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Thies trains hard, wins Sunset League
HUNTINGTON BEACH- Edison senior Jeff Thies credits a rigorous workout regiment that has him feeling stronger as the season heads towards November and the all important CIF competitions.
His most recent results on the course have provided a positive reaffirmation that his training is paying dividends.
Thies produced a first place finish for the second straight week, winning the individual league title at the 2012 Sunset League Finals Saturday at Central Park.
He finished first in the Division 1 yellow race at last week’s Mt. Sac Invitational and detailed his preparation for league finals.
“I lifted weights Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday and had a long run and workout on Monday and another on Wednesday,” Thies said. “It was a long and tiring week, but it has been helping me get stronger and with my speed."
He was third among a plethora of runners in the lead pack through the first half of the first mile, but he gained the lead shortly after as the lead pack began to thin out.
Gradually increasing the lead over the second mile, Thies was able to maintain a comfortable distance over the final mile, crossing the finish line in a time of 15:24.
“Coming into the race, my plan was to relax in the first mile and let some of the runners do the pacing,” Thies said. “In the second mile, I wanted to open up a gap and relax. The gap wasn’t as big as I was hoping it would be, but it was a solid race and I was glad to get the win.”
Thies, who finished second at league finals last year, is the first runner from Edison to win the individual title since former Chargers star Matt McElroy won back to back titles in 2008-09.
Marina junior Kyle Aube, who was among the early lead pack in the first mile, finished second in a time of 15:34
Fountain Valley junior Hunter Gulino was also among the early leaders and placed third in a time of 15:42.
Los Alamitos senior Abhinav Nagpal (15:51) and Fountain Valley senior Max Chern (15:56) rounded out the top five individual finishers. Nagpal qualified for CIF as an individual.
For the second year in a row, the Fountain Valley Barons took home the Sunset League team title. Led by Gulino and Chern, the Barons (36 points) also received top 10 finishes from senior Thomas Duckson (15:58) and sophomore Galyn Nash (16:02) and were the only team to have all five scoring runners in the top 12.
“We want to make the CIF Finals, and I told the boys that if we want to make finals, we have to win this league because one will not happen without the other,” Barons coach Martin Pennell said. “Our race plan was to run fairly conservative in the beginning, and from the mile mark through a mile and half, really push it to get into contention and the guys did that really well.”
Fountain Valley is the third straight repeat Sunset League champion, joining Newport Harbor (2007-08) and Marina (2009-10).
Edison had five runners in the top 20 and finished second with 59 points. Marina had five in the top 30 and placed third with 64 points.
By virtue of their finishes, the Barons, Chargers, and Vikings automatically qualified for the CIF-SS Division 1 preliminaries which are scheduled for November 10th at Mt. SAC in Walnut.