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NOTEBOOK : Garfield Wins City Cross-Country Title, Its First Since 1963

November 27, 1994|KIRBY LEE | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Paced by runner-up Richard Martinez, Garfield edged Palisades to win its first City championship since 1963.

Garfield had 43 points to Palisades' 48. Belmont, winner of 10 of the 12 previous championships, was third with 65 points in the Nov. 19 meet.

It was the eighth title for Garfield, which also won championships in 1950 and 1954-58. It took teamwork and putting earlier setbacks against Palisades aside to do it. The Dolphins defeated the Bulldogs to win the Kenny Staub invitational in October and in the semifinals Nov. 9.

"We're the kind of team that starts off easy at the beginning and finishes strong at the end of the season," Martinez said. "We knew in our hearts once our guys picked it up midway through the season, we could do it."

Peter Gilmore of Palisades led from the start to win in 14 minutes 56 seconds--the fastest winning time in 11 years--and the Dolphins placed three runners among the top six.

But Garfield's depth was decisive. In addition to second-place Martinez (15:25), the Bulldogs received seventh- and ninth-place finishes from David Jimenez (15:54) and Eddie Sanchez (16:00). Garfield also placed its fourth, fifth and sixth runners, Junior Camacho (16:24), Armando Morales (16:29) and Raul Cabrera (16:37), in 19th, 20th and 26th place, ahead of Palisades' No. 5 runner, who finished in 31st.

"We knew their fifth man was going to hurt (Palisades)," Martinez said. "But we weren't going after the fifth guy. Our strategy was to go after their third and fourth and surround them."

The top two teams and five individuals not on a qualifying team advanced to the State championships at Woodward Park in Fresno on Saturday. Martinez placed sixth in last year's City finals to qualify.

The Bulldogs will be making their first trip to the State meet as a team (the first State meet took place in 1987). Garfield was runner-up in the 1990 City meet, but a scoring error allowed Taft to advance as the No. 2 team.

Delfina Martinez of Belmont won the girls' race in 18:58, but the five-time defending champion Sentinels were no match for Palisades, which won its first City title in 13 years with 54 points.

Taft and Huntington Park were second and third with 64 and 109 points. Belmont was fourth with 127.

Manuel Lopez of Belmont, who placed third in the boys' race in 15:32, and Lourdes Menchaca of Huntington Park (19:15) and Aida Rochin of Garfield (19:38), who were third and eighth in the girls' race, also qualified for the State meet.

Salesian earned its second consecutive berth in the State meet in the Southern Section finals at Mt. San Antonio College. Eduardo Santillan was sixth in 16:21 to lead the Mustangs to a third-place finish in Division IV.

*

The East L.A. College soccer team defeated Orange Coast, 3-0, in the first round of the Southern California Regional playoffs. Sergio Vasquez scored twice and Ricardo Saucedo had another goal for the Huskies on Tuesday. East L.A. (18-2-1) played San Diego City at home Saturday. The winner advances to the State championships in Sacramento Dec. 3-4.

*

The first Corrida de Campeones Nov. 20 generated fast times and more than $5,000 in scholarships for Latino students in East Los Angeles.

The elite 10,000-meter race featured some of the world's top runners, competing for $20,000 in prize money.

Phillimon Hanneck, 23, the Zimbabwe national record-holder in the 1,500, 3,000 and 5,000 meters, won the men's race in 28 minutes 23 seconds. Jeff Schiebler of Canada, 20, and Mbarak Hussein of Kenya, 26, were second and third in 28:44 and 28:46.

Poland's Kamila Gradus, 27, pulled away from Lucy Nusrala in the final two miles of the 6.2-mile race to win the women's division by eight seconds in 33:32. Darcy Arreola, 26, of Valencia, the 1991 NCAA 1,500-meter champion from Cal State Northridge, was third in 33:47.

Hanneck and Gradus won $4,000 each in the event, which will be televised on ESPN's "Running and Racing." Second and third-place finishers were awarded $2,500 and $1,250.

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