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Valley / Ventura County Sports | TRACK AND FIELD NOTEBOOK

Rymsza Runs With a Fast Crowd


When it comes to athletic talent, senior Jon Rymsza of Chaminade High doesn't compare to Miguel Fletcher of USC, runner-up in the boys' 100 and 200 meters for Alemany in the state track and field championships last year.

But when it comes to competitiveness, Rymsza and Fletcher are very similar, Chaminade Coach Dimitri Lagos said.

Lagos coached Fletcher during his freshman and sophomore seasons at Alemany, and he has helped Rymsza run 1:56.2 in the 800 and 4:33.0 in the 1,600 this year.

"Jon's a racer, just like Miguel was," Lagos said. "He gets excited about running against the better competition."

That wasn't always the case.

Rymsza, among the favorites in the boys' 800 in the Mission League finals at La Verne University on Friday, admits he ran scared in winning the 880-yard run in the L.A. Invitational indoor meet at the Sports Arena in February.

"I was so terrified in that race," Rymsza said. "Nobody knew who I was, but I came out of nowhere to win. . . . That was huge for me. It set the tone for the rest of the season."

Rymsza, Chaminade's student president, competed in freshman football, basketball and track in his first year at the school, but didn't focus on running until he broke his left leg while playing basketball two summers ago.

Although his leg atrophied while in a cast, Rymsza ran 2:00 in the 800 last season. He followed that with a good summer of training that led to a solid cross-country season and his surprising victory in the L.A. Invitational.

A screw in Rymsza's left knee--put there to help the broken leg heal--occasionally causes him pain, but Lagos figures he can run in the 1:53-1:54 range in upcoming meets.

"The workouts at the start of the year were designed to get him to run 1:55," Lagos said. "But now our goal pace is down to 1:53 in workouts. . . . He's got confidence now for the first time."


Coach Kate Cerruti of Crespi struggled to get members of the football and basketball teams to come out for track during her first three years at the school, but she unearthed quite a find this season in high jumper Brandon Riedl.

Riedl, a reserve on the basketball team, had never high jumped until this year, but he's favored to win the Mission League title.

"I'm always looking for those tall guys who can jump," Cerruti said. "But it's so hard to get them out for track because basketball has become a year-round sport."

Riedl, a 6-foot-6 senior, has cleared 6-4 twice this season and Cerruti figures he's capable of jumping higher.

"I think 6-6 is possible if he gets in a meet where he has to clear it to win," Cerruti said. "He just hasn't had to jump that high in league."


Junior Seth Neumuller of Thousand Oaks, the 1998 Marmonte League cross-country champion, is doubtful for the league track and field finals at Royal High on Friday.

Neumuller didn't run in a qualifying heat of the 1,600 in the league preliminaries Tuesday because of an Achilles tendon injury, and Coach Robert Radnoti doesn't expect Neumuller to run in the 3,200 final.

"[Seth has] been prone to injuries in the past and he's having problems with them again," Radnoti said. "It's killing him not being able to run."


The Harvard-Westlake girls' team didn't have any meets last week, but senior Becky Rauth still ran a fast time in the 300 low hurdles.

Rauth, who ranks fourth on the yearly state list in the 300 lows with a best of 43.49, ran a hand-timed 43.6 on Thursday in a boys' junior varsity race against Loyola.

Although the boys' 300 intermediate hurdles are three feet in height, Rauth ran in a lane in which the hurdles were set at the standard 30-inch height for girls' lows.


Senior Brandon Stewart is no longer a member of the Harvard-Westlake boys' team, Coach Jonas Koolsbergen said.

Stewart has bests of 10.8 in the 100, 22.3 in the 200 and 23-4 1/4 in the long jump, but he missed four meets this season in order to attend practice for the Wolverines' baseball team.

"He wanted to compete in the [Mission League finals]," Koolsbergen said. "But I told him I didn't think that was a good idea. I didn't think it would be fair for him to miss all those meets because of baseball practice and then be allowed to take the place of someone who competed for us all season."


Taking the 5th

When Lauren Fleshman of Canyon High ran 4:27.73 to place second in the women's 1,500 meters in the Steve Scott Invitational at UC Irvine on Sunday, she moved to fifth on the all-time region list.

At right is a list of the top performers in the 1,500 meters:

Times in hundredths are fully automatic.

+Time run during 1,600-meter race.

* juniors. Argyll Academy is now Campbell Hall.


Time Individual School Year 4:21.0+ *Vickie Cook Alemany '81 4:25.0 Regina Jacobs Argyll Academy '81 4:25.7+ Paula Bresnan Kennedy '83 4:27.2+ Kim Mortensen Thousand Oaks '96 4:27.73 Lauren Fleshman Canyon '99 4:28.1+ Denise Ball Newbury Park '82 4:29.6 Tania Fischer Chaminade '83 4:31.3+ *Nikki Shaw Fillmore '91 4:33.8+ Deena Drossin Agoura '91 4:35.5+ Amy Skieresz Agoura '95


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