Tony Trueba won the Orange County Cross-Country Championships title Saturday at Irvine Park.

Trueba, a Huntington Beach junior, won the team sweepstakes race in 15 minutes 12 seconds, beating runner-up Nick Russell of Orange by eight seconds.

"Everybody knew who I was everywhere on the course," Trueba said of the three-mile course that had plenty of spectators along it. "That's the first time I've ever run on a course where that's happened. It was kind of nice."

Trueba's first-place finish secured the team title as well.

Huntington Beach had 78 points, with Santa Ana (87) and Tustin (92) right behind in the team scoring.

Trueba and Dan Gaston, who have helped the Oilers to team titles at the Las Vegas, La Mirada and Central Park invitationals this fall, did not do the trick for the Oilers this time.

Gaston was 19th (16:06), but senior Jess Strutzel had a strong kick in the final half-mile to finish fourth.

"On the last straightaway [the final 100 yards of the race], I got at least four or five more guys," said Strutzel, who ran 15:29.

Luis Estrada of Santa Ana Valley (15:24) finished third, followed by Strutzel, Matt Wickersham of Mater Dei (15:30) and University senior Richard Chou (15:32).

Pre-race favorite Katella, the county's top-ranked team since the preseason, finished a disappointing fifth, behind Orange (117), with 129 points.

Ross Venook of Woodbridge pulled away from Mission Viejo sophomore Mark Gleason in the final mile to win the individual seeded race. The Warrior senior, who was third in the county team sweepstakes race a year ago, ran 15:35 to edge Gleason by seven seconds.

Justin Nyberg of Irvine (15:56) and Ed Pollick of El Toro (16:00) were third and fourth.



Martin Olivares of Villa Park (16:18) edged Dana Hills' Jorge Martinez (16:20) to win the second varsity race. Carlos Rojas of Valencia ran 15:42 to win the first varsity race. Dana Hills scored 48 points to win the first race. San Clemente won the second race with 57 points.

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