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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Siraki Might Add to Her Record Collection at Mt. SAC

High school cross-country: Hoover senior could make run for it in individual sweepstakes race.

October 20, 2000|JOHN ORTEGA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

If conditions are right, Anita Siraki of Hoover High will take a shot at the girls' course record when she runs in the individual sweepstakes race of the Mt. San Antonio College Invitational in Walnut on Saturday.

Winning, however, will be Siraki's primary goal entering a race that will include Natalie Stein of North Hollywood, Julie Allen of Fountain Valley, Laura Jakosky of Agoura and Amber Trotter of Ukiah.

"I'm not going into the race thinking about breaking the course record," Siraki said. "I'm just going for the win. But if I get the course record, great."

The first race Saturday will start at 7:15 a.m., with the sweepstakes races starting at 9.

Siraki, a senior, has set course records in four of her six victories this season and ran 16:58 over Mt. SAC's 2.95-mile course in November to win the Southern Section Division I title.

That time moved her to third on the all-time course performer list behind Julia Stamps of Santa Rosa, who timed 16:55 in 1995, and Kristen Gordon of Concord Carondelet, who ran 16:57 a year later. But it came on a cool, cloudy and damp day that led to a slew of fast times.

"If the conditions are right, she will have the green light," Hoover Coach Greg Switzer said about a course-record attempt. "If it's dusty and hot, then she'll just go for the win."

Siraki ran 17:23 to finish 18 seconds behind Sara Bei of Santa Rosa Montgomery in the individual sweepstakes race last year but has improved substantially since then.

In addition to her 16:58 clocking in the section final, she won the state Division I title and placed fourth in the national championships in December.

She was the No. 1-ranked 3,200-meter runner in the nation in track after posting victories in the Arcadia Invitational, state championships and National Scholastic outdoor meet.

"She's fit," Switzer said. "And she runs very fast when she's fit."

Stein, ninth in the individual sweepstakes last year, could lead the pack chasing Siraki on Saturday as she won Division I titles in the Woodbridge and Bell-Jeff invitationals earlier this season and ran with Siraki for two miles of the Kenny Staub Invitational on Oct. 7 before finishing 36 seconds behind her course-record effort of 17:18.

There will be three other sweepstakes races Saturday morning.

Canyon, the No. 9-ranked boys' team in the nation by Harrier magazine, will run against No. 2-ranked Long Beach Poly in the team sweepstakes.

The field will include nine of the top 10 ranked Division I teams in the state and four of the top eight ranked Division II teams. Bosco Tech, top-ranked Division III team in the state, is entered, as is Horizon, defending Arizona 5A Division champion.

Quartz Hill and Canyon, Nos. 1 and 2 girls' teams in the region by The Times, will run in a team sweepstakes race that includes five of the top seven ranked Division I teams in the state, seven of the top nine Division II squads and a Division III Felton San Lorenzo Valley team ranked sixth in the nation.

Sophomore Phillip Reid of Rio Mesa will lead the Spartans in the boys' individual sweepstakes race.

Several of the top teams and individuals from the region will run today in the Division III, IV and V sweepstakes.

La Canada and Nordhoff will renew their rivalry in the Division III girls' sweepstakes at 5 p.m.

Santa Clara, top-ranked Division V boys' team in the state, will meet two-time defending state Division V champion Flintridge Prep at 5:30.

Newbury Park, fresh off a 25-31 victory over Thousand Oaks in a Marmonte League boys' meet Wednesday, will meet Nordhoff in the Division III sweepstakes at 5:45.

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