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High Schools | DAILY REPORT

Don Lugo's Tesfa Runs With a Fast Crowd

September 18, 2003|John Ortega; Eric Sondheimer | From Staff Reports

With a victory over highly regarded Michael Haddan of Irvine Woodbridge in the Sunset in the Park race in Huntington Beach near the end of August and a course-record effort in the Bronco Invitational meet at Prado Regional Park in Chino on Saturday, Fitsum Tesfa of Chino Don Lugo has established himself as a cross-country runner to watch.

But don't expect the smooth-striding junior to expound on his performances.

"He's just a quiet kid," Don Lugo Coach Don Salyers said. "You're lucky if you can get more than three words out of him at a time."

That was evident after Saturday's race when Tesfa answered the first four questions he was asked with replies that were three, four or five words in length. The Eritrean native elaborated a little bit when asked how he felt during the race.

"I felt tired before the race," he said. "I was all right during the race."

After that, he ran off to join his teammates on a post-race run.

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La Habra Sonora was eighth in The Times' preseason boys' cross-country rankings and fourth in the state Division II poll, but Coach Fabian Ruelas will not run all of his team's top runners in the same meet until a Freeway League opener Oct. 2 at Buena Park.

The reason?

He is wary of over-racing his team.

Sonora placed seventh in the Southern Section Division II final last year, but that performance paled in comparison with its runaway victory in the Freeway League finals two weeks earlier.

"They peaked at league last year and then things started to come apart," said Ruelas, who is in his first season coaching the boys' team. "They just ran too many races last year.... I want to make sure that we're ready to go at the end of this season.

"That we're 100% at [the Southern Section championships]."

-- John Ortega

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Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park and Westlake Village Westlake will be getting synthetic football fields next season after the Thousand Oaks City Council and Conejo Valley Unified School District reached agreement to provide $4.9 million for field upgrades.

Reduced maintenance costs and the promise of improved safety helped push through the measure. Much of the money will come from fees paid for by housing developers.

-- Eric Sondheimer

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Former Pasadena Muir football coach Jim Brownfield will be honored at halftime of the Mustangs' home game against La Puente Bishop Amat on Friday.

The school will be naming its athletic fieldhouse in honor of Brownfield, who recorded a 191-14-1 record from 1977-86 and in 1992.

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The Orange County Interscholastic Equestrian League will begin its five-show season Oct. 5 at The Oaks/Blenheim Exhibitions in San Juan Capistrano.

The event will start at 8 a.m. and feature novice, freshman, junior varsity and varsity riders in English, Western and dressage competition.

The remaining schedule is Nov. 1-2, Dec. 7, Jan. 10-11 and March 21.

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