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Kubler Breaks Into Smile After Breaking the Tape in Division V

Southern Section cross-country finals: Viewpoint runner avenges defeat to Hagenbach at Mt. SAC.


WALNUT — It wasn't an ear-to-ear, light-up-the-room smile by any means.

But when normally subdued Tom Kubler of Viewpoint High grinned at some of his supporters after winning the Division V boys' title in the Southern Section cross-country championships at Mt. San Antonio College on Saturday, it was akin to the fist pumping of a more outgoing runner.

Kubler, a senior, usually displays little emotion after races, choosing to be analytical instead. But he had plenty of reasons to be happy Saturday as his 15:07 clocking cut 10 seconds off his previous best over the 2.95-mile course, avenged a loss to Henry Hagenbach of Cate in the Mt. SAC Invitational last month and gave him his second consecutive section title.

"I had said that I wanted to break 15," Kubler said. "But I told a teammate before the race that a time of under 15:10 would probably win."

Kubler was one of three individual winners from the region in the meet in which the top four teams in each race and the top five individuals not on a qualifying team qualified for the state championships at Woodward Park in Fresno next Saturday.

Senior Anita Siraki of Hoover won her second consecutive Division I girls' title in 16:53, the fastest time of the meet and second-fastest ever at Mt. SAC behind her 16:38 course record set last month.

Freshman Lindsey Owen of Nordhoff won the Division III girls' title in 17:55 to lead her team to a 58-87 victory over La Canada.

In the boys' meet, Canyon in Division II, Oak Park in Division IV and Santa Clara in Division V each won its first section title.

Kubler finished six seconds behind Hagenbach in the Division V sweepstakes race of the Mt. SAC Invitational on Oct. 20, but he pulled away from him in the final 880 yards of the rematch.

Hagenbach had a four-second lead on Kubler when he came through the two-mile mark in 10:09, but Kubler pulled alongside him ascending the final hill on course and began to pull away on the descent.

"That was the start of the final drive," Kubler said. "I didn't run that part of the course well last time. . . . I think I surprised him."

Santa Clara and two-time defending state champion Flintridge Prep waged a stirring battle behind Kubler and Hagenbach before the Saints took a 54-62 victory.

Flintridge Prep led Santa Clara based on its places after the first mile, but the Saints had moved into the lead at two miles and maintained it to the finish.

Senior Bobby Hull of Santa Clara placed fourth in 16:04 while senior Steve Pearson of Flintridge Prep placed sixth in 16:09.

The Canyon boys weren't at full strength because of recent illnesses to two of their top four runners, but the Cowboys had three of the top six finishers in an 80-111 victory over Rubidoux in the Division II race.

Junior Luke Llamas of Canyon placed second in 15:15, with senior Nick Zoetewey fifth in 15:19 and junior Jameson Mora sixth in 15:20.

Sophomore Phillip Reid of Rio Mesa broke up the Canyon trio with a school-record 15:18, placing fourth.

Oak Park defeated Estancia, 65-73, in a Division IV boys' race in which senior Ryan Hall of Big Bear ran a scintillating 14:28 to break the course record of 14:32 set by Jeff Nelson of Burbank in 1978.

Senior Mark Nevers of Oak Park was third in 15:20, with junior teammate Chase Ferrell ninth in 16:01.

"We ran well across the board," Coach Kevin Smith of Oak Park said. "But [No. 5 runner Igor Tregub, who finished 25th] was the key for us."

Owen paced the Nordhoff girls to their first section title since 1997 by cutting 31 seconds off her previous best at Mt. SAC.

"I really, really, really, really, really, really wanted to break [18 minutes]," Owen said. "That was my goal at the start of the season, so I'll have to come up with a new one for next week."

Senior Efrain Olivares of Hoover placed fifth in 15:14 in the Division I boys' race and sophomore Johnny Zendejas of Camarillo was eighth in 15:21.

Quartz Hill, led by freshman Amanda O'Neal, placed second behind Peninsula in the Division I girls' race and senior Laura Jakosky of Agoura ran 17:49 to finish second in the Division II girls' final for the second consecutive year.

Canyon was third behind Sultana and Santa Ana Foothill in Division II as sophomore Brenda Stevens placed sixth in 18:31 for the Cowboys.

The Nordhoff boys had their section title streak snapped at three when they finished fifth in Division III, but the Rangers qualified for the state meet for the 10th consecutive year with an at-large berth.





Division I Boys

Ozzie Pina, LB Poly


Division I Girls

Anita Siraki, Hoover



* Senior Natalie Stein of North Hollywood ran course record to her second City title. D19

* Glendale College finished third in state final for second consecutive season. D19

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