PREP CROSS-COUNTRY / SECTION PRELIMINARIES : University Runner Wins Her Heat First Time Out


The first time was a charm for Allyson Marquand, who won her heat Saturday at the Southern Section cross-country preliminaries at Mt. San Antonio College.

The University freshman cruised to a 17-minute 40-second clocking in winning in Division 2AA.

Not only was her time the fastest by a county athlete by 50 seconds, but it also was the third-fastest performance by a ninth-grader on the hilly course.

Elaine Canchola of Nordhoff ran 17:35 in 1994 to set the all-time freshman mark.


“This is the first time I’ve ever run this course,” said Marquand, the Pacific Coast League champion.

Marquand’s effort helped the Trojans advance to Saturday’s section finals, as University finished second to county champion Dana Hills, 34-49.

Nick Russell of Orange outkicked previously undefeated Sean Clendaniel of Yucaipa to win the first of two heats in the Division 2AA boys’ competition.

Russell, the county and Century League runner-up, ran 15:48, the fastest clocking by an area athlete.

The Panthers also moved into the section finals with a third-place finish (75 points) in the heat.

Katie Nuanes of Santa Margarita and Dan Gaston of Huntington Beach each won as individuals to lead their teams to finals races.

Santa Ana Valley and Saddleback also earned finals berths in 1AA, and Santa Ana moves on to the 1A finals after a victory in a heat Saturday.

Santa Margarita and Katella each won 2A heats, led by individual victories from Michael Murray (16:03) and Edgar Benitez (16:25). Edison, Tustin and Laguna Hills also will run in the 2A finals.

The El Modena boys’ and girls’ teams won Division 3AA heats, scoring 31 and 32 points.

Irvine (1A, 64 points) and Orange Lutheran (4AA, 59 points) finished second in their heats, earning finals berths.

Buena Park sophomore Heather Garritson (18:49) and Newport Harbor freshman Alicia McFall (20:23) won both heats of the Division 3AA. McFall also led the Sailors to a team victory, advancing with 45 points.



Ryan Downey of St. Margaret’s (16:42) was a heat winner in the Division 4A. . . . Carlos Rojas of Valencia advanced to the Division 2AA finals with a third-place finish in 16:15. Ross Venook of Woodbridge (15:55) moved into the Division 2AA finals as well. . . . University duo Martin Brix (third, 16:11) and Richard Chou (fourth, 16:13) made the 2AA final. . . . El Toro sophomore Danny Lee (16:25) advanced with a sixth-place finish in his 1A race. Matt Wickersham of Mater Dei ran 15:57 for third place in his Division 1A heat to reach the finals. . . . Jennifer Spahr of Huntington Beach (fourth, 19:05) and Stacey Young of Pacifica (20:02) earned finals spots in 2AA and 3A. . . . The Corona del Mar boys’ and girls’ teams qualified for the section finals.