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Simi Valley's Success Puts Goals in Reach

October 01, 1998

Win the Marmonte League title.

Win the Ventura County championships.

Qualify for the state Division I final, all for the first time.

Those goals may have been long shots for the Simi Valley High girls' cross-country team a month ago, but the Pioneers appear capable of attaining each of them after defeating highly regarded Thousand Oaks on Saturday and Monday.

Thousand Oaks is ranked fifth in the latest state Division I poll and 21st in The Harrier magazine's national poll, yet Simi Valley dealt the Lancers two losses in little more than 48 hours.

Simi Valley's first victory came in the Division I race of the Bell-Jeff Invitational at Griffith Park on Saturday when the Pioneers totaled 91 points to second-place Thousand Oaks' 106.

The second was in a double-dual meet at Westlake on Monday, a tie with four-time defending league champion Thousand Oaks, 28-28. The Pioneers were declared the victors because their No. 6 runner finished ahead of the Lancers' No. 6 runner.

"I hope these victories finally got rid of that Thousand Oaks mystique," Simi Valley girls' Coach

Roger Evans said. "It seemed like we never had the attitude that we could beat them in the past. But this team is different. They dedicated themselves to having the best possible season they could at the start of the summer and they haven't wavered."

The victory Monday gave Simi Valley consecutive wins over Thousand Oaks for the first time since 1991, but team members weren't resting on their laurels Tuesday.

"They were already talking about how they could improve in the races ahead," Evans said. "About what they could do better."


Simi Valley's success is impressive because the Pioneers have done it without two of their top four runners from last year.

Senior Toia Brown hasn't raced because she has tendinitis and junior Jamie Rucker chose during the summer to not compete for the team.

Rucker's decision came after junior Alison Cameron decided to play soccer instead, but seniors Amanda Anderson, Ashley Luna and Karen LeBlanc have performed strongly.

"[Anderson, Luna and LeBlanc] were disappointed when that happened," Evans said. "They didn't think we'd be able to reach our goals. But I told them that if you let external things prevent you from reaching your goals, then they aren't worth having."


The Notre Dame boys' team didn't run at the Bell-Jeff Invitational on Saturday, but team members and Coach Bob Macias closely watched McFarland and Morro Bay in the Division IV race.

McFarland, the No. 4-ranked team in the state, defeated fifth-ranked Morro Bay, 36-53. But Macias pointed out that third-ranked Notre Dame would have beaten McFarland, 27-28, in a dual meet based on the Knights' times against Loyola over the same Griffith Park course two days earlier.


The Top Five

Rankings of cross-country teams from the region



RK LW School (League) 1 1 Saugus (Foothill) 2 2 Nordhoff (Frontier) 3 4 Thousand Oaks (Marmonte) 4 3 Notre Dame (Mission) 5 5 Camarillo (Pacific View)




RK LW School (League) 1 2 La Canada (Rio Hondo) 2 3 Thousand Oaks (Marmonte) 3 1 Simi Valley (Marmonte) 4 4 Birmingham (West Valley) 5 5 Canyon (Foothill)


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