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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | CROSS-COUNTRY ROUNDUP

Stein Picks Up Where She Left Off, Well in Front

September 30, 1998

Natalie Stein of North Hollywood High opened her sophomore season with a runaway victory in a nonconference cross-country meet at Pierce College on Tuesday.

Stein, defending City Section champion, clocked 18:02 over the three-mile course to win the nonscoring meet that included Chatsworth, Narbonne, South Gate and Hollywood, among others.

North Hollywood was originally scheduled to run against South Gate and El Camino Real, but because of some teams arriving at Pierce later than others, some races were changed or combined.

The race Stein won had about 100 runners, according to North Hollywood Coach Gary Smith, and included freshman-sophomore boys' runners as well as varsity girls.

Nonetheless, Stein beat them all.

"She's going to be a little bit stronger this year," Smith said. "She's filled out a little bit."

Stein's next race will be the Kenny Staub Invitational at Crescenta Valley Park in La Crescenta on Saturday.

She is expected to run against senior Lauren Fleshman of Canyon and sophomore Anita Siraki of Hoover.

In another girls' meet

Providence Invitational--Nicole Ray of Providence finished second and Andrea Johnson placed third to help the Pioneers win at Johnny Carson Park in Burbank.

Providence totaled 21 points, followed by Immaculate Heart with 47 and Village Christian with 52.

Ray clocked 19:18 over the 2.6-mile course, with Johnson at 19:24. Silvia Correa was fifth in 19:39 for Providence.

BOYS

University 32, Monroe and San Pedro, no score--Senior Juan Granados finished third, junior Leon Buchanan was fourth and junior Jermain Ortiz came in fifth for Monroe, in a nonconference meet at Pierce College, but the Vikings were unable to post a team score when their No. 4 and 5 runners were disqualified for going the wrong way, accidentally cutting about 500 yards off the three-mile course.

"Some guy told them to go the wrong way," Monroe Coach Dean Balzarett said. "So I had to disqualify them."

Granados clocked 16:59 with Buchanan at 17:25 and Ortiz at 17:32.

Providence Invitational--Ken Benish, Jeff Largent and Micah Behrend finished 1-2-3 to help Village Christian win at Johnny Carson Park in Burbank.

Village Christian totaled 22 points, followed by Windward with 50, Providence with 61 and St. Genevieve with 91.

Benish ran 15:16 over the 2.6-mile course, with Largent at 15:26 and Behrend at 15:29.

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