WILL THE LANCERS STILL RULE ROAD?; THOUSAND OAKS SHOULD BE TOPS IN CONEJO.
The Thousand Oaks High cross country program has had a coaching change, but there figures to be few changes in the Lancers' storied tradition.
The Lancers, winners of 19 league titles in the last 20 years under retired coach Jack Farrell, are favored to sweep both team titles for the fourth time in five years under first-year coach Robert Radnoti.
``It's hard to say how the change of coaches will affect them, but (Thousand Oaks) is always very strong,'' Agoura coach Bill Duley said. ``They should still be up there in league.''
Radnoti, 40, a member of four Big Eight Conference cross country championship teams at the University of Colorado, has set his sights higher.
``I really don't know what the competition is starting out, but my goal is to get the kids to believe they can make it to the state meet,'' Radnoti said. ``We might not have enough to make it this year, but someday we will be there.''
Sophomore Kelley Hess is a legitimate contender to qualify as an individual this season. She won the Marmonte League cross-country title in her first season of running last fall. In track, Hess captured the league 3,200-meter title and advanced to the Southern Section Division I finals.
Senior Amanda Armstrong was a Southern Section Division I finalist in the 800 and 1,600 meters as a sophomore and is recovered from an ankle injury that hampered her as a junior.
Senior Melissa McBain, who finished seventh in last year's league championships, and sophomore Christie SooHoo also return for Thousand Oaks, which was eighth in the Southern Section Division I finals.
Sophomore Christine Marsden could be the latest in the long line of family standouts. Brother Kevin ran on the Lancers' 1993 and 1994 state championships squads and sister Lindsay ran on last year's team.
Junior Andi LaSala and sophomores Katie Stout and Mara Werring - along with freshmen Heidi Armstrong, the younger sister of Amanda - and Julie Hancock could be among the Lancers' top seven.
The Thousand Oaks boys are paced by junior Seth Neumuller. Senior Brian Moncrief and junior John Vella were also members of last year's Lancers squad that finished ninth in the Southern Section Division I championships.
Thousand Oaks also has been bolstered by the addition of Dan Barnhart, a senior transfer from Houston.
Here is a look at other teams to watch:
Agoura: The Chargers boys finished a surprising second in last year's Marmonte League finals without a runner among the top 10. Michael Berns and Jeremy Law could break into the first 10 after a year of varsity experience. Seniors Bryan Kay and Jason Latimer are also back.
Agoura has added depth with junior Tim Perrum and sophomore Kevin Sullivan, who were members of the Chargers' frosh-soph league champion team. Freshman Steve Sutton also has shown promise.
The Agoura girls, the three-time state champions, are looking to return to postseason competition after a two-year absence. The Chargers return all seven runners, including sophomore Laura Jakosky who advanced to the state Division II championships and was fifth in the 3,200 meters in the Southern Section Division I finals in track.
Camarillo: The Scorpions could sweep the individual and team titles in the new Pacific View League. Senior Jeanene Gerry was third and junior Nicole Richardson ninth in last year's Marmonte League finals.
Newbury Park: The Panthers look to Jennifer Turk and Patrick Dolan, a pair of track standouts, for success in cross country. Turk, a sophomore, is the defending Marmonte League 800-meter champion. Dolan, a senior, won the 300-meter intermediate hurdles in the league championships and was sixth in the Southern Section Division I finals.
Royal: The Highlanders might be the Marmonte League's most improved girls' team. Sophomore Jaclyn Pedersen was a Southern Section Division I finals qualifier in cross country and track. In track, Pedersen advanced to the Southern Section Masters Meet in the 3,200 meters.
Simi Valley: Seniors Amanda Anderson and Ashley Luna and junior Jaime Rucker were the nucleus of the Pioneers' team that finished third in the Marmonte League finals.
Senior Ken Wilkinson and junior Richard Chetwynd were the Nos. 3 and 4 runners for the Simi Valley boys, who should be in the hunt for a top-three finish.
Individuals to watch
Seth Neumuller:Thousand Oaks, Jr., 1997 Marmonte League runner-up
Brian Duarte: Royal, Sr., challenger for Marmonte League individual title
Brian Harrison: Agoura, Sr., Marmonte League 1,600 runner-up in track
Daniel Kuhman: Camarillo, Sr., favorite for individual title in new Pacific View League
Mark Nevers: Oak Park, So., finished sixth in 3,200 in Southern Section Division IV finals
Amanda Armstrong: Thousand Oaks, Sr., won Marmonte League title as sophomore
Kelley Hess: Thousand Oaks, So. defending Marmonte League champion
Laura Jakosky: Agoura, So., latest in the long line of Charger standouts
Jacklyn Pedersen: Royal, So., Southern Section track and cross country finals qualifier
Jeanene Gerry: Camarillo, Sr., contender for Pacific View League title
PHOTO (Color) Seth Neumuller, who finished second here in the 1997 Marmonte League championships, leads a talented Thousand Oaks squad.
Kirby Lee/Special to the Daily News
BOX: Individuals to watch (See text)
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Aug 25, 1998|
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