State XC Preview - 1992California Prep Harries Gather For Sixth Annual CIF/Reebok State Cross Country Championships By Doug Speck – California Track and Running News A fine crop of California High School cross country athletes wills annual CIF /REEbok State Cross Country Championships. The quality of participation is once again very high, with last year’s Division I championship teams, Hart/SS (Boys) and Agoura/SS (Girls), crowned mythical “national champions” at season’s end by Harrier Magazine. Those same very strong teams started out the 1992 season ranked in the top position nationally, with both suffering defeats during the season by other California teams, so it has been an exciting Fall. Individual quality will match the great team competition in our four Boys and Girls divisions this morning. Ryan Wilson (Agoura-Div. II)/SS, Margarito Cassillas (Hoover, Glendale-Div. I)SS, and defending Division IV champion, Maribella Aparicio (Fillmore)/SS, accorded the same honor on the female side. Our first race of the morning, a very competitive Boys Division IV contest, will feature a great group of four squads. McFarland/C, ranked #1 all season long at this level, has ridden the veteran trio of Jose Sanchez, Gabriel Diaz and Victor Heredia into the slight favorite’s role, with two wins during the season over the best in the South, Yreka/N led, by very talented overall section champion as a frosh, Aaron Gillen, and Jeremy Ravenscroft, has performed at a very high level all Fall. Defending champion Nordhoff (Ojai)/SS is moving towards its usual torrid peak, with soph Javier Ramirez, Micah Robles, and Brock Essick, stron team leaders. Morro Bay/Micah Robles, and Brock Essick, strong team leaders. Morro Bay/SS is another very strong squad, with fine soph Dave Mitchell taking the Section title and junior Joey Taverner close behind in second. Fillmore/SS, Taft/C, led by John Orosco, Maranatha (Sierra Madre)/SS, Fortuna/NC, and Arcata/NC are other very capable teams. Bell Jeff (Burbank)/SS twins Jose and Leonard Diaz, Steve Brown (Piedmont)/NC, and Josh Cox (Christian, San Diego)/SD are individual threats. The Girls Div. I contest will feature two teams performing magnificently for schools of their size, with wise coaches orchestrating their talented crews. Lassen (Susanville)/N, under veteran Coach Bob Wall, has stars Stephi Gluntini and Sally Pyle leading, with the squad’s five scorers gapping at a minute and a half in the Section meet. Nordhoff (Ojai)//SS, defending champs here also under Coach Reeves (they swept both Div. IV titles last fall), has German foreign exchange student Karen Bockel capable of well under 19:00, with Monica Berlin and the rest of the team peaking nicely. Pick the uniforms out that these two fine squads are wearing before the race starts this morning and sit back and watch a classic struggle. Ursuline (Santa Rosa)/NC and Arcata?NC, the surprises of the 1992 CIF/Reebok State meet, finished closely in that order at the CIF/Reebok North Coast Section finals, with Dixon/SJ putting together a fine race in the Section finals. Laguna Beach/SS, Maranatha (Sierra Madre)/SS, McFarland/C, Yreka/N, and Bear River/SJ have showed the talent to challenge for the third place team award. Defending individual champion Maribella Aparicio (Fillmore)/SS is one of the nation’s best, with Faye Roundy (Morro Bay)/SS, and Amber Parkinson (Orange Lutheran)/SS quality veterans here. In her Section Finals, Anakai Webb (Bear River, Grass Valley)/SJ, showed up last at the start, fell down after 100 yards, then won by almost two minutes. Laura Hamady (Urban School, San Francisco)/NC, small schools champ back in 1989 as a frosh, returned to the harrier wars this fall, taking the CIF/Reebok North Coast title over Vicky Flaschner (Fortuna)/NC. Marissa Hurwitz (Bishops, San Diego)/SD and Danielle Wall (Carmel)/CC were impressive in their Section finals. The Boys Division III race features season long top-ranked Newport Harbor (Newport Beach)/SS, led by fine individuals, Jared Overton and