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JUNIOR COLLEGES / FALL PREVIEW : Area Cross-Country Teams Capable of Repeating Feats

September 12, 1993|FERNANDO DOMINGUEZ and JOHN ORTEGA | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Let's see, did Glendale College win the women's or the men's cross-country championship last season in the Western State Conference? Was Moorpark undefeated in conference action in wrestling and women's soccer or was it in two other sports? Were Valley and Ventura in the hunt for the water polo title?

If your head is spinning trying to remember, give it a rest. The lowdown on how the area junior college teams fared last fall and how they are shaping up for this season appears below.

CROSS-COUNTRY

From A (Antelope Valley) to G (Glendale) to V (Ventura), the area should be well-represented when the state championships are held in Fresno on Nov. 20.

The men's and women's teams from each of those schools qualified for last year's state meet and the same scenario could arise this year.

Antelope Valley Coach Mark Covert enters his fifth season at the Lancaster school with the best men's and women's team he has had.

Mark Sinderson, who placed 13th in last year's state championships, will lead a Marauder men's team that includes sophomores Dave Hensley--a transfer from Long Beach City College--and Kris Klausmeier. Add freshmen Joe Bedortha (Littlerock High) and Roy Richards (Boron) to the mix and Covert says you have the ingredients for a team that is "much better than last year's team," which placed 13th in the state meet.

Antelope Valley sophomores Teresa Santana (47th in last year's state championships), Rene Azevedo (28th) and Kristin Whitehead return from last year's women's team that finished seventh in the state meet, and each is capable of finishing among the top 20 this season, according to Covert. But how well the Marauders finish as a team could be determined by freshmen Amber Williams (Antelope Valley) and Melissa Tibbs (Desert Christian), their Nos. 4 and 5 runners.

Glendale will be without Jacques Salsberg this season--the 1992 Western State Conference champion withdrew from school last semester--but the Vaqueros appear to have enough depth to contend for their fourth consecutive WSC title and a top-five finish in the state meet after finishing 11th last year.

Sophomores Luis Jacobo and Gilbert Roca are expected to be Coach Eddie Lopez's top two runners, with freshmen Nacho Delgado (Glendale), Tony Uribe (Glendale), Dio Almendariz (Burbank) and Adrian Baca (Schurr) filling in the Nos. 3-6 positions.

"We don't have that one big gun like we've had in the past," Lopez said. "But this could be one of the best teams I've had here in terms of depth."

The Vaquero women's team will be dominated by freshmen, but Coach Gretchen Lohr-Cruz figures her squad--like the men's--is capable of a top-five finish in the state championships.

Freshmen Joanna Potillo (El Camino Real), Auria Roberto (Belmont), Ana Hernandez (Eagle Rock) and Margarita Renteria (Eagle Rock) are expected to be the top runners on a team that is shooting for its second WSC title in the last three years.

The Ventura men will be hard-pressed to duplicate their ninth-place finish in last year's state championships, but Coach Tuck Mason says the Pirate women have a good shot at successfully defending their WSC title.

Valerie Aceves (20th in the state meet), Isabel Saucedo (49th) and Melissa Bramlett return from last year's team that placed eighth in the state championships. They will be joined by promising freshmen Julie Correa (Buena), Christy Ruffin (Buena), Sarah Kunde (Nordhoff) and Yolanda Ortiz (Channel Islands).

"The men are a question mark, but the women should be tough again," Mason said. "We've got a nice combination of returning runners and freshmen."

MEN'S SOCCER

After losing to East L.A., 1-0, in the state finals in 1990, Moorpark has struggled to regain that form. The Raiders finished fifth last season in the six-team WSC and third the previous season. They won only two of 17 matches in '92, both in conference play.

"We've had a little letdown, but I think we have a good shot at the playoffs," fifth-year Coach Frank Parodi said. "We have a very fast front line and a very skillful midfield."

The speedy forwards include redshirt sophomore Chris Goldsbury, who suffered a fractured ankle in the second match last season and didn't play again. The midfield corps features Kimbo Katsuda, a transfer from Concordia College in Portland, Ore., and redshirt freshman Sean Takata from Simi Valley High. Returners Jason Lonas, who moves from fullback to halfback, and sweeper Mark Cargnel lend experience.

The experience factor, however, is not abundant at Glendale. Only two players return for the defending WSC champion, which was 8-2-2 (10-4-2 overall) and finished just ahead of Oxnard (9-3). The lack of veteran personnel, Coach Joe Agoston said, will make it difficult for the Vaqueros to repeat.

Sweeper Sal Rizzo and midfielder Yusaku Kobayashi are the only returning starters.

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