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Corona del Mar Gets Title Sweep

November 27, 2005|Dan Arritt | Times Staff Writer

FRESNO — Two major records came close to falling Saturday at the girls' state cross-country championships.

Corona del Mar missed the fastest team time by four seconds but still went home with the title and the individual champion in Division IIl.

Corona del Mar senior Annie St. Geme won in 17 minutes 20 seconds on the 3.1-mile Woodward Park course, the fastest time in the division since 1996.

Jordan Hasay, a freshman at San Luis Obispo Mission Prep, was on pace to break the individual course record of 16:43, but hampered by the windy 50-degree weather, she faltered down the stretch in the Division V race and won in 17:11, which was still the fastest girls' time of the day.

"It was kind of windy and my arms felt frozen," she said.

Hasay sped through the opening mile in 5:14, which she said was "a little too fast." She went through the two-mile mark in 10:57, then began to fall off the record pace.

"I'm not used to all the pressure," said Hasay, who holds several age-group national records in track and field. "I think the second mile, even though I was on pace, I knew I wasn't going to get [the record]."

Corona del Mar was aiming to break Hesperia Sultana's three-year-old course record at the state championships, but one of its key runners, Sarah Cummings, who finished second last week at the Southern Section finals, became ill during the race and finished fifth among her teammates and 22nd overall. Their top five runners still produced a team time of 1:31:57, four seconds off the record.

Cummings' struggles also made the team score closer than expected, but Corona del Mar held off Oak Park, 47-53, to clinch the program's fourth state title. The Sea Kings hold the all-time course record of 1:31:21, achieved earlier this season at the Clovis Invitational.

St. Geme, who has signed with Stanford, was part of a large pack that came through the first mile in a leisurely 5:31, but she separated herself at the halfway point and won by 53 seconds over Mo Huber of Lafayette Acalanes.

"I was supposed to go out slow in the first half mile and then take off," St. Geme said. "I think some people went out a lot faster than we anticipated, so [Coach Bill Sumner] had me stick in second and relax."

After finishing in the top three in three of the previous four years, Thousand Oaks broke through with its first title in the Division I race, holding off hometown favorite Clovis Buchanan, 103-136. Lynne Fletcher finished sixth overall (18:14) and Kaitlyn Sullivan was 10th (18:24).

"We were trying to line up the planets last night," Coach Robert Radnoti said.

Thousand Oaks flew below the radar most of the season, content to rotate its starting lineup instead of pushing for the fastest times at early-season meets.

"Our focus the whole season has been on the state championships," Radnoti said.

Shannon Murakami, a junior at Saugus, won the Division I race in 17:43.

Kauren Tarver, a sophomore at Phelan Serrano, was the only girl to successfully defend her title. She won the Division II race in 17:36. Newport Harbor finished second to Aptos for the team title.

Orange Lutheran finished second in Division IV, two spots better than last season. Jacqueline Turner was fifth overall for the Lancers in 18:39.

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