Repeat performance in mind

Late last November, the Laguna Beach High boys' cross-country team reached the pinnacle — and podium — by winning a coveted state championship.

This year, the 2010 Breakers are using that magical run as inspiration to tactically pace themselves for an arduous season that has all paths leading to and ending in Fresno.

And they want to be a part of the season's final big weekend Nov. 27.

"The team this year really wants to repeat and is using last year's team as motivation for this year," said Scott Wittkop who takes over as boys' head coach, replacing Dave Brobeck who, after 12 years as head coach, stepped down from the position in January to spend more time with his family.

Wittkop, who has been the school's boys' track and field coach for four years, says the Breakers plan to train to peak for both the CIF and State meets in November.

"I believe that we have the ability to compete for a team and individual title this season," Wittkop said. "A lot of this year's team was in the shadows last year and is looking to break out."

Just three athletes, seniors Matt Neev and Aaron Swartz, and junior Jeff White, return from last year's team that hit the trifecta by winning State, CIF and Orange Coast League championships. Neev nearly won an individual state title in Fresno last year, as well, and ended his junior campaign with a second-place finish.

Wittkop said that Neev has a "great chance" to win an individual title this fall.

Running with Neev, Swartz and White on varsity this year is senior Alec Toro, senior Kevin McQuaid, sophomore Timothy Williams, junior Ryan Jones and sophomore Mitch Kimball.

Members of the program participated in a summer training camp.

"It was a great camp with the athletes working really hard and we had a great week in Mammoth where we really bonded as a team," Wittkop said.

The Breakers open the season Sept. 11 at the Laguna Hills Invitational.


2010 Schedule

Sept. 11: Laguna Hills Invitational

Sept. 18: Mt. Carmel Invitational, San Diego

Sept. 25: Stanford Invite, Palo Alto (varsity top-seven only)

Sept. 25: Dana Hills Invitational

Sept. 30: Orange Coast League Cluster (at Godinez High)

Oct. 9: Clovis Invitational, Fresno (varsity top seven only)

Oct. 16: OC Championships (at Irvine Park)

Oct. 22: Mt. SAC Invitational

Nov. 4: Orange Coast League Finals (at Godinez High)

Nov. 13: CIF Prelims (at Mt. SAC)

Nov. 20: CIF Finals (at Mt. SAC)

Nov. 27: CIF State Championships (at Woodward Park, Fresno)

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