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The Times' Rankings

September 13, 2003|John Ortega

A preseason look at the top cross-country teams in the Southland.

GIRLS

1. Sultana (SS-Div. II)

Sultans are third in Harrier magazine's national preseason poll after posting runaway victories in the Division II races of the Southern Section and state championships last year.

2. Ventura (SS-Div. II)

The Cougars' top six runners return from a team that placed second in the state Division II final last year and is ranked 17th in the nation.

3. Thousand Oaks (SS-Div. I)

The Lancers are tabbed to win their first state Division I title after finishing seven points behind victorious Murrieta Valley last year.

4. Canyon Country Canyon (SS-Div. I)

The Cowboys are healthy and fit after being hampered by injuries and illnesses last year.

5. Dana Hills (SS-Div. I)

Senior Monika Rothenburger is the top returner for a Dolphin team that has finished third, second and third in the last three state Division I finals.

6. Murrieta Valley (SS-Div. I)

Nighthawks will have a dynamic duo in senior Liza Pasciuto and sophomore Karen Camburn.

7. Royal (SS-Div. I)

Sisters Morgan and Devin Noe will pace a Highlander team that finished fourth in the state Division I final last year.

8. Peninsula (SS-Div. I)

Senior Olga Aulet-Leon is the top returner for a Panther program that has finished third, first, first and fifth in the last four state Division I finals.

9. Sunny Hills (SS-Div. II)

Senior twins Stacy and Claire Kim will try to help the Lancers improve upon their sixth-place finish in the state Division II final last year.

10. Oak Park (SS-Div. IV)

Eagles are picked to win their third consecutive Division IV titles in the Southern Section and state championships.

-- John Ortega

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