Big goals set by Laguna

Boys' cross-country coach says he expects his team to compete for CIF and state titles in 2011.

September 01, 2011|By Mike Sciacca,
  • Laguna Beach's Jeff White is one of the key returners for the boys' squad.
Laguna Beach's Jeff White is one of the key returners… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

Reloaded and ready for another run.

That's the outlook for the 2011 Laguna Beach High boys' cross-country team, which is a week away from opening its fall season.

The Breakers welcome back six runners from a team that won the 2010 Orange Coast League championship and placed seventh at the CIF State Division 4 Cross-Country Championships in November. Two of the returnees, Jeff White and Ryan Jones, were all-league performers last year.

For the first time in five years, the Breakers are entering a season without Matt Neev, who graduated in June. Neev capped his outstanding Laguna career by finishing second in the Division 4 race at the State meet.

Below is a capsule look at the 2011 Breakers:


Head coach: Scott Wittkop (second year)

Coaching staff: Mark Harris; Aham Batihia

2010 league finish: Orange Coast League champion

2010 league finals placements: Jeff White (third); Ryan Jones (sixth).

Season finish: Seventh place in Division 4 at CIF State Cross-Country Championships


Returning varsity runners: Ryan Jones; Mitch Kimball; Kevin Tovar; Jeff White; Timmy Williams; Tyler Nichols.

Varsity additions to watch: Mike Lee; Miggs Jamies; Riff Stone; Jack Crawford.

Key losses: Matt Neev (second place at 2010 CIF State meet)

Coach's outlook: "We have a solid squad from top to bottom," Wittkop said. "We expect to compete for a CIF and state title his year. Our strength is our depth and work ethic. We were a young team last year and accomplished a lot by placing in the top 10 in state. This year we are looking at improving on that."

The schedule: The Breakers start the season at a familiar site, the CIF course at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut for the Mt. SAC Fastback Shootout. In mid-September, they'll enjoy a trip to Hawaii where they will compete at the Iolani Cross-Country Invitational. The Orange Coast League "Cluster" is Sept. 29 and the OCL finals are Nov. 2.

"Our preseason (nonleague) is set -up to help us in the postseason," Wittkop said. "We are running very challenging courses to prepare us for CIF and State."


2011 Schedule

Sept. 10: at Mt. SAC Fastback Shootout (TBA)

Sept. 17: at Iolani (Hawaii) Cross-Country Invitational (TBA)

Sept. 29: Orange Coast League "Cluster" (TBA)

(at Centennial Regional Park, Santa Ana)

Oct. 1: at Saints Small Schools Invitational (TBA)

Oct. 8: at Clovis Invitational (TBA)

Oct. 15: at Orange Coast Championships (TBA)

Oct. 22: at Mt. SAC Invitational (TBA)

Nov. 2: Orange Coast League finals

(at Centennial Regional Park, Santa Ana)

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