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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | ROUNDUP

Quartz Hill Wins With a High Five

November 02, 2000|JOHN ORTEGA

Freshman Amanda O'Neal picked a nice time to be the top runner on the Quartz Hill High girls' cross-country team.

O'Neal had been the No. 2, 3, 4 or 5 runner for Quartz Hill during the first seven meets of the season. But she led the Rebels to a sweep of the first five places in the Golden League finals at the Rattlesnake course in Quartz Hill on Wednesday.

Quartz Hill, the No. 3-ranked team in the state Division I poll, totaled 15 points on a mild, clear and windless day, followed by Highland with 54, Lancaster with 78, Palmdale with 112, Littlerock with 125 and Antelope Valley with 178.

O'Neal, who hadn't run at an organized competitive level before this season, was part of a seven-runner pack that included defending champion Cassie Ramirez of Highland for the first mile of the three-mile race.

But O'Neal took the lead shortly before two miles on her way to a 22:27 clocking over the hilly, brutally hard course.

Senior Katie Schettig was second in 22:51 for Quartz Hill, followed by sophomore Tarah Novelli at 22:55, freshman Lacey Troth at 23:00 and senior Jenny Yadon at 23:17.

Ramirez, a junior, finished seventh in 23:55 after coming down with a cold last weekend.

"I was just hoping to do well as a team," O'Neal said. "I never thought about winning."

Quartz Hill is the first girls' team to take the first five places in the league finals since a 1988 Rebel squad that finished fourth in the Southern Section 4-A Division final.

Lancaster, paced by runner-up Ryan Rogers, won the boys' meet with 42 points. Quartz Hill was second with 65 points, followed by Palmdale with 66, Highland with 68, Littlerock with 115 and Antelope Valley with 160.

Sophomore Paul Sparks of Littlerock won the individual title in 19:42 when favorite John Lanigan of Lancaster dropped out after blacking out while ascending a long, steep incline known as "Rattlesnake Hill"' with about three-quarters of a mile left.

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