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Iolani Invitational at
Kualoa, Hawaii Sept.20
DyeStatCal Preview of Boys' Races
Orange High benefits from Raul Lara's surprise early return; finishes second to nationally-ranked team
Orange High was not expected to be a team factor, as
frontrunner Raul Lara was to be sidelined after suffering from IT band syndrome
in recent weeks. But Lara felt an adrenaline rush of sorts on Friday night and
begged his coaches into the race, assuring them he was fine. Lara then proved
his point in the opening mile, earning the leading a 154-runner parade. The
field closed on Lara early into the second mile, with Eisenhower's trio of
Barany, Cummings and Chavez then overtaking him. Lara ended up fourth in 17:08.
"He was fresh, but he wasn't sharp -- and we really didn't expect him to be, given his missed time," said Orange assistant coach Dave Burnette. Added Don Burnette, the head coach and the older in the father-son coaching combination: "Raul tried hard and did well, but I was especially pleased with our four-pack (scorers 2 through 5, which crossed the finish line within a 20-second time gap. "That was very encouraging for us right now."
Eisenhower, Orange and Snohimish were the only squads among the 21 scoring teams that had a team time under 90 minutes, giving strong indication as to the course's difficulty.
"This was the hardest course I've ever run," snapped Arcadia High senior Lino Almeida, who was fresh off a pair of recent Southern California race victories on more accomodating courses.
Although contested in the mid-morning, the effects of the tropical humidity and the rising temperatures made many quick starter races suffer during the race's latter stages