By DEWEY FORGET
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Maria Carrillo cross country coach Greg Fogg has some very big shoes to
fill.  Fogg took over the ultra-successful Pumas' program when long-time
coach Danny Aldridge retired this year. Aldridge is attributed with
building the Puma's cross-country team into a formidable presence in the
North Bay League, North Coast Section and the state meets.

The transition seems to be going quite well, thank you very much. The Pumas
continued their NBL dominance Friday at Spring Lake, winning the boy's and
girls' league championships, their fifth consecutive.

The Pumas boys (29), ran first, fourth and fifth, to propel them to what
appeared to be an easy win. Santa Rosa (59) was second, Montgomery (66)
third, followed by Ukiah , Cardinal Newman, Rancho Cotate, Piner and Elsie
Allen.

Carrillo's Nathan Huckeba was the boys' individual gold-medal winner in a
time of 15:33 over the 3.05 course. Joe Withers (Cardinal Newman) was
second in 15:37, followed by Ukiah sophomore Andrew Zellman (15:38). Grant
Williams of Carrillo was fourth, just ahead of teammate Alex Hartz.

If there was any pressure on Fogg, to carry on what has become a legacy of
winning at Carrillo, it wasn't evident.

"We actually wear the same size shoe," Fogg said. "It's all about the
environment here. Danny and I are a lot alike, I guess that's because I
worked with him for four years.

"We try to keep the kids relaxed. Right now both teams are so giddy it's
hard to keep them contained. We are trying to hold them back" I'm OK with
running good, but we want to peak at NCS and state."

At the start of the boys' race, it resembled a cavalry charge across the
meadow and onto the blacktop in front of the lake. But, at the one-mile
mark, Huckeba had established a clear advantage over Withers. Huckeba
extended his lead with one mile remaining, and sprinted home in complete
control.

Williams had one of his best races of the season, running a personal-best
15:45. "I'm very excited," he said. Our team as a whole was great."

Sophomore twins Lauren and Cara Curtin led the Pumas girls. Lauren won the
gold in 18:24, while Cara crossed the finish line second in 18:41.
Montgomery's Celeste Berg was third, Jordan Davis (Carrillo) fourth, and
Julie Nacoazi (Montgomery) fifth.

Team honors went to Carrillo (23), followed by Montgomery (49), Santa Rosa
(65), and Ukiah.

"I was a little nervous before the race," Lauren Curtin said. "When the 
gun went off, I calmed down. It's really great running with my sister, not
everyone gets to do that. I'm excited about NCS, I've never ran in a big
race like that.

Cara said her sister, who is 19 minutes older, encourages her during the
race.

"When I fall behind, she yells "˜come on Cara', and I start to catch up."

The NCS meet Saturday at Hayward High kicks off a grueling two week
schedule. The state meet at Fresno's Woodward Park is one week later on
November 17th. Carrillo boys and girls will be among the favorites in
Division III. The boys are ranked No.3, and the girls third.