Eureka's boys win state title
By Marcos Mocine-McQueen
For The Times-Standard
FRESNO--The Eureka High School boys cross country team became the first team in Humboldt
Del-Norte League history to win a state championship Saturday.
The Loggers dominated the race, leaving the second-place team, and the rest of the field, 63
points behind. The team's score of 56 points ranks as the fifth best all-time score.
Ashley Watkins of South Fork gave the best individual performance of the day. Watkins earned
All-State honors by finishing ninth in the Division V race in 19 minutes, 37 seconds over the
"Last year I said that Rob Bode's program was the best in Northern California. Now I can say that
it's the best in the state," Eureka coach Dave Figiuredo said after learning of the EHS win.
Santiago High of Garden Grove, considered to be a serious threat to Eureka, finished a distant
second with 119 points. De La Salle, Eureka's North Coast Section rival, finished well out of
contention in seventh.
"Our guys were where they needed to be at key points in the race," said senior Chris Binschus.
The team was led by sophomore Shaun Lyle, who finished 14th overall in a time of 16 minutes.
Lehrin Morey and Dale Kitt followed close on his heels, placing 16th (16:02) and 19th(16:08)
The trio started the race conservatively, running in the midst of a large pack for the first mile. By
the second mile, however, they had moved toward the front.
Binschus and Travis Moe sealed the team's victory, finishing 26th (16:18) and 32nd (16:27) at the
front of the largest pack of runners.
"Individually we didn't have the greatest races, but as a team we really came together," Moe said.
Matt Farr and Chris Woodcock helped push the team's score further out of the reach in the
Division II race, finishing 67th (16:59) and 96th (17:28).
As coach Mike Phillips waited for the official results, he expressed satisfaction with the
performance of all of the team's runners.
"This week I told them that average performances don't win championships," Phillips said. "Today
we didn't have a single average performance. All of these guys ran exceptional races," Phillips
The victory caps an undefeated season that included wins at the prestigious Stanford Invitational
and a record-setting win at the NCS championships.
Watkins, a sophmore, showed the reserve that has characterized her postseason racing.
"She always runs smart," South Fork coach Sstoz Tes. said. "I can't teach her anything. She has a
great internal clock. She starts out at a smart pace and lets the rest of the girls come back to
Vickers began the race running conservatively, reaching the mile mark in 13th place. She ran a
strong second mile, during which she moved into sixth.
"At the end I slowed a little, I was disappointed that a few people passed me," said Watkins
moments after her All-State performance.
Watkins, who has a 4.0 GPA, is looking forward to future seasons.
"I just want to get better. A lot of girls drop off (as they get older), I just want to keep
improving. I am just really happy to be here and I just thank God for my running."
Tiffany Vickers of Del-Norte, who was sixth in the Division IV race last year, finished in 24th
place. The H-DNL recordholder's training had been hampered by an injury this season. Her coach,
Kurt Burrows, said that she is looking forward to a strong track season.
Dillon Wyant of South Fork rounded out the HDN-L finishers placing 39th with a time of 17:31 in
the Division V race.
Sun, Nov 28, 1999 ; B1