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Ventura County : CROSS-COUNTRY

Nordhoff Saves It for the Long Run

October 22, 1998|JOHN ORTEGA

Nordhoff High will run in its seventh boys' cross-country meet of the season when it competes in the Division IV sweepstakes race of the Mt. San Antonio College Invitational in Walnut on Friday.

But for the sixth time this season, the defending state Division IV champion Rangers probably won't have their top seven runners toeing the starting line when the race begins at 5:25 p.m.

That's because Coach Ken Reeves of Nordhoff is trying to keep his runners fresh for the championship meets in the postseason by limiting the number of races they run during the regular season.

Reeves, who has guided the Nordhoff boys' and girls' teams to a combined nine state Division III or IV titles in the 1990s, has done this in recent years by holding his top runners out of some meets during the regular season.

That doesn't mean Nordhoff runs its B team in two meets a year. Rather, Reeves holds two or three of his top seven or eight runners out of five or six meets during the regular season.

For instance, junior Kent Krumpschmidt and seniors Adam Dutter and Chris Proudman didn't run in the second Frontier League meet of the season last week and Proudman might not run in the varsity race Friday because Reeves says he's a little "dinged up."

The idea behind the rotating lineup is to prevent runners from being over-raced at the end of the season, but it is beneficial in other ways, too.

First, it exposes some of Nordhoff's younger runners to top-flight competition.

Second, it lets Reeves see how different combinations of runners compete.

"Some kids run better than others when they're in a tight pack with their teammates," Reeves said. "We don't have any front-runners this year, so it's important to see which combinations work."

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La Canada, defending state Division III girls' champion, is ranked 16th in Harrier magazine's national poll.

The Spartans were unranked in the first two polls of the season, but moved into the top 25 after winning the Division III race of the Stanford Invitational on Oct. 3 with a team time that was faster than that of 17th-ranked Anaheim Esperanza in the Division I race.

Thousand Oaks' girls dropped out of the top 25 after being ranked 21st in the previous poll, but the Lancers are ranked ninth in the West region.

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Lauren Fleshman of Canyon is included in a list of the nation's top 10 girls' runners in the latest issue of Harrier magazine.

Fleshman, a senior who placed second in the West region and state Division I championships last year, is one of two Californians to make the list.

The other is sophomore Sara Bei of Santa Rosa Montgomery.

Bei and Fleshman, who are undefeated, will meet for the first time this season in the individual sweepstakes race of the Mt. SAC Invitational on Saturday.

(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 Notre Dame (Mission) 3 2 Nordhoff (Frontier) 4 5 Camarillo (Pacific View) 5 6 Ventura (Channel) 6 4 Buena (Channel) 7 7 Thousand Oaks (Marmonte) 8 8 Canyon (Foothill) 9 9 Lancaster (Golden) 10 10 Agoura (Marmonte)

*--*

GIRLS

*--*

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

*--*

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