Fleshman's Record Outdoes Herself

Lauren Fleshman of Canyon High finished second in the 1997 state Division I and West region cross-country championships and was 14th in the national finals.

Yet the best performance of her career might have come in the Woodbridge Invitational at Woodbridge High in Irvine on Saturday.

That's where Fleshman set a course record of 16:35 in winning the Division II girls' race.

The time crushed the previous three-mile course best of 17:01 set by Newbury Park's Melissa Sutton in 1986, the year she won her third consecutive Southern Section 4-A Division title.

"I was kind of surprised," Canyon Coach Dave DeLong said. "I knew [Lauren] was running well, but I didn't realize how fast until she came through two miles."

Fleshman and fellow senior Courtney Baird of La Mesa Helix passed the mile mark in 5:30 and two miles in 11:03 before Fleshman broke open the race a quarter-mile later.

"She went past [Baird] with authority," DeLong said. "I told her after the race that I thought we had just witnessed her best race ever."

Baird finished second in 16:48, but had to be content with moving to second on the all-time course list.

Freshman Anita Siraki of Hoover finished fifth in 17:53.

Senior Amanda Anderson of Simi Valley placed ninth in 18:31 to pace the Pioneers to a second-place total of 108 points. Santa Margarita finished first with 89 points.

Thousand Oaks finished third in the girls' Division I race and the Lancers' Seth Neumuller placed second in the Division I junior boys' race.

Thousand Oaks totaled 129 points as senior Melissa McBain placed fourth in 18:00, sophomore Kelley Hess finished fifth in 18:01 and senior Amanda Armstrong placed eighth in 18:16.

Yucaipa, the defending state Division I champion, finished first with 75 points and Peninsula was second with 109.

Neumuller ran 15:09 to finish behind the 14:59 clocking of Aaron Durham of Long Beach Poly in the junior boys' race.

In other meets:

Ojai Invitational--The Saugus and Nordhoff boys dominated their respective races, although no official team scores were kept in the meet at Lake Casitas.

Saugus, the 1997 Southern Section Division II champion, had five of the top nine finishers in the large schools race.

Seniors Jacob Boeding and Dan Klawer went 1-2 for the Centurions, with times of 15:46 and 15:55 over the three-mile course.

Nordhoff, the defending state and Southern Section Division IV champion, had five of the top 14 finishers in the small schools race.

High Desert Invitational--Senior Richard Butler and sophomore John Lanigan of Lancaster placed 1-2 to lead the Eagles to an easy victory in the A Division race of the meet at Palona Vista Park in Lancaster.

Butler ran 17:59 over the three-mile distance and Lanigan timed 18:25 to help Lancaster to a 22-point total.

Junior Rosanna Kirkendall of Lancaster won the girls' race in 21:48.

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