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11/1/01 at Temecula Valley HS

Southwestern League

Liza Pasciuto 19:04 leads Murrietta Valley girls 19. Host Temecula Valley boys 35 (Murrieta Valley 37).

Boys - Girls

by Donal Pearce



On Thursday, November 1st, the Temecula Valley Bears boys' cross country team got a legitimate scare (one day after Halloween!) from the arch-rival Murrieta Valley Nighthawks. In the end, the Bears prevailed, but, considering the Southwestern League championships were being held at the Temecula Valley campus, the home-field advantage was not as helpful as they might have hoped. Murrieta's #1 runner, Kellen Acosta, held off an all-out late charge by Temecula's Kacey Carr to capture league champion honors by several steps. Temecula Valley finished 2, 6, 7, 9, & 11 for 35 points. Murrieta Valley finished 1, 5, 8, 10, 13 for 37 points. Chaparral's Steve Brenkov and Robert Herber finished third and fourth, respectively, to give their Division 2 school a respectable third place finish with 63 points.

The Southwestern League meets together three times during the season, twice in cluster meets for all five schools (Chaparral, Elsinore, Murrieta Valley, Temescal Canyon, and Temecula Valley), and then once again for the championship meet. At each meet, the outcome was the same, but with increasingly tighter scores, this last one about as tight as they get! Chaparral was the host of the meet. Because Chaparral doesn't yet have a course to accomodate this type of gathering (they are a very new school--four years old, I believe), Temecula Valley coach Doug MacLean suggested his 3.0 mile course be the site. The home field advantage wasn't as friendly to the CIF-SS and state-ranked TVHS squad as it might otherwise have been, though the Bears barely nipped the Nighthawks for the championship on the hilly course. One noted middle-of-the pack Bear competitor was out with an injury. Two of the Nighthawk Varsity boys ran but were not at full strength due to illness and other personal circumstances. They all look forward to full strength at next week's CIF-SS Prelims at Mt. SAC.

Coach Steve Chavez was extremely pleased with his young squad, consisting mostly of sophomores and juniors. "This is the first time in my coaching career that I can say the boys ran exactly as planned from start to finish!" Chavez beamed before the awards ceremony. The local newspaper, The Californian, quoted the Bears coach as saying, "It's a great feeling--we completed the race in league competition. That was our goal." Both the Nighthawks and the Bears had four top-10 finishers. The Nighthawks had owned the crown since 1997 and intend to win it back in 2002. Last years winner at this same course for league meet #2 was won by Carlos Handler in an identical time of 16:28. Fifth place finisher, Senior Brandon Power, an 800-meter star in track, streaked past two Temecula Valley runners in the last 300 meters on the course which starts and finishes on the track. Brandon's time last year was 17:28. Ninth place finisher, sophomore Anthony Mercado had a time 59 seconds faster than last year.

Temecula Valley 35
Murrieta Valley 37
Chaparral 63
Temescal Canyon 120
Elsinore 141

1) Kellen Acosta (MV) 16:28
2) Kacey Carr (TV) (time unknown)
3) Steve Brenkov (C) 16:46
4) Robert Herber (C) 16:54
5) Brandon Power (MV) 17:00
6) Dustin Russell (TV) 17:03
7) Anthony Adamucci (TV) 17:07
8) Scott Breithaupt (MV) 17:10
9) Brett Campfield (TV) 17:14
10) Anthony Mercado (MV) 17:22



Murrieta Valley 19
Temecula Valley 56
Chaparral 72
Temescal Canyon 92
Elsinore 143

From the Californian article by staff writer Greg Ball:

Murrieta Valley coach Mark Fitzpatrick didn't have to say much about the efforts of his team--the Nighthawks spoke for themselves by placing all seven runners in the top [twelve] and earning 19 points to Temecula's second-place total of 56.

"They're smart and they ran a great race today," Fitzpatrick said. "They're a strong bunch of girls. They know they don't have to win the race at the beginning, and they know when to make their moves. I'm real proud of them."

Chaparral's girls also finished third (72), and will accompany Murrieta (CIF-SS #4 rank) and Temecula to the CIF-SS prelims. Temescal Canyon (92) and Elsinore (143) were fourth and fifth, respectively.

. . . The girls individual title also went to a Murrieta runner, and the name was no surprise--Liza Pasciuto. Behind a consistent pace that saw her take a six-second lead just one-quarter mile into the race, Pasciuto motored to a first-place time of 19:04. [Her time last year at this course was 19:22 on October 30, 2000.] Teammate Bongabih Shey was second (20:01) and Temecula's Yolanda Carillo was third (20:11).

Murrieta's Rachel Corrington finished fourth (20:13) [despite taking a nasty spill about the one-mile mark], followed by Murrieta's Elaine Woodward in fifth (20:26), Temecula's Erica Cartaya in sixth (20:40), Murrieta's Kristina Hill in seventh (20:54), Temecula's Jessica Eddington in eighth (21:14), Murrieta's Shea Corbin in ninth (21:19) [claiming her fourth all-league honors to cap off her Senior year] and Temescal Canyon's Ashlee Hinojosa in 10th (21:26).

In JV action, TVHS won on the boys side while Murrieta won on the girls side (sweeping the first seven spots).

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