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This Kubler Is Becoming a Big Name for Crespi

September 21, 2000|JOHN ORTEGA

If the name of Kubler was mentioned among local cross-country aficionados in the last three years, the runner that came to mind was Tom Kubler, the Viewpoint High standout who won Division V titles in the state and Southern Section championships last year and finished 12th in the West regional.

But Robert Kubler of Crespi is starting to make a name for himself.

Robert, Tom's fraternal twin, placed 11th in the Southern Section Division IV final in November. But he improved greatly during track season, running 4:23.72 in the 1,600 meters, 9:26.06 in the 3,200 and placing fourth in the latter race in the Division III final of the section championships in May.

He opened his senior cross-country season with two victories last week, capped by a 15:37 clocking on Saturday to win the Division II senior boys' race in the Mt. Carmel Invitational at Morley Field in San Diego.

Kubler's time over the 2.95-mile course was the fastest of the meet at any level and gave him a 19-second margin of victory over David Santos of Valhalla.

"I wanted it to be faster," Kubler said. "I felt like I could have run faster, but I led from almost the very start and once I established my [lead], I wasn't really pushed."

Kubler's time was three seconds faster than Division I senior winner Ben Aragon of Santee West Hills, a 4:12.08 performer in the 1,600. But he's shooting for bigger game this season.

He wants to challenge seniors Ryan Hall of Big Bear and Ozzie Pina of Long Beach Poly.

Hall is defending state Division IV champion in cross-country, won the 3,200 in the state track championships in June and has bests of 4:06.15 in the mile and 8:55.12 in the 3,200.

Pina, who transferred from Lakewood to Long Beach Poly this summer, has run 9:05.57 in the 3,200 and won the Southern Section Division I cross-country title last year.

"I just feel like I'm starting to learn a lot about running and how to train," Kubler said. "Last track season, I started to do a lot of [interval] repeats and it really helped me."

Kubler, who ended up at Crespi because he wasn't accepted at Viewpoint, didn't run cross-country during his freshman year and was a hurdler in track.

He realized he lacked the speed to excel in the hurdles, however, so he went out for cross-country as a sophomore and finished a promising 11th in the Mission League final.

Kubler improved to third last year and is trying to close the gap on his better-known sibling, who has run 9:16.98 in the 3,200.

"He has better times in the 1,600 and 3,200," Robert said. "But I've run faster in the 800."


Tom Kubler has yet to race this season by design.

Kubler needs to finish among the top eight finishers in the West regional at Mt. San Antonio College on Dec. 2 to advance to the national championships at Lake Buena Vista, Fla., a week later.

Therefore, he plans to run substantially fewer races this season than the 16 of a year ago.

"I could have done better in the end if I had run less races," Kubler said.

He'll open his season in the Bell-Jeff Invitational at Griffith Park on Sept. 30.


Coach Kevin Smith of Oak Park is thinking along the same lines as Kubler.

That's why the Eagles' top boys' runners will open their season today against Newbury Park, Agoura, Calabasas and Malibu in the Oak Park-Agoura Invitational at Oak Canyon Park.

Oak Park won its first Ventura County title last year, but the Eagles didn't run as well in the Southern Section or state Division IV finals after No. 5 runner Taylor Hermes was sidelined with an injury.

"I think [Kevin] feels like they peaked a little early last year," Coach Ken Reeves of Nordhoff said. "He doesn't want that to happen again."


Hart was the No. 5-ranked girls' team in the region last week, but the Indians might not be at full strength until the end of the season.

Sophomore Whitney Russell, defending Foothill League champion, is sidelined by a strained right hamstring.

Senior Jamie Orlich, their No. 3 runner, is out because of back and hip problems.


There is no truth to the rumor that senior Jaclyn Pedersen of Royal is injured again.

That story was circulating at the Ojai Invitational at Lake Casitas on Saturday after Pedersen finished 20th in the girls' large schools race.

"I just didn't eat enough before the race," said Pedersen, winner of the senior race in the Seaside Park Invitational at the Ventura County Fairgrounds on Sept. 8. "My metabolism is real high so I need to eat a lot before a race. But sometimes I don't eat enough before these morning races and that's what happened. . . . I could tell in the first 100 meters [of the race] that I had no energy."


Nick Zoetewey's addition to the Canyon boys' team helped the Cowboys move from fifth to third in the Southern Section Division II poll.

Zoetewey won the Foothill League cross-country title and ran 4:20.90 in the 1,600 in track during his junior year at Saugus. But he moved into the Canyon attendance district with his mother during the summer after his parents filed for divorce in June.

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