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CROSS-COUNTRY : Corona del Mar, Garritson Take Fields by Storm


LAGUNA HILLS — Buena Park senior Carrie Garritson and the Corona del Mar girls' team looked as though they belonged in a different class Saturday at the Laguna Hills Cross-Country Invitational.

Garritson, who trailed in the Division II girls' junior/senior race for the first 100 meters before moving to the head of the field, easily posted the afternoon's fastest time over the three-mile course--17 minutes 48 seconds. Garritson's next closest competitor was Carrie Quinn of Edison, one minute behind.

For Coach Bill Sumner's Sea Kings, the Division III girls' junior/senior race looked like an intrasquad meet, with Corona del Mar runners taking the top four spots. Juniors Dresden Howell, Tracy Clark and Brooke Meek led the way, but the Sea Kings left some wondering why Sumner chose to avoid the strong team competition in other divisions.

"I would love to move my girls around in the invitationals because we are one of the better teams in the nation, but if I move one team, they (meet organizers) will want me to move all the other boys' and girls' teams, too," Sumner said. "We have a student body of 900, and for them to race schools that have 500 to 600 in a class just isn't fair."

The Edison girls' team also had little trouble in the Division II junior/senior race. The Chargers, defending Sunset League and Southern Section Division II champions, disposed of county powerhouses Santa Margarita, Tustin, Laguna Hills and Ocean View, all running with depleted teams because of the meet's format.

"I don't put a lot of stock into this meet because other teams' strengths could lie with their freshmen and sophomores, who probably ran in other races," Edison Coach Kristi McGihon said.

The Chargers were led by Quinn and senior Danielle Eldridge, who was fifth (19:08).

Esperanza's Carrie Caulkins and Courtney Pugmire blazed to a 1-2 finish in the Division I junior/senior race. Caulkins ran the county's second-fastest time of the day at 18:47, behind Garritson.

Santa Ana Valley junior Joel Orosco ran away with the Division I junior boys' race in 15:24.

At the Las Vegas Invitational:

Nelson, Canyon win--Canyon senior Kim Nelson, the runner of the meet, covered 2.3 miles in 13:28 as Canyon won the girls' team title with 37 points to 52 for El Modena and 78 for Trabuco Hills.

El Modena sophomore Tara Whitfield was second in 13:46.

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