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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Nordhoff Runners Continue Cross-Country Domination

November 29, 1998|JOHN ORTEGA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

FRESNO — You gotta believe in the Nordhoff High magic.

That was junior Kent Krumpschmidt's response when asked how the Ranger cross-country teams produce standout performances in the state championships every year.

Krumpschmidt, who helped the Nordhoff boys win their second consecutive state Division IV title at Woodward Park on Saturday, said the Rangers run well in the state championships because they believe they're going to run well.

"The teams before us have set a tradition," Krumpschmidt said. "But we believe in ourselves and our coach believes in us. He's a great coach."

There's no arguing with Coach Ken Reeves' track record at Nordhoff.

The Ranger boys won their sixth state title in eight years at either the Division III or IV level, and the girls won their fifth in nine.

"The key is taking risks," Reeves said. "The key is believing in yourself and doing it."

Nordhoff defeated Central Valley, 59-108, with sophomore Roberto Contreras finishing third in 16:04 and Krumpschmidt 13th in 16:27.

Senior Mike Lemon finished 18th in 16:36 for Nordhoff, with senior Adam Dutter 24th in 16:40 and senior John Beck 48th in 17:06. Sophomore Mark Nevers of Oak Park was second in 16:03.

Flintridge Prep won its first state title in the Division V race with an 86-94 victory over Maranatha. Sophomore Tom Kubler of Viewpoint finished second in 16:01.

Maranatha defeated Flintridge Prep, 92-93, in the Southern Section championships at Mt. San Antonio College the previous week, but the Rebels bounced back behind senior Vince Yuen's 16th-place effort of 17:07.

"We just decided that we could let that loss eat away at us, or we could step up and go for it today," Coach Ingrid Herskind said.

Saugus went for it in the Division I race, but the Centurions fell just short of Long Beach Poly and Santa Ana.

Senior Dan Klawer of Saugus finished seventh in 15:36 and senior teammate Jacob Boeding was 11th in 15:42, but Long Beach Poly totaled 115 points to win its second consecutive title, with Santa Ana at 116 and Saugus at 117.

It was the closest three-team finish in the 12-year history of the state championships, but Coach Pam Thompson of Saugus would have found it easier to accept had her team been a distant third.

"I'm very proud of them, but there is some aggravation," Thompson said. "I asked them and they asked themselves to run well enough to win this thing and they did that. . . . We didn't win, but we ran well enough to win."

Ventura didn't qualify for the Division I race as a team, but junior Josh Spiker finished fourth in 15:28 and senior teammate Matt Swaney was ninth in 15:40.

Spiker, the Southern Section champion, had his four-race winning streak snapped.

"I tried to stay with [the leaders] and then kick," Spiker said of the last half-mile of the race. "But they just ran better races than me."

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