Track Magazine
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, Cooke,
Emmons), and running 15:55, the fastest time of the day among all three North County league finals.

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 second team.

Honorable Mention:
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 junior girls
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 a testament
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.

Honorable Mention:
Allison Hall, Rancho Bernardo
Nicole Mier, San Marcos
Jenna Timinsky, San Dieguito Academy
Desiree Leek, La Jolla
Katherine Ziegler, University City

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