State Preview - 1988

1988 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) “Excellence on the Run” might very well be a theme for the Second Annual CIF/Reebok State High School Cross Country Championships. As we gather runners from the different reaches of the nation’s largest state an analysis of the record indicates that we have once again garnered a number of the top teams and runners in the entire nation for today’s competition. National team and individual rankings in the sport of Cross Country and in the distance races during the spring track season show a number of Golden Staters near the top of the national rankings and lists. Our Division I Boys’ competition should be a struggle between a group of very fine squads from the southern half of the state. Last year’s winner here, Arroyo (El Monte), was judged the best team in the country in the sport at season’s end, with this year’s champion probably close to, if not capable of, taking home that honor. Dana proably close, if not capable of, taking home that honor. Dana Hills (SS), last year’s State runner-up at this level, put everyone back on the course for late season competition after injury problems and upset Camarillo (SS), felt to be the State’s top team, in their section finals, Poway (SDS) has competed with those top squads in competition s this season, with Belmont (LA) and Rowland (SS), that Section’s 3A titlest, capable of running with anyone on paper. Madera (CS) has looked strong all season long, with Bellarmine (San Jose) and Live Oak (Morgan Hill) strong out of the central Coast Section. Bryan Dameworth (Agoura-SS), the State Division I individual winner Last fall as a sophomore and the nation’s top 10th grade two miler out-doors with a 9:06.46 best for 3200 meters, returns to defend his title. Mike Williamson (100 Oaks-SS) and Kevin Holbrook (Vacaville-SJS) have looked particularly strong in big Invitationals and Section competitions. Frances O’Neill (San Pasqual, Escondido-SDS), Connie Nelson (Foothill, Pleasanton-NCS), Craig Lawson (Grandada Hills-LA), Robert Nelson (Muir, Pasadena-SS), Todd Lewis (Burbank-SS), and Jim Rodriguez (Santa Ana Valley-SS), have all put together good campaigns. The Girls’ Division I race as a team should be dominated once again by Palos Verdes (SS). The Sea Kings traveled across the nation last fall and defeated the nation’s best during travels which included a thrashing of the East Coast’s best in New York City. The team may be strong this year. Coach Joe Kelly’s team just captured their forth consecutive Section 4A title and their roll should carry them through the State Meet. Last year’s runner-up, Agoura (SS) welcomed back Division individual titlest, Deena Drossin, after some early season injury problems, and the team is very strong once again. Santa Teresa (San Jose-CCS) has shown solid potential, with Evie Barry and Kimik Anderson joined for the fall “hill and dale” sport by super all-around athlete, Kerri Sanchez, one of the nation’s top hurdlers and jumpers in track. San Diego Section teams San Pasquel (Escondido) and Mt. Carmel are solid packs. The Southern Section did sweep the first five teams places here last year, so other qualifiers from that area, Montebello, Norco, and Hesperia, will again be treats. Leland (CCS) and Vacaville (SJS) put together good section Finals runs. Individually, last year’s Division II titlest, Kira Jorgensen (Rancho Buena Vista-SDS), has moved up to this level as the new Vista school added a senior class this year. The Kinney National Champion while competing unattached after her prep season last fall, Kira is felt to be the nation’s premier pre harrier. Challengers here will include Rayna Cerventes (Montebello-SS), runner-up last year and the nation’s #2 two miler in track at 10:18.80 for 3200 meters, and Jamie Park (Santa Barbara-SS), Nicole Robbins (Hesperia-SS), 4th in 87, Ashley Black (Palos Verdes-SS), Suzanne Castruita (West Covina-SS), Beth Bartholomew (Fremont, Sunnyvale-CCS), and Norwegian foreign exchange student, Ann Wedum (San Leandro-NCS). An Interesting battle should take place in the Boy’s Division II radce. Three of the State’s better coaches, Bill Summer (Corona del Mar-SS), Walt Lange (Jesuit, Carmichael-SJS), and Jim Polite (Walnut-SS) all have strong squads led by fine individuals. Corona del Mar is top-ranked in State at this level, and Eddie Lavelle, a 9:92.90 3200 meter runner in track and 6th in this race last year, leads a talented and deep group. Jesuit is led by David Welsh, winner of the Stanford and Clovis Invitationals, with Walnut, the defending champions here, led by last year’s individual titlest, Scott Hempel, the nation’s best returning two miler in track with a 9:01.56 3200 best. Los Gatos (CCS) and El Camino (Oceanside-SDS) should head the rest of the field. Gary Stolz (Miraleste, Palos Verdes-SS) was the Southern Section 1A titlest and 9th individually here last fall, with Andy Bupp (Woodside-CCS), Mike Brown (Gunn, Palo Alto-CCS), and Eli Ricca (Arcata-NCS) looking good in section final runs. Defending Division II Girls’ titlists, Newport Harbor (SS), has about all of that squad back and is the favorite. Stacy Pando and Kim Robinson finished in the top thirteen places last year for the Sailors. Los Gatos (CCS) and Archbishop Mitty (San Jose-CCS), last year’s third place squad, are both very solid groups, with Yucaipa (SS), South Hills (Covina-SS), 4th last fall, and La Jolla (SDS) other teams to watch. Karen Hecox (South Hills, West Covina), runner-up last year here and the nation’s quickest two miler outdoors with a 10:16.14 3200 best in track, Tina Gorbet (Lassen, Susanville-NS), third in 87, Jennie Dempsey (Analy, Sebastapol-NCS), and Eva Belt (El Dorado, Placerville-SJS) are all individual threats. The Division III Boys’s team race should be an interesting one. McFarland (CS), the defending champions, has most of that group back and is running very strongly once again. Johnny Samaniego leads Coach Jim White’s 88 powerhouse. Sherman Indian (Riverside-SS) is a school with a gereat tradition in the sport (sic section titles since 1980), and is peaking nicely. Junior Val Nevayaktewa leads new Coach Tom Colley’s team. The battle between these small schools with a great tradition should be a fine one to watch. University (San Francisco-NCS) is another small school power, led by Matt Metzger. Maranatha (Sierra Madre-SS) was sixth last year and has fine soph Oscar Montes out front in 99, with York School (Monterey-CCS), eight last fall, having a good nucleus back for this year’s championship run. Other good individuals in section final runs were Oscar Perez (Paster Noster, LA-SS) and Tony Bergman (Whittier Christian-SS). The Girls’ Division III title run will feature three very fine teams. Bret Harte (Altaville-SJS) has moved into the favorite’s roll lately. Frosh Amy Davidson and Tanya Dooley lead a Bullfrog team that has steadily improved over the season. Dooley is one of the nation’s outstanding track athletes, the nation’s #2 returning 400 meter runner, at 53:95. Maranatha (Sierra Madre-SS), last year’s titlists, will not give up their reign without a fight. Coach Ken Cronquist’s squad peaked in magnificent style here last year and he has the athletes to put together the same kind of effort in 1988. St. Joseph (Santa Maria-SS) was fourth last fall here and their 1988 team is an improved group. McFarland (CS), University (San Francisco-NCS), second last year, Fort Bragg (NCS), and Coronado (SDS), third in 87, are others who raced with real quality at the section level. Individually, Karen Talamantes (Western Christian, Covina-SS) is the highest returnee, at sixth from 87, with Amy McConnell (University, San Francisco-NCS)(seventh), and Rachel Lewis Santa Catalina, Santa Cruz)(eighth) to her top athletes back. Jean Harvey (Paraclete, Lancaster-SS) is another with solid credentials.