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Lelles Finds High Gear in Victory

September 12, 1998|JOHN ORTEGA

Kevin Lelles of Notre Dame High said he was thinking two things with a half-mile remaining in the senior boys' race of the Seaside Invitational cross-country meet at the Ventura County Fairgrounds on Friday.

First, he wanted to know the name of the runner from San Diego High in the lead pack with Lelles and Saugus teammates Jacob Boeding and Dan Klawer.

Second, he was wondering when he should break the race open.

The first answer didn't come until Lelles saw the results board.

The second answer came with 500 yards left when Lelles picked up the pace.

Lelles' surge quickly put distance between himself and Alex Cocina of San Diego and Klawer.

Boeding maintained contact with Lelles for another 100 yards, but he couldn't respond when Lelles surged again.

As a result, Lelles posted a winning time of 15:07 over the three-mile course with Boeding second in 15:11.

Klawer was third in 15:16 and Cocina placed fourth in 15:19.

"I just haven't seen a lot of kids who have the kind of strength that Kevin has in the last half-mile," Notre Dame Coach Bob Macias said. "He seems to have a gear that most runners don't."

Although Lelles had the fastest time of the meet, defending Southern Section Division II champion Saugus won the team title for the second consecutive year.

The Centurions' top five posted a cumulative time of 79:26 to defeat second-place Notre Dame, which timed 80:02.

Thousand Oaks, led by the 15:15 clocking of junior winner Seth Neumuller, finished third in 80:38 with Camarillo fourth in 81:38 and McFarland fifth in 81:53.

Thousand Oaks, paced by seniors Melissa McBain and Amanda Armstrong and sophomore Kelley Hess, won its second consecutive girls' title.

The Lancers had a team time of 95:40 as McBain and Armstrong finished 1-3 in the senior race and Hess placed second in the sophomore race.

McBain's 17:58 clocking was the fastest girls' time of the meet. Armstrong timed 18:43 and Hess ran 18:47.

Claremont finished second at 97:22, followed by Simi Valley at 98:29, defending City Section champion Birmingham at 98:37 and Arroyo Grande at 98:56.

Sophomore Jaclyn Pedersen of Royal and junior Rosanna Kirkendall of Lancaster had the second fastest girls' times, winning their races in 18:20.

Royal, which finished sixth with a team time of 99:16, also produced the freshman race winner as Erin Weesner timed 18:58.

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