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Heat, smoke stops opener

Cross-country event postponed to next week

Posted: September 24, 2009 10:35 p.m.
Updated: September 25, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Fire Department officials called a halt to the Foothill League's first cross country meet of the season Thursday at Central Park after taking four runners to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital with symptoms related to heat exhaustion.

Five total patients, whose names were not disclosed, were assisted during and following the completion of the boys and girls freshman-sophomore races, said Station 111 fire Capt. John Mazzocco.

"We run the kids again, my guess is we get at least one more patient," he said.

Mazzocco said the attendees were experiencing cramping, extreme thirst, were hyperventilating and were extremely emotional.

"An event like this, to have five kids sent to Henry Mayo, it's too hot. ... It seemed like it was too extreme," he said.

According to the National Weather Service, temperature at 3:36 p.m. - shortly after the start of the girls freshman-sophomore race - was 102 degrees.

The boys freshman-sophomore race started at 3 p.m. on the three-mile course.

The varsity event was rescheduled for 4 p.m. on Wednesday at Central Park, beginning with the junior varsity.

But with recent fire activity, and with the smell of smoke in the air from the still-burning Guiberson Fire in Ventura County, Golden Valley co-head coach Chris Evans thought the stoppage was the result of a couple factors.

"I do think it was a combination of heat and smoke because we were starting to get asthma (attacks)," he said.

Saugus head coach Rene Paragas agreed, pointing out that the action was highly precautionary.

"It's a sign of the times," he said. "If this was 20 years ago, we would have run right through it. The biggest concern is the welfare of the kids."

Neither Paragas or Evans could remember a cancelation like the one that took place Thursday.

"We are talking about decades of cross country experience," Paragas said.

According to Valencia co-head coach Jeff Gilkey, multiple athletes were treated for similar symptoms at the league opener at Castaic Lake last year, but the meet was not canceled.

"You can't control the weather," he said. "Since this keeps happening, then you have to figure out what kind of adjustments to make for the future."

Saugus sophomore Emily McCarty won the girls frosh-soph race in 19 minutes, 3 seconds, followed by teammates Jenay Jauregui (19:14) and Kaylie Fisher (20:48).

On the boys side, Golden Valley sophomore Juan David Garcia won in 17:20, while Saugus' A.J. Yarnell finished second (17:25) and West Ranch's Josh Sherfey, third (17:37).


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