1999 Cross Country RUNNER OF THE YEAR
Travis Laird, San Marcos
Laird qualified to run the Footlocker National Cross Country Championships in Florida, the
first San Diego area runner to qualify since Mebrahtom Keflezighi and Mark Hauser both
qualified in 1993. Laird was sixth at Mt. SAC last week, running 16:02 for the 5K course.
He was the Division I State champion in Fresno, running 15:21, the fastest time of the day
by any runner in any division, and winning his race by 0:10 seconds.He won the Division I
CIF championship at Morley Field, running the fastest time of the day (15:33) by any
runner in any
division, beating a top field (Fox, Maynard, Neuroth, Ricketts).He won the Palomar League
championship at Kit Carson Park, beating a fine field (Ricketts, Neuroth, Montez, Pope,
Emmons), and running 15:55, the fastest time of the day among all three North County
Runner-up: Matt McInvale, Ramona
He was the front-runner for this honor before a late season injury.
Before that injury, he:
Was first in the Team Sweepstakes race at Mt. SAC, running 14:53, which was 0:09 seconds
ahead of runner-up J. J. Duke of Clovis. His time was the second fastest of the entire
meet, and is
ranked in the top ten efforts of all-time there. Won the number one boys race at the
Southern Cal Invitational at Guajome Park, beating a top field that included Laird, Fox
and Ricketts. Matt ran 15:40 on the course, for a 0:09-second margin over Laird. The
results of the entire race were later thrown out, because the runners ran part of the
course in the wrong direction, but that doesn't erase the memory of an excellent effort.
Won the Division II race at the Stanford Invitational, running 15:33 there, which was the
fourth fastest of the meet.Won the Division I senior boys race at the Mt. Carmel
Invitational, holding off Laird by just 0:01 second, but looking in control while doing
so. The race was the fastest of that meet.Even after his injury and loss of significant
training time, McInvale was sixth in the Division II state final. At the Footlocker
regional, he was spiked, tripped and basically trampled before the runners had completed
the lower loop.
Second runner-up: Evan Fox, West Hills
In the San Diego area, there was top quality well down the list of individuals. Some of
the honorable mentions would be the top local runner in average years. And, here's a 4:11
1600-runner ranking as the third in the section.Was fourth in the State Division I race,
and was the second fastest area runner in the meet in any race. Was second in the CIF
Division I race, beating numerous quality runners, with the second fastest time of the day
in any race.Was 14th at the Footlocker West Regional, making the All-Western Regional
Jon Rankin, Monte Vista
Sean Ricketts, Rancho Bernardo
Justin Neuroth, Vista
Ryan Maynard, Granite Hills
Ryan Moorcroft, St. Augustine
Julie Komosinski, Torrey Pines
Was All-State, finishing 6th in the loaded Division I race, running 18:23, the second
fastest time of the day by a local runner.Was the Division I CIF champion, running the
fastest time of the day in any girls' race.
Was the Avocado League champ, beating quality opposition.Unbeaten in Invitationals,
including South Bay Invitational (beating Manson and Davila); Mt. Carmel Invitational
race (running the fastest time of the day in that meet); Stanford Invitational large
schools race; San Luis Obispo Invitational large schools race; and Kit Carson Invitational
large schools race.
In BIG meets, she never lost head-to-head to any local runner through the end of the
regular season. NOTE: Strictly speaking, she was not unbeaten in local meets, as she ran
and finished with the team's pack in some dual meets.She's a junior.
Runner-up: Desiree Davila, Hilltop
Komosinski's choice as number one was clear cut, but the margin over Davila was not large.
Davila put up a good resume, including:In post-season, she was the first local finisher in
the Footlocker West regional at Mt. SAC, finishing 26th, ahead of Komosinski and Manson.
At the state meet, she was fourth in the very competitive Division II race, running 18:15,
the fastest time of the day by any local runner.
Won the CIF Division II race easily.
Won the Metro League title easily.
Ran well at the extremely competitive Mt. SAC Invite, taking fifth in the individual
sweeps race, and running 18:11, one of the faster times ever run by a local on that
course.Overall, it was a great year by the talented junior. If her late-season momentum
carries over into the track season, she'll be a force.
Second runner-up: Julie Manson, Rancho Bernardo
Manson is a rarity. Now a senior, she was a talented age-group runner who entered high
school as a high-level freshman, but who continued to improve each year. That can only be
to her drive, determination and love of the sport.Among local runners, she finished the
season as the clear number three. Head-to-head, she only lost to Komosinski, Davila and
teammate Allison Hall.
She won the Palomar League title against a quality field, was second in the CIF Divison
I race, and was seventh in the State Division I final, running 18:31, the third fastest
time of the day by any
local (behind Davila and Komosinski). In that meet, she also led her team to second place
in the Division I team standings.
Allison Hall, Rancho Bernardo
Nicole Mier, San Marcos
Jenna Timinsky, San Dieguito Academy
Desiree Leek, La Jolla
Katherine Ziegler, University City