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Track and field: Rio Mesa coach gets deserving recognition

There are lots of people who weren't surprised when the boys' 400-meter relay team from Oxnard Rio Mesa won the Arcadia Invitational, knocking off highly regarded teams from Long Beach Poly, Gardena Serra, Los Angeles Crenshaw and Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.

That's because Rio Mesa's coach, Brian Fitzgerald, has been long known for developing top sprinters for boys and girls.

On June 13, Fitzgerald is scheduled to be inducted into the Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame, along with former Newbury Park football Coach George Hurley, former Newbury Park quarterback Keith Smith, former Ventura St. Bonaventure baseball player Jerry Stone and Jim Naylor, who developed the Ventura Raceway sprint car venue.

All are deserving, but spring is the time when Fitzgerald takes center stage.

-- Eric Sondheimer
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