FAVORITES KEEP FOOTING ON MUDDY COURSE

The rain held off at Spring Lake Park for the North Bay League on Friday, but still the 
conditions weren't conducive to record-breaking times.


Montgomery junior Matt Fitch implemented his usual race strategy, pulling away at the 2-mile 
mark to win the boys varsity race in 15:53. 
Maria Carrillo sophomore Amy Robinson also took the lead for good at around the two-mile 
mark and won the girls varsity race in 17:44, three seconds ahead of Ukiah's Shelby Leland.


It was a good day for Montgomery, which won both the varsity boys and girls NBL 
championships, capping undefeated dual meet seasons.

Fitch ran with a group that included Santa Rosa's Eddy McFarlin, Montgomery teammate 
K.C. Cody, Ukiah's Tim Quiroga and Cardinal Newman's JK Withers.

The course, which was partly under water on Thursday, was wet but not flooded for the 
races. Mud and puddles on the dirt paths caused slower times for most of the runners.

Fitch entered the race as the favorite and had a personal best of 15:27 for the Spring Lake 
course.

McFarlin finished second in 16:04, Cody was third in 16:07, Quiroga was fourth in 16:09 and 
Withers was fifth in 16:21.

Robinson was only six seconds slower than her personal best at Spring Lake.

``There wasn't going to be any fast times on the course,'' said Maria Carrillo coach Danny 
Aldridge. ``The course was in decent shape, but there were some puddles in the dirt areas.''

In the girls race, Leland was second in 17:47, just three seconds behind Robinson. Phyliss 
Blanchard of Rancho Cotate was third in 17:56, and the next three runners were from 
Montgomery -- Kim Handel in 18:26, Kim Conley in 18:40 and Emma Conley in 19:08.

The Montgomery boys accumulated 35 points in the race, and Santa Rosa was second 
with 59. They also finished 1-2 in the final NBL standings.

The Montgomery girls, favored to win the North Coast Section's Meet of Champions at 
Hayward High in two weeks, finished with 36 points and won the NBL crown outright. 
Maria Carrillo was second in Friday's race with 49 points.

The Montgomery girls, who won a state cross country championship two years ago, are 
ranked second in the state in Division II. They'll be favored at the MOC.

The state cross country meet is Nov. 30 at Woodard Park in Fresno.