The drought might be nearing an end for the Thousand Oaks High boys' cross-country team.
The Lancers have endured some hard times since winning the Southern Section 4-A Division title in 1986, but after rolling to victories over Agoura and Royal in a Marmonte League meet at Cal Lutheran on Thursday, Thousand Oaks appears capable of earning its first berth in the state championships, which began in 1987.
Paced by junior Brandon Del Campo who finished second, Thousand Oaks defeated Agoura, 24-31. Royal lost to both schools and was not given a team score because the Highlanders did not have five runners finish the race.
The Lancers, ranked second in Southern Section Division I behind Hart, placed five runners in the top eight to easily turn back Agoura, the second-ranked Division II team.
Agoura senior Ryan Wilson timed 15 minutes 50 seconds over the three-mile course to win, but Del Campo (16:13), sophomore Jeff Fischer (16:34) and junior Chadd Aldrich (16:38) followed in that order for Thousand Oaks (3-0, 3-0 in league competition).
"We didn't run as well as we could have, but we were able to win," said Thousand Oaks Coach Jack Farrell, whose team won three Southern Section titles in the '80s. "We had some gaps between our runners that they could have put some runners into, but they were unable to take advantage of them."
The girls' race turned into a training run for Agoura standouts Kristie Camp and Amy Skieresz, who finished first and second in 20:55. With Thousand Oaks senior Stacey Auer sidelined because of a stress fracture and Agoura junior Kay Nekota sitting out the race in preparation for Saturday's Kenny Staub invitational at Crescenta Valley Park, Camp and Skieresz were not tested.
The Chargers, the top-ranked team in the nation, defeated Thousand Oaks, 19-40, and Royal, 17-45. Thousand Oaks defeated Royal, 22-33.