Agoura’s Greene Gallops to Record

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John Greene of Agoura High learned an important lesson last week and he put that knowledge to good use in Thursday’s Marmonte League cross-country meet against visiting Thousand Oaks and Channel Islands.

Greene had split two races last week in which the outcome was not decided until the final 200 meters, but he changed his strategy against high-powered Thousand Oaks as he broke away from the Lancers’ Brandon Del Campo and Jeff Fischer with three-quarters of a mile remaining to win.

His time of 15 minutes 28 seconds was a course record for the three-mile distance and gave him a comfortable margin over Del Campo (15:41) and Fischer (15:47), who finished first and third in last Saturday’s Fountain Valley Invitational.


Thousand Oaks, the No. 1-ranked team in the state Division I poll, placed five runners among the top eight finishers to defeat Agoura, 23-35, and Channel Islands, 18-45, but Greene’s upset win was the most noteworthy performance of the meet.

“I’m not really that fast,” Greene said about his sprinting ability. “So (Agoura Coach Bill Duley) and I thought it might be best for me to run with the leaders for the first two miles and then really push it with a mile to go.”

Del Campo (5:09) had a two-second lead on Greene and Fischer at the one-mile mark, but Greene closed the gap shortly thereafter, and by two miles (10:30) the Charger junior was in the lead and starting to apply pressure.

“I made a definite surge just after two miles and it opened up a little gap on them,” Greene said. “Del Campo and Fischer are good runners, so I was surprised when neither one of them went with me. I thought at least one of them would, but they didn’t.”

Thousand Oaks Coach Jack Farrell complimented Greene on his victory, but added that the absence of the Lancers’ Kevin Marsden (flu) might have taken away some of the competitive edge from Del Campo and Fischer.

“Brandon told me afterward that he wouldn’t have let (Greene) get away if Kevin had been in the race,” Farrell said. “But without him, they just weren’t as motivated. Kevin can have that effect on them because he’s one of those guys who never backs down.”


The same can be said of Agoura senior Kay Nekota, who timed a course record of 18:26 in the girls’ race to lead the Chargers to victories over Thousand Oaks (19-40) and Channel Islands (17-42). Thousand Oaks defeated Channel Islands, 27-29.

With Agoura junior Amy Skieresz still recovering from the flu, Nekota took the lead immediately and helped the Chargers place five runners among the top seven. Thousand Oaks sophomore Tara Marsden finished second in 19:54, followed by Agoura’s Cathy Prater (20:15) and Vickie Greene (20:16).