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Coach Runs Mouth, Stein Keeps Running

October 08, 1998|JOHN ORTEGA

So much for the theory Natalie Stein of North Hollywood High might not be the top runner from the San Fernando Valley in the City Section this season.

One prominent area coach, who will remain nameless, said that after Stein finished fourth in the 3,200 meters in the City track and field championships in May.

But the defending City cross-country champion has laid those thoughts to rest by winning two races and finishing second to senior Lauren Fleshman of Canyon in the other this season.

Stein, a sophomore, posted her latest victory Wednesday in the Valley Pac-8 Conference Classic at Pierce College.

Although her time of 18:12 over the three-mile course was 10 seconds slower than what she ran at Pierce in the season opener last week, it was more than 2 1/2 minutes ahead of her nearest competitor. It was 76 seconds faster than the winning time in the Northwest Valley Conference meet.

"I'd like our team to do better," Stein said when asked what her goals were this season. "We didn't lose anyone from last year and we've got a couple of pretty good runners coming in so I think we can improve a lot. . . .

"I haven't thought much about individual goals. I just want the team to do better."

*

Coach Bill Duley of Agoura, who guided his stepson, Bryan Dameworth, to three consecutive state Division I cross-country titles from 1987-89, is coaching his daughter, Shannon, for the first time.

Shannon, a freshman, was Agoura's No. 3 runner in a Marmonte League victory over Moorpark last Thursday. She had not run cross-country since she was in third or fourth grade.

"She's run track for a long time," Duley said. "But she's always been a hurdler and high jumper. She's starting to get serious about cross-country, so I'm starting to get excited."

Although Duley says Shannon listens to him when it comes to running, she'll never let him coach her in the high jump.

Shannon broke her arm high jumping in 1997 after Bill encouraged her to continue jumping in a meet after she spiked herself.

"She didn't want to continue," he said. "But I told her that she needed to get back out there and jump or she'd be psyched out the next time. . . .

"Now if I get anywhere near her when she's jumping, she says, 'Go back in the stands.' "

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