FRESNO — Three years ago, a CIF state high school cross-country championship meet was only an idea. After many deliberations and proposals, it has become a reality.
The meet will begin at 11 a.m. today with the boys Division I race--for schools with more than 1,600 students--over Woodward Park's 5,000-meter course.
Deena Drossin and Bryan Dameworth of Agoura High and Mike Glaze of Notre Dame will be the area's leading representatives. The Agoura girls and the Camarillo boys will be the leading teams from the Valley area.
Drossin, a freshman and the Southern Section 2-A Division champion, will be favored in the Division I race.
Behind Drossin, Agoura will set its sights on a second-place finish. The Chargers, the No. 2-ranked team in the division, do not appear to have a chance to upset Palos Verdes, the Southern Section 4-A champion and the No. 1-ranked team in the state.
Seventh-ranked Camarillo will be shooting for a top-five finish in the Division I race. The Scorpions defeated fifth-ranked Vacaville and sixth-ranked Upland earlier this season at Mt. SAC.
Dameworth, who placed fourth in the Southern Section 2-A championships, should place in the top 10 in his race.
The 6-1, 155-pound sophomore likes the Woodward course. He placed eighth there in last year's Kinney West Regionals Championships.
Glaze also will be gunning for a top-10 finish, but in the boys Division II race, which is open to schools with from 801 to 1,600 students.
Mike Esparza of Newbury Park, Jessica Craven of Camarillo and Jena Haggenmiller of Thousand Oaks also will run. They were not originally selected, but the Southern Section altered its qualifying format to concur with other CIF sections.
Esparza, who placed fourth in the 4-A championships, will run in the boys Division I race. Craven (fourth in the 4-A championships) and Haggenmiller (seventh) will run in the girls Division I race.
Other competing schools from the area include Village Christian in the boys Division III race and Moorpark in the girls Division III race. Brothers Ricky and Alfredo DeLeon of Moorpark will run in the Division III race as individuals.