For the first time, the Southern Section high school cross-country finals also served as a qualifying meet for the State Championships, scheduled for Fresno on Nov. 28. So, while 16 team and individual winners were decided Saturday at Mt. San Antonio College, the preparation for more important races two weeks away was just beginning.
The biggest winners this time were Palos Verdes, Newport Harbor of Newport Beach and Maranatha of Sierra Madre, all of whom qualified their boys' and girls' teams for Fresno. Palos Verdes, the No. 1 program in the state this season, also had the boys' 4-A individual champion, David Scudamore, and the girls' 4-A runner-up, Ashley Black.
To say the Sea Kings performed as well as expected on the three-mile course in Walnut might be selling them short.
"Maybe better," Coach Joe Kelly said. "The girls really did a job. They could have gone out and run so-so or just average and still done well, but you can see from the team scores that they really hammered the race."
The Palos Verdes girls remained undefeated in 1987 by easily outdistancing the field, finishing with 36 points to 118 for second-place Santa Ana Valley. The Sea Kings' boys finished second to Dana Hills, 63-87.
Team titles in the boys' divisions also went to Arroyo of El Monte, the top-ranked team in the state, in the 3-A; Walnut in the 2-A, and Azusa in the 1-A. Girls' winners in addition to Palos Verdes were Arroyo Grande (3-A), Agoura (2-A) and Maranatha (1-A).
Terrance Mahorn of La Habra won the boys' 3-A individual race in 15:26, edging Mike Glaze of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame by two seconds and Jaime Ortega of Arroyo by four. The 2-A division was just as crowded, with Scott Hemple of Walnut (15:16) beating Gary Stolz of Rancho Palos Verdes Miraleste (15:21), Luis Quintana of Arroyo Grande (15:23) and Bryan Dameworth of Agoura (15:25) for the title. Brian Ochs of Mission Prep in San Luis Obispo ran 15:53 for the 1-A championship.
The girls' individual champions: Jaime Park of Santa Barbara (18:01) in the 4-A, Rayna Cervantes of Montebello (17:54) in the 3-A, Deena Drossin of Agoura (17:46) in the 2-A and Tanya Thayer of Serrano of Phelan (19:02) in the 1-A.