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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | CROSS-COUNTRY

Davis' New Team Shirts Seem to Fit Quartz Hill Girls' Runners to a T

October 12, 2000|JOHN ORTEGA

Can some nice looking T-shirts with an eye-catching quote on the back propel a cross-country team to the top of the region rankings and a No. 6 spot in the state Division I poll?

Of course not.

But members of the Quartz Hill High girls' team say teachers and classmates made positive remarks last month when they wore their team T-shirts on the day of the first Golden League meet.

The shirts, which are navy blue with gold lettering, read on the front, "Quartz Hill Cross-Country. Rebels. Est. 1964." But what drew more attention was the quote on the back that reads, "I ran until my muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid. Then I ran some more."

"A lot of people said, 'Oh that's a cool shirt. I like that quote,' " senior Katie Schettigsaid. "And then they asked about the cross-country team and where we were running and how we were doing?"

The quote, which came from Edward Norton's character in the movie, "Fight Club," might seem a bit crude to those outside cross-country. But it's a perfect fit for a sport in which competitors often push themselves to exhaustion.

"Katie and I were watching that movie together," senior Jennifer Yadon said. "And when we heard that quote, we said, 'We've got to put that on a T-shirt.' "

Yadon and Schettig approached Coach Mike Davis with their idea and were delighted when he said he got the same idea while watching the movie.

"They asked me about it and I said, 'It's done,' " Davis said.

Davis, 31, came to Quartz Hill, sight unseen, in the fall of 1997 after being born and raised in Portland, Mich.

He'd never been to the Antelope Valley before, but he applied for a position as an English teacher and boys' cross-country and track coach at Quartz Hill after attending a job fair at Michigan State.

He hadn't coached before, but he ran in high school and wanted to give coaching a try.

There were only nine runners in the Rebel boys' program in Davis' first season, but that didn't deter his enthusiasm.

He figured cross-country T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats were a great way to build team unity and pride so he raised as much money as he could to have them made.

He even has T-shirts for the parents of team members. The shirts are identical to the ones his runners wear but they say, "Team Parental Unit," on the back.

Davis, who took over Quartz Hill's successful girls' program this year after three years with the boys', doesn't take all the credit for the Rebels' success.

He admits he inherited an experienced, hard-working group of runners that has been bolstered by some talented freshmen.

But Yadon credits him with keeping the team loose and relaxed when it could be weighed down with high expectations.

"He wants to make sure we're having fun out there," she said. "And not just killing ourselves in training."

*

It's not uncommon for freshmangirls to have an impact at the varsity level in high school cross-country. But there seems to be an unusually high number of freshmen excelling for teams in the region this season.

Lacey Troth and Amanda O'Neal have been among the Quartz Hill's top five runners all season.

Lauren Walker, Alysia Johnson and Leanne Riggin were Canyon's No. 2, 4 and 5 runners in the Kenny Staub Invitational on Saturday.

Katie Barry was La Canada's No. 3 runner in the Stanford Invitational on Sept. 30.

Erin Roesinger and Morgan Noe have been among Royal's top five runners all season.

Lindsey Owen is Nordhoff's top runner and Oriana Campbell of Ventura has been a consistent top-five finisher for the Cougars.

Lauren Dvoracek of Village Christian won the Division II race of the Staub meet and Ashley Jones of Westlake was an upset winner over senior Jennifer Turk of Newbury Park in a meet last Thursday.

*

Canyon, Nordhoff, Newbury Park, Oak Park and Lancaster Desert Christian are programs whose boys' and girls' teams are ranked among the top 10 in the state in their respective divisions.

Canyon, No. 9-ranked boys' team in the nation by Harrier magazine, is the top-ranked Division II squad in the state with the Cowboy girls third.

Nordhoff's boys are fourth in Division III, the girls sixth.

Newbury Park is fifth in the Division III boys' rankings and eighth in the girls'.

The Oak Park boys are fourth in the Division IV rankings, with the girls seventh.

Lancaster Desert Christian is seventh in the Division V boys' rankings and fifth in the girls'.

*

Seniors Laura Jakosky of Agoura and Jaclyn Pedersen of Royal, the last two Ventura County girls' champions, will meet today in a Marmonte League meet at Challenger Park.

Jakosky has won four of five races this season for Agoura, which is tied with Royal for first place in the league standings.

Pedersen was won three of five races and probably would have won a fourth had she not had to stop to tie her shoe in the final mile of the Atascadero Invitational.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

The Top 10

Rankings of region cross-country teams

BOYS

*--*

RK LW School (League) 1 1 Canyon (Foothill) 2 2 Oak Park (Tri-Valley) 3 3 Thousand Oaks (Marmonte) 4 5 Royal (Marmonte) 5 6 Santa Clara (Frontier) 6 4 Nordhoff (Frontier) 7 7 Newbury Park (Marmonte) 8 10 Burroughs (Foothill) 9 9 Camarillo (Pacific View) 10 NR Crescenta Valley (Pacific)

*--*

*

GIRLS

*--*

RK LW School (League) 1 1 Quartz Hill (Golden) 2 2 Canyon (Foothill) 3 3 La Canada (Rio Hondo) 4 5 Royal (Marmonte) 5 4 Thousand Oaks (Marmonte) 6 6 Nordhoff (Frontier) 7 7 Ventura (Channel) 8 9 Newbury Park (Marmonte) 9 8 Crescenta Valley (Pacific) 10 10 Agoura (Marmonte)

*--*

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