Sky Peterka, against a talented group from around the state. St. Augustine (San Diego)/ has Mark Hauser and Daniel O’Conner leading a very successful squad, with San Marino/SS closing to within eight points of Newport at the Section meet, with Warren Wolf, Ben Nichols, and Lee Zuckerman talented eladers for Coach Phil Ryan’s team. Livermore/NC is another with great tradition, with Aaron Daniel leading the 1992 Cowboy powerhouse. Ayala (Chino)/SS, LaPuente/SS, Lemoore/C, and Los Gatos/CC are others with the talent to challenge the above foursome on a good day. Roger Ciano (San Luis Obispo)/SS, Marcus Ferrara (South Torrance)/SS, talented soph, Jason Balkman (Lynbrook, San Jose)/CC, Joe Sauerissig (Yosemite, Oakhurst)/C, and soph Darren Hoch (Sorona)/SJ, are other individuals who will be in the front pack. The Girls Division II run is another with talented teams from the width and breadth of the state. Corona del Mar (Newport Harbor)/SS has had a super fall, with the Sea Queens ranked #11 nationally. Coach Bill Sumner’s crew has Tracy Clark, Dresden Howell, and Brook Meek leading a group undeafeated at their level. Laguna Hills/SS was strong in the section meet, with Mayra Medina and Heather McGlone capable of high placings here. Miesha Marzel, undefeated this fall and CIF/Reebok State 800-meter champion in track (2:09.84), left a very strong Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland)/NC team. Aptos, if healthy, has the talent to challenge anyone, with Liz Leigh-Wood leading the Mariners. St. Francis (Mountain View)/CC has one of the state’s most improved athletes in Tilla Torrens out in front, with El Modena (Orange)/SS star Kristina Dahlberg, and defending champion, Newport Harbor (Newport Beach)/SS, another strong team. Carondolet (Concord)/NC was impressive in its Section Finals Meet. Magi Martinez (Wood, Vacaville)SJ, Danielle Pekar (Rubidoux, Riverside)/SS, and Ann BAldelli (St. Ignatius, San Francisco)/CC are other talented individuals. A Very strong group of teams headlines the Boys Division II contest, with Mission Bay (San Diego)/SD currently ranked #11 nationwide and Katella (Anaheim)/SS #16 in the entire country. For Mission Bay, Devin Elizondo leads a very talented group, with Katella the strong one-two punch of Mike Love and mike Moreno. Agoura/SS, has 1992 division runner-up Ryan Wilson, who is undefeated this fall, and talented soph, John Greene, with the team within two points of Katella in Section Finals action. Jesuit (Sacramento)/SJ, with Matt Farley leading, has put together a super fall, and is a legitimate title threat. Canyon (Canyon Country)/SS, Camarillo/SS, and San Pasqual (Escondido)/SD led by top twenty rated nationally, Nazario Romero, are solid teams from down south, with Montgomery (Santa Rosa)/NC impressive up north. Richard Brewer (North, Bakersfield)/C, George Rivera (Delano)/C, Wike Pendergraph (Notre Vista, Riverside)/SS, Walker Christensen (Claremont)/SS, and Matt Creason (Eureka) have put together fine fall seasons. The Girls Division II it is kind of a “city” affair, with Huntington Beach competing with strong Edison/SS and Ocean View/SS teams, team with Edison currently ranked #6 nationally. Ocean View was right with their local rival in Section finals action. Defending CIF/Reebok State champion Edison returns six of seven from those teams, with new varsity team member, soph Elyse Homberger, the squad’s #1 runner in her first year in the sport. Ocean View leads with the talented duo of soph Taryn Lawson and Christie Engesser, one for the nation’s top 800-meter runners in track at 2:11.23, with the battle between these two special groups here a contest worth watching. Los Gatos/CC, led by talented sophs Miranda Middlecoff and Holly Malander, Corona/SS, with fine junior Claris Fernandez leading, Bishop Amat (La Puente)/SS, with a solid pack, should battle for the third team award. San Pasqual (Escondido)/SD, with talented Meliss Keim leading, has great tradition. Kim Nelson (Canyon, Anaheim)/SS, Jenny Moretensen (Redwood, Visalia)/C