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Reid of Rio Mesa Is on the Rise After Experiencing a Great Fall

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Poor races have been rare for Phillip Reid during his career at Oxnard Rio Mesa High. But the duds he produced in the Southern Section Division II track and field preliminaries in May gave him motivation for cross-country.

Reid, a junior, had career bests of 4 minutes 18.24 seconds in the 1,600 meters and 9:29.20 in the 3,200 in track, but clocked a nonqualifying 4:27.55 in the 1,600 and 9:36.12 in the 3,200 in the section preliminaries at Mt. San Antonio College.

A tumble down stairs 30 minutes before his 1,600 heat left Reid with deep cuts on his left hand, but he doesn’t use that as an excuse for his performances.

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“I just wasn’t into it that day,” he said. “Stuff like that happens.”

There have been no such setbacks for Reid this season.

He has won his first three races and is the No. 8-ranked Division I runner in the state by Caltrack.com heading into the Channel Islands Invitational in Oxnard on Saturday.

“He’s just a little bit more focused than he was last year because of what happened,” Coach Jeff Wrout said.

Reid, who won’t turn 16 until November, placed fourth in the Southern Section Division II cross-country final last year and was 14th in the state meet.

His track season started well by posting career bests in winning the 1,600 in the Pasadena Games in March and in winning the 3,200 in the Ventura County championships in April. Then came the tumble at the section preliminaries that motivated him to run six days a week last summer instead of three, like the summer before.

“Track was kind of bad,” Reid said. “But it really made me want to come back out here and do well. It made me want to get back out here and run with these state-level athletes.”

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Down time: Sore shins and a cold have prevented Oscar Mendez of Long Beach Poly from running since the Great American Cross-Country Festival in Rock Hill, S.C., on Saturday.

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Mendez was the No. 2 runner on a team that finished sixth in the race of champions in South Carolina, but Coach George Wright said Mendez could miss the Clovis Invitational in Fresno on Oct. 6 in order to rest his chronically sore shins.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

THE TIMES’ RANKINGS

1. Canyon Country Canyon (SS-Foothill)

Third place in Great American meet should propel Cowboys to top-10 national ranking.

2. Long Beach Poly (SS-Moore)

Sixth place in Great American meet shows Jackrabbits are formidable.

3. Huntington Beach Marina (SS-Sunset)

Vikings will run in first league meet of season Tuesday.

4. Lake Forest El Toro (SS-South Coast)

Chargers won Woodbridge and Dana Hills invitationals past two weeks.

5. Riverside Rubidoux (SS-Sunkist)

Falcons will run in Brea Olinda Invitational on Saturday.

6. Temecula Valley (SS-Southwestern)

Golden Bears’ next race is Clovis Invitational on Oct. 6.

7. Belmont (City-Northern)

The seven-time defending City champion will open season Saturday at Bell-Jeff Invitational.

8. Dana Point Dana Hills (SS-South Coast)

Dolphins will host El Toro in a dual meet Wednesday.

9. Rosemead Bosco Tech

(SS-Camino Real)

Mark Batres helped Tigers defend their small schools title in Great American meet.

10. Simi Valley Royal (SS-Marmonte)

Highlanders had top six finishers in meet Tuesday against Simi Valley.

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