Bryan Dameworth of Agoura High shattered an 11-year-old meet record and helped the Charger boys' team edge a highly regarded Canyon squad for the Division I title at the Kenny Staub cross-country invitational Saturday at Crescenta Valley Park.
Dameworth, the two-time defending state Division I champion, timed 14 minutes, 50.1 seconds over the three-mile course to better the previous mark of 15:05.1, set by Burbank's Jeff Nelson in 1978.
However, the Charger senior, who is undefeated in four races this season, just missed the course record of 14:49 that Nelson set in the 1978 Foothill League championships.
"I wanted it, but, man, it hurt," Dameworth said. "I slowed down quite substantially."
And it showed. Dameworth held a 25-meter lead at a mile (4:48) and fell off the pace, running the second mile in 5:09 (9:57 at two miles). He managed, though, to extend his advantage to 90 meters during the second mile. With a course record in mind, Dameworth steamed to a 4:53 in the final mile.
Dameworth's victory boosted the Agoura boys, top-ranked in the Southern Section 2-A Division, to the Division I title, 64-69, over Canyon, the No. 2 team in the 4-A.
Canyon's Dave Hartman (15:29) and Dan Berkeland (15:36) finished third and fourth, but Agoura placed five runners among the top 23 finishers to turn back the Cowboys, whose fifth man, junior Wes Hinson, finished 28th.
Quentin Bauer, a junior transfer from Westlake, placed sixth in 15:55 and junior Mike Cherman (16:29), sophomore Justin Koppel (16:44) and junior Ryan Golds (16:59) finished 14th, 15th and 19th, respectively, to round out Agoura's scoring.
Hoover's Eliazar Herrera, who had won his respective races at the Woodbridge and Bell-Jeff invitationals, finished second in 15:18.
Junior Deena Drossin clocked 18:31 to win the girls' Division I race and carry Agoura (28 points) to the team title over Alta Loma (92) and Westlake (96).
Drossin, plagued by shin splints, had pushed to an 80-meter lead at the two-mile mark (12:16), but she was unsure about the activity of the other runners, particularly Jeannie Rothman of Westlake, who finished second in 18:43.
"Until I crossed the finish line, I wasn't sure I would win," Drossin said. "I knew Jeannie was right in back of me because I could hear people screaming for her. . . . I had to stay strong."
Agoura placed five runners among the top 10 finishers to win its second consecutive invitational this season.