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Prep Review : Pallares Loses Record, but Not His Perspective

It happened Friday night just as Ray Pallares knew, maybe even hoped, it eventually would.

Russell White of Crespi High School in Encino broke Pallares’ state career rushing record in a 35-15 victory over St. John Bosco.

White has rushed for 5,447 yards in his 3-year varsity career. Pallares gained 5,397 yards playing for Valencia from 1983-85.

Pallares went about a glorious record-breaking senior season downplaying his achievements. He wanted as little fanfare as possible.

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Still, Pallares piled up the yardage. He first broke the Orange County record, then the Southern Section and state records for career rushing.

“I knew he (White) was going to break it sometime this season,” said Pallares, now playing at Fullerton College, the top-ranked community college team in Southern California. “I found out that he did it (Saturday) night. I’m happy for him. I hope everything works out for him.”

Pallares said his record was an added bonus. But the attention often was a burden.

“I think I wasn’t trying to break the record,” he said. “It was more important for the team to win. Just like it is now. I enjoyed winning at Valencia. . . . It (the record) was just one of the high points of my high school career.”

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Pallares still holds the Orange County career record.

White--who makes his second county appearance when Crespi plays Mater Dei at 7:30 Thursday night in Santa Ana Stadium--appears to be comfortable in the spotlight.

After breaking the record Friday night, White told The Times’ Steve Elling: “That’s what it’s all about. They know it’s going to be me (with the ball) and they have to stop me.

“I’d like to put them all out of reach. Rushing, scoring. Way, way out there.”

White gained 192 yards and scored 4 touchdowns in the victory over St. John Bosco.

White broke the state scoring record last week in a victory over Del Rey League rival Alemany.

White is considered by many to be the state’s top back and certainly will be one of the most sought-after high school players by colleges once the season is over.

Tough Competition: Tanja Brix, a freshman for University’s cross-country team, ran a hilly, 3-mile course at the Mt. San Antonio College Invitational Saturday in 18 minutes 57 seconds.

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Brix, who finished an impressive sixth place in the girls’ individual sweepstakes race, had the fastest time of any Orange County girls’ runner.

It had to be one of the top performances ever run by a freshman at Mt. SAC, right?

Well, her time places her way back at No. 23 among freshman.

Deena Drossin of Agoura set the freshman record of 17:37 in last year’s meet. Brix’s time isn’t the fastest ever by a county runner. There are 4 better times, led by Julie Cooper of El Dorado, who ran 18:39 in 1983.

Such is the level of competition at Mt. SAC, which was celebrating its 40th anniversary Saturday.

Next year, Brix can set her sights on the sophomore record of 17:26 set by Laura Cattivera of Mira Costa in 1982.

Add Mt. SAC: Another meet has passed and the boys’ course record of 14:32 set by Jeff Nelson of Burbank in 1978 still stands. And it looks as if it could go on another 10 years.

Mike Williamson of Thousand Oaks came closest to Nelson’s mark Saturday, running 15:01. The fastest county performance was by Jimmy Rodriguez of Santa Ana Valley, who ran 15:10.

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It marked the third consecutive year that no one broke the 15-minute barrier.

The last runners to do it were Daren Stonerock of Saugus, who ran 14:54, and Mark Davis of San Diego, who ran 14:58, both in 1985.

Only 3 county runners have broken 15 minutes on the Mt. SAC course.

Jon Butler of Edison holds the county record of 14:55 set in 1980. John Gerhardt of Costa Mesa ran 14:56 in 1977, setting a course record before Nelson smashed it a year later.

Mark Junkermann of Los Alamitos ran 14:58 in the 1982 Southern Section finals, which were held on the same course used for the invitational.

Wandering Wildcats: Brea-Olinda, the nomads of Orange County football, had a home game Saturday night against Western.

At least, it was supposed to be a home game.

The public address announcer was from Brea. He introduced the Wildcat players and their mothers before the game. The Brea band performed at halftime. The Brea boosters held a 50-50 raffle at halftime.

But something was amiss.

The game was in Handel Stadium, on the Western campus. And when the Western fans entered the stadium, they sat on the home side, thinking they were the home team. The Brea fans, perhaps accustomed to being put out, sat on the visitors’ side.

The Pioneers, dressed in their away white uniforms, nevertheless sat on the home sideline.

It’s been this way ever since the Wildcats’ stadium was torn down in anticipation of the school’s move to a new campus.

The school, now located across from the Brea Mall on Birch Street, will move up the 57 Freeway to a new campus on Lambert Road in the fall of 1989.

Until then, though, the Wildcats have played home games where they can.

Brea has played home games this season against Walnut at Nogales High, against Troy at Fullerton and against Western at Western.

Their final “home” game is Nov. 5 against Savanna at Glover Stadium. Glover, of course, is Savanna’s home stadium.


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