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Stonerock, Mastalir Twins Ready for Fresno Rematch

Special to the Times

Identical twin brothers Daren and Kirk Stonerock from Saugus High have entered the Western Regional qualifying meet of the Kinney Cross-Country National Championships, setting up a rematch between the Stonerocks and another pair of twin runners, Eric and Mark Mastalir, at Woodwark Park in Fresno on Dec. 7.

The top eight boys and girls finishers from the Western Regional, along with a similar number of qualifiers in three other regional meets will advance to compete in San Diego on Dec. 14 in the National finals at Balboa Park in the only national championship for preps in any sport. The distance for Regional and National meets, boys and girls, is 5,000 meters.

The Stonerocks and Mastalirs faced each other Oct. 26 in the Mt. San Antonio College Cross-Country Invitational, one of the premier cross-country events in the nation.

Eric and Mark finished 1-2 that day, followed by Daren in third and Kirk in fourth. Their rematch at Fresno will be one of the highlights of the meet.

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The Mastalirs have better records, but the Stonerocks improved fast this year. In 1984 Daren was 30th in Kinney Western Regional, but in the 1985 spring season he finished sixth in the State track meet, running the 3,200 meters in 9 minutes, 8 seconds. He won the 3-A Division 3,200-meter race and the Masters, and Kirk was second in the 3-A finals and third at the Masters.

A spectacular series followed in the fall cross-country season. Daren won the Woodbridge Invitational (3 miles in 14:23), then Daren and Kirk placed 1-2 in five consecutive meets: Nipomo Classic in Santa Barbara, San Marino Classic, Sonora Invitational, Fountain Valley Invitational and L.A. County Invitational.

Daren and Kirk placed third and fourth at the Mt. SAC Invitational, behind the Mastalirs, but then came back for another 1-2 finish in their next race, the Golden League finals.

Daren and Kirk are so similar that even their coach says he recognizes them in a race after their . . . numbers. Both are 5-4 and 105 pounds, blonde with blue eyes. Their small size will help them Jan. 17, 1986, when Daren and Kirk will make their debut in an indoor track meet, at the Sunkist Invitational at the Sports Arena. But their first goal is to win the Kinney Cross Country Championship and their rematch with the Mastalirs.

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