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Boys cross-country heads to state finals

 

Last updated 11/24/2006 at Noon



Fallbrook High School’s boys cross-country team qualified for the state meet by finishing third among Division I schools at the CIF San Diego Section meet November 18 at San Diego’s Morley Field.

Fallbrook came within three points of second place. Rancho Buena Vista won the meet with 67 points, Vista had 97 points, and the Warriors had 100 points. The top three Division I teams qualified for the state meet November 25 at Fresno’s Woodward Park.

“We’re looking forward to going up there,” said Fallbrook head coach Marty Hauck.

Rancho Buena Vista, Vista, and Fallbrook are all in the Avocado League. In the Avocado League finals the Warriors finished ahead of Vista, and Hauck believes the team could have been second and possibly even first had Warrior runners Todd Van Duzer and Vinny Granata not been ill.

“That’s just part of the game. All coaches in November cross their fingers two or three times and hope that no one on the team gets sick,” Hauck said.

Eric Avila of Bonita Vista High School won the Division I race with a time of 15:58 on the 3.04-mile course. Eastlake’s Austin Jett was second at 16:14, and Fallbrook’s Bret Hasvold crossed the finish line third at 16:17.

“It was a tremendous effort for him,” Hauck said of Hasvold.

Hasvold’s third-place finish also earned him first-team all-CIF honors. Two other Warriors received second-team all-CIF recognition; Josh Smith placed 14th with a time of 16:55 and Forrest Whitfield’s time of 17:09 was worth 20th place.

Van Duzer and Granata likely would have earned all-CIF honors had they been healthy, but neither finished high enough for that award. “They had a difficult time breathing. It was hot and dry,” Hauck said. “They just had a tough day.”

Kevin Strickfaden was the fourth Fallbrook runner across the finish line and the 27th Division I runner overall, completing the course in 17:21. Granata placed 36th at 17:37.

Each team can enter up to seven runners in the CIF finals and the top five finishers are scored. Sophomore Uriel Aguirre was 41st with a time of 17:41, and Van Duzer placed 69th with a time of 18:16.

“He gave it his best effort, but he couldn’t hold it together. It’s hard when you’re sick,” Hauck said of Van Duzer.

Hauck praised the efforts of Smith and Whitfield in taking over for two of their normally faster teammates. “They were able to step up and do some things when they saw their teammates were in trouble,” Hauck said.

Despite the illness of two top runners, Fallbrook’s score in the 2006 CIF meet was actually better than the Warriors’ 2005 score, and Fallbrook’s 2006 point total would have won last year’s meet.

Hauck noted that the illness of two of his runners didn’t detract from Rancho Buena Vista’s feat. “They had a tremendous day. It would have taken our very best day to have caught and beat them,” he said.

Fallbrook’s third-place finish, in conjunction with the higher finishes of Rancho Buena Vista and Vista, gave the Avocado League a sweep of the three berths in the state meet. “It shows we’re in a very tough league,” Hauck said.

Fallbrook’s goal at the state meet is a top ten finish. “We’re just looking forward to this Saturday,” Hauck said.

 

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