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Aliso Niguel Runners Already on Fast Track

October 06, 1994|MARTIN HENDERSON

ALISO VIEJO — Second-year Aliso Niguel is on the verge of breaking into the Orange County top 10 girls' cross-country rankings--no small feat. The Wolverines have only two seniors, but are likely to become the school's first top-10 team before the season ends. In their most recent performance, Saturday at the Stanford Invitational, the Wolverines finished fourth in the Division II race.

Aliso Niguel (180 points) was blown away by Edison (108 points) just like everyone else, but the Wolverines finished ahead of some pretty heady Southern Section company--Agoura (ranked fourth in the section), Laguna Hills (ninth) and Ocean View (10th).

"They got third last year in CIF Division III-AA, which is pretty impressive," Coach Jennifer Thomas said, "but as far as invitationals go, and competing against bigger schools and competing state-wide, that was a pretty good showing. It was pretty impressive.

"We still have a long way to go. There are some phenomenal cross-country teams in the county, but it's a nice statement for a team that doesn't have a lot of seniors and is in its second competitive season. It's a real confidence booster. Plus, coming off the one-point loss to Laguna Hills probably fired them up, too."

Aliso Niguel's five scoring runners finished within 25 seconds of each other, led by Andrea Rosien, who finished 28th. The team's best runner, Jenny Speirs, was under the weather and finished fifth in the group.

"We're a better invitational team than we are dual-meet team," Thomas said. "We have a lot of kids running solid times, but we don't have a front-runner, and that's why we'll get beat in OC."

There's also help on the way. Three runners finished in the top 10 in the open junior varsity race--and all would have finished among the top five in the varsity race. The junior varsity team finished fifth overall.

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