Excerpt from independent article on CIF-ready teams after the Mt. SAC Invitational
After barely missing a shot at the CIF/Reebok State Championships last year, San Marino (Southern Section) has shown the necessary improvement to advance this season. “We’ve really come a long way,” said Head Coach Philip Ryan. “Two years ago we were decimated in league, but the kids really put in a lot of work. It’s fun to see them progress the way they have.” The Titan’s top runner is senior Peter Nichols, whose season best time is 15:14 at the Dana Hills Invitational. Two other seniors figure in the number two and three spots; Carlos DeOvand and Matt Payne. DeOvando had a seasonal best of 15:27 at Dana Hills, while Payne’s best is 15:57. Joe Welton, a junior, figures to break the 16-minute mark after a 16:01 timing at Dana Hills and Mark Hillman is also chasing down that mark. His season best is 16:07. Talented sophomore Ben Nichols offers strength for the future off a seasonal best timing of 16:15. “We’re running consistently and we’re running tough. Our six runners are right there with each other,” Ryan said.
La Jolla will receive stiff competition from several other schools, one being San Marino (Southern Section). The Titans have a talented squad and also possess a lot of depth, with seven capable runners. Marjorie Hsu, a junior, posted a seasonal best of 18:16 at the Dana Hills Invitational and won the Dos Pueblos Invitational in a time of 18:29. Jenny Liao, on of three juniors on the team, isn’t far behind Hsu’s pace, with top times of 18:33 at Dana Hills and 18:50 at Dos Pueblos. Junior Jacquie Fruttero has missed some of the season due to injury, but is expected to challenge Hsu and Liao for top times. Her seasonal best is 19:17, which was good for first place at Rosemead. A pair of talented freshman runners, Stephanie Norberg and Kim Gardner, have posted solid times. Norberg won theDos Pueblos Invitational in the freshman/sophomore division with a time of 20:06. Gardner’s top time is 19:43 at Dana Hills. Heather Decker, a freshman, and Connie Chung, a sophomore, add quality depth. San Marino finished sixth at the CIF/Reebok State Championships in Division II last year.