a transfer from Idaho, and Michele Cox (Escondido)/C are strong individuals. The Boys Division I contest here each year usually settles the mythical “national title,” such is the power of Golden State teams. Defending champion and crowned 1991’s mythical “national champion” by Harrier Magazine, Hart (Newhall)/SS, returns most of its varsity, and has had a fine season. Thousand Oaks/SS (#7 ranked in the nation), has twice defeated Hart, with a very impressive late October Mt. SAC Invitational win and CIF/Reebok Southern Section finals run. Super sophs Jeff Fischer and Kevin Marsden led the Lancers in the Section championships win. Madera/C, with one of the nation’s richest traditions, has been third, second, and fourth the last three years, with juniors Ricky Chavez and Eric Kropf leading Coach Dennis DeWitt’s team due for a title. Defending champion Hart/SS has athletes with talent to get the job done, and big run here would be a nice “going away” present for Coach Gene Blankenship, who announced his resignation recently with planned move to the state of Washington. Peninsula (Rolling Hills)/SS has talented Dan Minami leading a very stron squad, with De La Salle (Concord)/NC, talented defending Division II titlists, braving a move up to the Large School level, with Mike Prindiville the top Spartan. Margarito Casillas (Hoover, Glandale)/SS, last year’s individual runner-up at this level, returns undeafeated thus far this fall. Jaime Martinez (Orange)/SS, talented junior Eric Dunn (Arroyo Grande)/SS, and Jim Cera (Upland)/SS have all had fine Fall seasons. Mehbrahton Keflezhighi (San Diego)/SD, an Etrian native, has been Mehbrahton Keflezhighi (San Diego)/SD, an Etrian native, has been super this season. Scott Carvelli (Santa Teresa, San Jose)/CC and Brian Wilkinson (Merced)/SJ, the nation’s top middle distance runner in track where he has run 1:51.19 for 800 meters and 4:11.17 for 1600 meters, were Section individual champs. Our Girls Division I championship race features another #1 nationally ranked squad out to continue to reprove itself. Agoura/SS, which amazingly has never been worse than second in this meet since its inception (talk about tradition), ended the 1991 season as since its inception (talk about tradition), wnded the 1991 season as the nation’s #1 squad by Harrier magazine. Injuries and illness held the Chargers down during mid-season, with a solid win over current #2 ranked nationally Peninsula (Rolling Hills)/SS in the Section finals. Peninsula is not shabby in the tradition department either, with Coach Joe Kelly taking three CIF/Reebok State titles while at Palos Verdes High before the district combined into one with super soph, Amy Skieresz, with Kay Nekota returning as the division’s 1991 runner-up. Molly Mehlberg and Jamie Artzner lead the talented Peninsula squad. Mt. Carmel/Sd hopes to hold off the rest of the CIF Southern Section contingent with Melanie Pickett and Jennifer Vergith top Sundevil runners. Irvine/SS, with strong Kelly Roda leading, had a fine Sectionfinals race, with Wilson (Long Beach)/SS, 1990 third placer Erica Sumi and Christine Lewis, another squad capable of a team time will under 100:00 here. Belmont (LA)/LA have Patty Trejo leading a team that had 19 points in the Section meet. The individual battle in this event will be very special. Milena Glusac (Fallbrook)/SD, the defending Div. I champ, broke one of the nation’s most respected course records at Mt SAC earlier in the year under less than ideal muddy conditions. Amy Skieresz (Agoura)/SS was a distant second in that race, but closed time wise to within ten seconds of Glusac’s record in setting a Mt. SAC soph course record in the CIF/Reebok Southern Section finals. The duo rates among the top half dozen runners in the nation, with Glusac having broken the spirits of many a challenger in recent years with her wicked early pacing. The individual contest out front will be an interesting one. Grace Durnell (Merced)/SJ has romped to impressive invitational wins statewide.