Thousand Oaks High traditionally fields one of the Southern Section's top cross-country programs. The boys team won the Southern Section 4-A Division title last fall and the girls team placed second behind Palos Verdes, which was ranked No. 1 in the nation by California Track and Running News magazine.
Success over the hills doesn't always guarantee success on the track, but it did for the Thousand Oaks girls 4 x 1,600-meter relay team Friday on the second day of the Mt. San Antonio College Relays in Walnut.
Although Thousand Oaks placed only third in the event, the Lancers finished behind teams from Mexico (20:34.1) and Australia (20:34.5), which featured college-age runners.
Thousand Oaks' time of 21:15.5 demolished the school record by more than 40 seconds and was capped by Christy Farrell's 5:02.0 anchor leg. Farrell was Thousand Oaks' top cross-country runner, placing third in the 1986 Southern Section championships. She also placed sixth in the 3,200 meters at last year's state track championships.
Rounding out the team are freshman Aimee Edwards (5:17.5) and sophomores Mandy Kossoris (5:31.2) and Angie Lovell (5:24.8), who also ran on the cross-country team.
Frank Flores of Hart High, which also has a strong cross-country tradition, turned in the top individual performance by a Valley-area athlete in Friday's meet. Although he ran seventh in the 3,000 meters, he clocked a season-best 8:50.83. Flores had won the 3,000 meters at the Northridge/Alemany Relays earlier this season in 8:54.30.
In other events, Marji Gilles of Burbank jumped 36-2 to place seventh in the girls triple jump.
Junior Quincy Watts of Taft and sophomore Angela Burnham of Rio Mesa will be the leading Valley-area entries in today's high school portion of the meet.
Watts is the defending state champion at 200 meters and also the defending Mt. SAC champion in the 100 and 200 meters. He will attempt to record that double again and also will run the anchor legs on Taft's 400- and 1,600-meter relay teams.
Burnham, the defending state champion at 100 meters, is entered in the girls 100 and 200 meters.