Orange’s Russell Takes His Time to Win


Patience paid dividends for Orange senior Nick Russell at the Laguna Hills Invitational.

Russell bided his time in the Division II senior race before blistering the field in 15 minutes 16 seconds, the fastest time recorded in any race Saturday.

“I always go out slow,” said Russell, the Century League runner-up a year ago. “I don’t like going out hard and having nothing left at the end of the race.”

Russell eventually caught up with Santa Margarita’s Michael Murray four minutes into the race, with the two leading the race through the mile mark in 5:01. A 5:04 second mile put Russell in the lead for good. Murray finished fourth in 15:54.


“He’s [Russell] making us look good today,” first-year Coach Don Burnette said. “That is a nice start.”

In the girls’ competition, University sophomore Allyson Marquand posted the day’s fastest time of the meet for girls, cruising to a grade-level victory in 17:41.

“I was pretty happy for my first race of the season,” Marquand said.

Santa Margarita standout Katie Nuanes won the Division II junior/senior girls’ race in 17:53, ahead of teammate Dani Rope, who finished in 18:43.

Buena Park’s Heather Garritson was victorious in the Division III junior/senior girls’ race, running 18:14 to best Kristin Groncy of Orange Lutheran in 19:03.

Los Alamitos junior Kim Bates ran 18:28 to win the Division I junior/senior girls’ race, leading her team to the title with 38 points.

Tustin had winners in the boys’ junior and senior races, as C.J. Marciales won the former and Daniel Smith the latter, both clocking 15:50.

Mission Viejo junior Marc Gleason won the Division II grade-level race in 15:27, the county’s second-best individual time of the day. Santa Margarita’s Brandon Von Guenthner finished second in 15:57.


Irvine’s Erin Zehntner and Melissa Livermore finished first and second in the Division I sophomore race, running 18:43 and 19:20.

Palos Verdes Peninsula standout Ryan Deane won the boys’ Division I seniors race in 15:22. The top area athlete in the race was Manuel Estrada of Santa Ana Valley, who took third in with a time of 15:36.

At the Millikan Invitational in Long Beach:

The Anaheim boys and El Modena girls won their races in dominating fashion. Anaheim bested El Modena, 37-60, to win the boys’ senior race. El Modena scored 28 points to best Rancho Alamitos (110 points) to win the girls’ junior competition.


Vanguard Tim Allen ran the fastest time of the day with a 15:25, followed by Colonist Patricio Mejia (15:49). Katie Kennedy of El Modena ran the day’s fastest time (18:16) for the girls.

At the Kiwanis Seaside Invitational in Ventura:

The Foothill girls finished sixth as a team with an overall team time of 99:13. Nici Desmond finished 13th in the senior race and Daylene Coberly was seventh in the freshman race to lead the seventh-ranked Knights. Both were timed in 19:40.

The Knight boys finished with the seventh-fastest time of the day (81:50) and were led by junior Kevin Collins, who ran 16:03.