about a half an hour apart on the LA area freeways. Dana Hills had a one second better team time (top five times added up) than Arroyo in the Section Championships (in different races), but DH is the only squad that is not familiar with the foursome up front, but their fifth scorer is slower than any of the above listed teams, a dangerous situation with so many strong squads in the field. Goshu Tadese (Crawford, San Diego-SDS) is undefeated this fall, was the fastest in the Mt. SAC Invitational, and his duel with David Scudamore (Palos Verdes—SS), 15th year in the Kinney National Cross Country Championships, should be a good ninth grader Luis Quintana (Arroyo Grande-SS), soph, Bryan Dameworth (Agoura-SS), Scott Smoot (Vacaville-SJS), Steve Nirkelbach (Concord-NCS), Bobby Rodriquez (McClane, Fresno-CS), and the Arroyo (SS) duo of Jaime Ortega and Derrick Powers are other strong individuals. Our Girl’s Division I race features the nation’s top prep female harrier squad. Palos Verdes (SS 4A winner), a groups that has easily handled the best California can offer, and marked a trip to New York’s Van Cortland Park on October 10th with a thrashing of the best teams on the East Coast in the Manhattan College Invitational. Southern Section teams Agoura (2A titlest there), Hesperia, Arroyo Grande (3A winners), and Montebello, should battle with Vacaville (SJS), California (San Ramon-NCS), and the Central Coast Section’s Leland (San Jose) and Los Gatos for the spots after Palos Verdes. An outside shot to fight for top honors in this division is Madera, who performed magnificently a week ago in the Central Agoura’s Dwena Drossin is a super frosh with only one loss ever in the sport stretching back to two National Age-Group championships. Montebello’s Rayna Cervantes is a 10:30.72 3200m runner and a Kinney National Cross Country finalist last winter, with Ashley Black (Palos Verdes) and Jennifer Ashe (Leland) also very strong. Santa Barbara’s Jamie Park (SS) was the Section 4A titlest, Brigid Freyne (Riverside Poly-SS) was sixth nationally in the Kinney series last dEcember, with Mary Lopez (Maderz-CS), Becky Spies (Livermore-NCS), Tiki Wilcox (Santa Clara-CCS), and Allison Maxwell (University City, San Diego-SDS) Peaking nicely in Section Finals competitions. The Division II Boy’s competion will feature Southern Section powers Corona del Mar and Walnut. DCM (4th in Section 4A) leads with Eddie Lavelle (9:14.90 3200m as soph.),, while Walnut (the 2A winner) has Sention 2a champion Scott Hempel (9:07.04 320m last year) out front. The teams are very, very close, with Walnut showing a little more depth on paper. How well Walnut’s Darren Walker can recover from late season illness will be a big factor. Jewsuit (Sacramento-SJS) is the division team of the future with a stron all-underclass squad, with a solid Newport Harbor (SS) team led by Jim Geerlings (4:16.15 1600m). El Camino (Oceanside-SDS) and Gunn (Palo Alto-CCS) dominated their Division’s Section Finals races. Strong individuals in a ddition to those already mentioned are Ben Ayers (Christian Brothers, Sacramento-SJS), Brett Mack (Carlmont, Belmont-CCS), Gary Stoltz (Miraleste, Palos Verdes-SS), Juan Romero (Arvin-CS), and Mike Glaze (Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks-SS). The Division II Girl’s contest has strong squads from all areas of the State. Newport Harbor (SS) has slipped into the favorite’s role off its performances recently, with Archibishop Mitty (San Jose-CCS), led by Thea Roberts, continuing to improve. South Hills (Covina-SS), with super Karen Hecox (10:31.95 3200m) leading, and Woodbridge (Irvine-SS), third in the Section 2A without star Laura Peck, are also very strong. Rancho Buena Vista (Vista-SDS) is a young, developing squad that is led by perhaps the country’s finest prep distance runner, Kira Jorgensen (4:45.98 1600m and 16:24.23 3200m), who is undeafeated this Fall and is the top returnee (at fourth) nationally from the Kinney National Championships in the sport. Tina Gorbet leads a traditionally very fine Lassen (Susanville-NS) team. Other strong individuals are Sandra Acosta (Walnut-SS), Suzanne Castruita (West Covina-SS), Cindy Mahaffey (Carlmont, Belmont-CCS), and Kolleen Kassis (St. Francis, Sacramento-SJS). The Boy’s Division III appears to be the personal property of a super McFarland team from the Central Section. Having threashed all competition at this level in statewide travels, the under 500 sutdent school is led by Thomas Vvalles and features four underclass runners in its top five. Yreka is a fine group from the Northern Section, while Maranatha (Sierra Madre-SS), Village Christian (Sun Valley-SS), and Bishop (SS) all have had successful fall seasons. A super individual battle on top will be featured here. Scott Cole (Yosemite, City, Sacramento-SJS), 9:20.6 for that distance, were both brilliant in Section Finals races. Brian Ochs (Mission College Prep, San Luis Obispo-SS) and David Wester (Maranatha-SS) went 1-2 in the Section 1A finals, with Eric Kinney (Pinewood, Los Altos-CCS) and Wan Perry (York, Monterey-CCS) stron this season. The Girl’s III race will finish out our day with another very talented, yet geographically diverse, group of teams. A number of squads are in contention for the champions. Coronado (SDS) leads with Shamen Duggar and Viviana Reza, St. Joseph (Santa Maria-SS) Evelyn Martino and Steffi Ambrozak, Yreka (NS) Shannon Hanlon, Bret Harte (Angel’s Camp-SJS) Tanya Dooley, and a talented University (San Francisco-NCS) squad Amy McConnell and Nell Smith. Maranatha (Sierra Madre-SS), the Section 1A Champ, is a tight pack. Katy McCandless (Castillleja, Palo Alto-CCS), the best in the West last fall as the winner of the Kinney Western Regional (and with a 10:32.77 3200m best), is undefeated this season. Tanya Thayer (Serrano, Phelan-SS) is a two time Section 1A titlest, with Karen Talamantes (Western Christian, Covina-SS) also running well.