PLAYOFF PROFILES : Disney Focus on Big Finale
After competing in the shadows of three highly touted teammates as a junior, Todd Disney of Thousand Oaks High finally has moved to center stage.
Disney and Josh Carolan were the fourth and fifth runners on last year’s Lancer squad that won its third consecutive Southern Section and second consecutive state Division I titles and was ranked second in the nation by Harrier magazine.
But with the graduation of Jeff Fischer, now at Stanford, Keith O’Doherty (Arkansas) and Kevin Marsden (Air Force) in June, seniors Disney and Carolan were the leaders of a young and inexperienced Thousand Oaks team this year.
The Lancers’ season came to a close last week with a seventh-place finish in the Division I race at the Southern Section championships at Mt. San Antonio College, but Disney qualified as an individual for Saturday’s State championships at Fresno with a runner-up finish.
Although he was 12th midway through the race, Disney made a strong move up “poop-out” hill and crested “reservoir” hill even with leader Matt Wichersham of Santa Ana Mater Dei.
Wichersham pulled away from Disney coming down the hill and won in a time of 15 minutes 32 seconds over the three-mile course but Disney (15:35) was pleased with his performance.
“I was very concerned at the base of poop-out because I was in 12th place and I wasn’t feeling very good at that point,” he said. “But I worked hard over those last two hills and made up a lot of ground.”
Disney, whose father Robert is a nephew of the late Walt Disney, won the Ventura County and Marmonte League titles this season and figures a top-10 finish in the State championships is possible.
“From what I’ve been doing in workouts, I’m not running up to my potential in races,” Disney said. “But hopefully, that will change this week and in West regional next week.”