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Boys cross country 2012 season preview
A look at the upcoming season, including runners to watch and key dates.
Last season ended in jubilation for the Trabuco Hills boys cross country team, as the Mustangs outperformed title favorites Arcadia and Rancho Cucamonga in the Division 1 championship to win their first CIF state title since 2006.
As the 2012 season gets underway, the Mustangs hope their satisfying stampede to the top of Division 1 will be a prolonged one.
“The team has been training with a real good sense of purpose and has been on the same page,” Mustangs coach Liam Clemons said. “I think our front end strength is quite a bit better this year. Last year, we ran a tight pack that looked to put our main scorers in the top 25 of a race. This year, we’re trying to put those scorers in the top 10. We are also a deeper team with a lot of seniors and good leaders.”
The Mustangs’ quest to repeat will be aided by the return of four senior runners (Naoki Omatsu, Max Moncur, Lucas Dorman and Brendan McCabe) who competed at the state meet last November.
According to Clemens, Omatsu (second-team All-County honors last year) has emerged as one of the team’s leaders.
“He is an intense guy that has been working real hard and is hungry to lead the team,” Clemons said. “Going to nationals on the 4 x mile relay team in track this summer showed him he could compete with the best, and he has been on his own level.”
In addition to their quartet of contributing seniors, the continued development of junior Evan DeFraine, senior Chris Ceja and sophomore Patrick McCabe will go a long way in determining if the Mustangs have what it takes to navigate through the South Coast League, CIF-SS and the state meet to go all the way back to the top of the podium.
“The boys are bringing a really good intensity to practice and we’re taking a business approach to each meet,” said Clemons said.
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY TOP 5 TO WATCH
1. Juan Gonzalez (El Toro, Sr.)
2. Jose Penaloza (Godinez, Sr.)
3. Naoki Omatsu (Trabuco Hills, Sr.)
4. Brandon Price (St. Margaret, Sr.)
5. Max Moncur (Trabuco Hills, Sr.)
OTHERS TO WATCH
(In alphabetical order)
Pedro Antunez (Santa Ana Valley, Jr.); Kyle Aube (Marina, Jr.); Luis Avalos (Santa Ana Valley, Sr.); Andrew Brown (Mission Viejo, Sr.); Isaias Campuzano (Santa Ana Valley, Sr.); Chris Ceja (Trabuco Hills, Sr.); Max Chern (Fountain Valley, Sr.); Garrett Corcoran (Villa Park, Jr.); Scott Curran (Tesoro, Jr.); Jared Daedler (Brea Olinda, Sr.) Gavin Diem (Dana Hills, Jr.); Evan DeFraine (Trabuco Hills, Jr.); Lucas Dorman (Trabuco Hills, Sr.); Thomas Duckson (Fountain Valley, Hunter Edington (St. Margaret’s, Jr.); Jason Engel (Santa Margarita, Sr.); Nic Fracassi (JSerra, Jr.); William Garcia (Valencia, Sr.); Austin Goins (Canyon, Sr.); Sydney Gidabuday (El Modena, Jr.); Jacob Grant (Orange Lutheran, Jr.) Dalton Hall (Mater Dei, Sr.); Chris Harlan (Esperanza, Sr.); Baylor Harper (Tesoro, Sr.); John Janneck (Brea Olinda, Sr.); Spencer Keith (Corona del Mar, Jr.); Nathan Kwan (El Toro, Sr.); Juan Lazaro (Santa Ana, Sr.); Sebastian Luna (St. Margaret’s, Sr.); Guido Marasigan (Santa Margarita, Sr.); Jackson Marshall (Woodbridge, Jr.); Brenden McCabe (Trabuco Hills, Sr.); Thomas McGlone (Mater Dei, Sr.); Reid Meckler (Corona del Mar, Sr.); Jack Morgenson (Dana Hills, Sr.); Abhinav Nagpal (Los Alamitos, Sr.); Teddy Parks (Corona del Mar, Sr.); Anthony Palazzo (Beckman, So.); Sean Pino (Crean Lutheran, So.); Jeremy Porter (El Toro, Jr.); Danny Ramirez (Buena Park, Sr.); Lucio Ramirez (Santiago, Sr.); Tommy Rinefort (Dana Hills, Sr.); Jake Sandbloom (Aliso Niguel, Sr.); Michael Sciarra (Crean Lutheran, Sr.); Gilbert Solorza (Buena Park, Sr.); Austin Tamagno (Brea Olinda, Fr.); Austin Tayles (Dana Hills, Sr.); Dylan Thies (Sage Hill, Sr.); Jeff Thies (Edison, Sr.); Bryce Torres (Tesoro, Sr.); Andy Werderman (Dana Hills, Sr.)
Sept. 8, Laguna Hills Invitational (at Laguna Hills High); Sept. 14-15, Woodbridge Cross Country Classic (at Estancia High); Sept. 22, Dana Hills Invitational (at Dana Hills High); Sunny Hills/Wayne Walker Invitational (at Craig Regional Park, Fullerton); Sept. 29, Brea Invitational (at Carbon Canyon Regional Park, Brea); Nike Pre-Nationals (at Portland Meadows, Portland, Ore.); Stanford Invitational (at Stanford Golf Course, Palo Alto); Oct. 6, Central Park Invitational (at Central Park, Huntington Beach); Clovis Invitational (at Woodward Park, Fresno); Oct. 13, Orange County Championships (at Irvine Regional Park, Orange); Oct. 19-20, Mt. Sac Invitational (at Mt. SAC); Oct. 26-Nov. 3, CIF-SS League Finals; Nov. 10, CIF-SS Divisional Preliminaries (at Mt. SAC); Nov. 17, CIF-SS Divisional Finals (at Mt. SAC); Nov. 24, CIF State Cross Country Championships (at Woodward Park, Fresno); Dec. 1, Nike Cross Nationals Championships (at Portland Meadows, Portland, Ore.); Footlocker West Regional (at Mt. SAC); Dec. 8, Footlocker Cross Country National Championships (Morley Field at Balboa Park, San Diego); USTAF National Junior Olympic Championships (at Albuquerque, New Mexico)