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CROSS-COUNTRY : Quintana Perfect With National Title

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Louie Quintana of Arroyo Grande completed an undefeated cross-country season by winning the 12th annual Kinney national championship Saturday at Balboa Park in San Diego.

Quintana, a senior who finished third in last year’s final, ran the 5,000-meter course in 15 minutes 7.22 seconds. He trailed early but rallied after the first mile to pull ahead of Jason Casiano of Portage, Ind., who finished second with a time of 15:17.16.

“I made my move when we started going up the hill,” Quintana said. “After we got over the hill, the field started coming back to me and I found myself on top. I then tried to work the downhill to the best of my ability.”

David Hartman of Canyon Country Canyon, who placed third in 15:20.96, said the fast early pace in the heat caught him by surprise.

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“They went out so hard I had to catch up,” said Hartman, who was in 11th place after two miles. “It was a little hot, but I was able to work the hill and make my move near the end.”

Other local finishers included James Menon of San Luis Obispo, who finished ninth in 15:33.07, and Angel Martinez of San Gabriel, who finished 16th in 15:43.44.

For the second consecutive year, Melody Fairchild of Boulder, Colo., won the girls’ championship. Fairchild’s time of 16:39.26 broke the meet record of 16:40 set by Connie Jo Robinson of Cincinnati in 1981.

Jeannie Rothman of Westlake Village was a surprise second-place finisher in 17:38.36. Veronica Barajas of Channel Islands finished fifth in 17:47.50, and Deena Drossin of Agoura, who won the West regionals last week, finished sixth in 17:53.07.

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“This feels great because it’s my first win over Deena in my life,” said Rothman, who finished second to Drossin in the West regional.


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