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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | CROSS-COUNTRY NOTEBOOK

Jakosky Stuns Even Herself By Racing to Southern Section Title

November 27, 1998|JOHN ORTEGA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Of the 10 individual winners at the Southern Section cross-country championships at Mt. San Antonio College on Saturday, none appeared more surprised than Laura Jakosky of Agoura High.

The sophomore was regarded as a serious contender entering the Division II girls' race, but two hours after the race she still seemed stunned with her come-from-behind victory.

"I'm really just in shock," Jakosky said when asked how she felt about surging into the lead with a quarter-mile to go. "I still can't believe it."

Jakosky, in her second cross-country season, became the fourth Agoura runner to win a girls' section title and the first since Amy Skieresz took the Division II final in 1994. She was in 10th place after the first mile of the three-mile race. She moved to second by the two-mile mark, but still trailed sophomore Lori Mann of Santa Margarita by eight seconds.

Mann appeared to have the race won at that point, but Jakosky cut her deficit in half ascending the final hill on the course with a half-mile left and then sped past Mann on the descent to clock a career-best 18:42.

"She did exactly what we talked about doing," Coach Bill Duley said. "Laura is very good at taking a race plan and implementing it."

*

The La Canada girls won their first Section title with a 41-66 victory over El Modena in the Division III race Saturday, but it was not a great performance for the defending state champions.

Sophomore Nicole Bonino of La Canada won the race in 18:46, senior Amy Foss was fourth in 19:14 and junior Christina Ellis was fifth in 19:16. But senior Kim Garnic, the defending section champion, finished 13th and her freshman sister, Carina, dropped out at the midway point at the urging of co-Coach Dennis McNulty.

Carina was sick most of the previous week.

"I didn't want [Carina] overdoing it," McNulty said. "I saw where the other girls were at the point and I saw we could win without her so I figured, 'Why push it?' "

*

Nordhoff's section title streak was snapped at four when Corona del Mar defeated the Rangers, 63-71, in the Division IV girls' race.

But it wouldn't be surprising if Nordhoff won the state title on Saturday at Woodward Park in Fresno.

Nordhoff won the 1991 Division IV title after finishing third in the section.

Also, junior Rae Stumbough is expected to be at full strength for the state meet after a cold slowed her to a 20th-place finish in the section final.

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Junior Josh Spiker of Ventura and senior Lauren Fleshman of Canyon head the list of seven runners from the region who were selected to the All-Southern Section first team.

The boys' team included Spiker, senior teammate Matt Swaney and senior Dan Klawer of Saugus, who were first, third and sixth, respectively, in Division I race Saturday.

The girls' team included Fleshman, sophomore Anita Siraki of Hoover, sophomore Jaclyn Pedersen of Royal and senior Jeanene Gerry of Camarillo, who finished first, third, fourth and seventh, respectively, in the Division I race.

Runners who post the top seven times from the five divisions in the section championships are selected to the first team, with the eighth-to-14th fastest on the second team.

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When junior Valerie Flores of San Pedro won the City Section girls' title at Pierce College on Saturday, it snapped a three-race winning streak by Valley runners.

El Camino Real's Jamie Newman won the City title in 1995, followed by Birmingham's Tiffany Burgess in 1996 and Natalie Stein of North Hollywood last year.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

The Top 10

Rankings of cross-country teams from the region

BOYS

*--*

RK LW School (League) 1 1 Saugus (Foothill) 2 3 Ventura (Channel) 3 2 Nordhoff (Frontier) 4 5 Notre Dame (Mission) 5 4 Thousand Oaks (Marmonte) 6 6 Buena (Channel) 7 7 La Canada (Rio Hondo) 8 8 Camarillo (Pacific View) 9 9 Agoura (Marmonte) 10 10 Lancaster (Golden)

*--*

*

GIRLS

*--*

RK LW School (League) 1 1 La Canada (Rio Hondo) 2 2 Thousand Oaks (Marmonte) 3 5 Nordhoff (Frontier) 4 3 Canyon (Foothill) 5 4 Royal (Marmonte) 6 6 Louisville (Mission) 7 8 Crescenta Valley (Pacific) 8 9 Hart (Foothill) 9 10 Newbury Park (Marmonte) 10 7 Birmingham (West Valley)

*--*

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