Big goals set by Laguna

Reloaded and ready for another run.

That's the outlook for the 2011 Laguna Beach High boys' cross-country team, which is a week away from opening its fall season.

The Breakers welcome back six runners from a team that won the 2010 Orange Coast League championship and placed seventh at the CIF State Division 4 Cross-Country Championships in November. Two of the returnees, Jeff White and Ryan Jones, were all-league performers last year.

For the first time in five years, the Breakers are entering a season without Matt Neev, who graduated in June. Neev capped his outstanding Laguna career by finishing second in the Division 4 race at the State meet.

Below is a capsule look at the 2011 Breakers:


Head coach: Scott Wittkop (second year)

Coaching staff: Mark Harris; Aham Batihia

2010 league finish: Orange Coast League champion

2010 league finals placements: Jeff White (third); Ryan Jones (sixth).

Season finish: Seventh place in Division 4 at CIF State Cross-Country Championships

Returning varsity runners: Ryan Jones; Mitch Kimball; Kevin Tovar; Jeff White; Timmy Williams; Tyler Nichols.

Varsity additions to watch: Mike Lee; Miggs Jamies; Riff Stone; Jack Crawford.

Key losses: Matt Neev (second place at 2010 CIF State meet)

Coach's outlook: "We have a solid squad from top to bottom," Wittkop said. "We expect to compete for a CIF and state title his year. Our strength is our depth and work ethic. We were a young team last year and accomplished a lot by placing in the top 10 in state. This year we are looking at improving on that."

The schedule: The Breakers start the season at a familiar site, the CIF course at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut for the Mt. SAC Fastback Shootout. In mid-September, they'll enjoy a trip to Hawaii where they will compete at the Iolani Cross-Country Invitational. The Orange Coast League "Cluster" is Sept. 29 and the OCL finals are Nov. 2.

"Our preseason (nonleague) is set -up to help us in the postseason," Wittkop said. "We are running very challenging courses to prepare us for CIF and State."


2011 Schedule

Sept. 10: at Mt. SAC Fastback Shootout (TBA)

Sept. 17: at Iolani (Hawaii) Cross-Country Invitational (TBA)

Sept. 29: Orange Coast League "Cluster" (TBA)

(at Centennial Regional Park, Santa Ana)

Oct. 1: at Saints Small Schools Invitational (TBA)

Oct. 8: at Clovis Invitational (TBA)

Oct. 15: at Orange Coast Championships (TBA)

Oct. 22: at Mt. SAC Invitational (TBA)

Nov. 2: Orange Coast League finals

(at Centennial Regional Park, Santa Ana)

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