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DeNaeyer, in Pain, Refuses to Quit

Track and field: Sophomore leads Moorpark women to Western State Conference title despite back injury.


SANTA BARBARA — Eight days before the Western State Conference track and field championships, Chrystall DeNaeyer of Moorpark College threw out her back teaching a child to roller skate.

Rather than running away from the pain, the 25-year-old sophomore ran wild on Saturday, winning two individual events and anchoring both winning relay teams. Her performance helped the Raiders run away with the conference title at La Playa Stadium at Santa Barbara City College.

Moorpark scored 232 1/2 points, followed by Santa Barbara with 167. In the men's competition, the Raiders finished second to defending state champion Bakersfield, 218-155.

DeNaeyer, who attended high school in Nebraska and competed for two years on the University of Nebraska track team, won the 400 meters in 56.97 seconds and clocked 2:19.75 in the 800 meters.

Her sciatic nerve, which initially started bothering her about five years ago, started acting up on Saturday after the 400 relay--her first running event of the meet. The Raiders had just set a school record of 49.68, edging out Antelope Valley (49.79).

After the meet-closing 1,600 relay, which Moorpark won in 3:58.04--bolstered by DeNaeyer's 56.2 anchor lap--she claimed her back felt the best it had all day.

"I've never been a quitter," DeNaeyer said. "I've always done what I've needed to do.

"I guess when you're out there running, you don't feel it because you're concentrating on running your race. It's afterward that it starts hurting."

First-year Moorpark Coach Doni Green treated DeNaeyer after the 800 meters, and she followed that with an ice pack.

Green said that he would not have let DeNaeyer run if it would have posed the risk of serious injury.

DeNaeyer was not the only double winner for Moorpark in individual events. Delores Tuimoloau took the discus with a throw of 120-11 and won the shot put at 44-7 1/2.

Chelsea Christensen won the 400 intermediate hurdles for the Raiders in 1:04.75. She finished third behind DeNaeyer and Santa Barbara's Jessica Shugart in the 400 meters, and ran legs on both relays.

Shannon Livingston won the 100 high hurdles for Moorpark in 14.79 and ran a leg on the 400 relay.

Ventura's Anicia Rimm won the 100 meters in 11.95, the 200 meters in 26.10, and the long jump at 18-6 1/2. In the long jump, Rimm established the winning mark on her first jump. The Raiders got eight points on the final jump of the competition when Erica Arana leaped 17-2 3/4.

Julio Serratos of Glendale was a triple winner, counting his 31:53.10 victory in the 10,000 meters, held at Santa Barbara on April 18 in the conference preliminaries. Serratos took the 5,000 in 15:23.76, and the steeplechase in 9:18.23.

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