WORTH SHOUTING ABOUT
Small school league track meets normally consist of some very hard-working athletes who toil in obscurity. All of these athletes deserve credit for participating in the various events, but it's rare when any of them are exceptional enough to be one of the best in the state.
How rare is it then that last week's Bay Counties League meet in the San Francisco Bay Area featured not one but two runners who are among the best in the state? And to make it even more interesting, both were in the same race.
Yfa Kretzschmer from University of San Francisco and Clara Horowitz from Head-Royce of Oakland are the two athletes in question and both are among the top middle distance girls runners in California. They proved it again when they dueled last Saturday, going pace for pace until the final lap when Kretzschmer was able to edge in front and won in a time of 4:53.34. Horowitz was barely a hairlength behind and clocked 4:53.37.
The good news for both is that they'll be able to push each other perhaps all the way through to the state meet and their times are only two seconds off the state best of 4:51.0 set a few weeks ago by Shannon Rowbury from Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco.
MORE TRACK HIGHLIGHTS
•There were some anxious moments for the Helix of La Mesa 4x100 boys relay team after a botched handoff between Reggie Bush and Darrell Hutsona disqualified the Highlanders in their league meet last Friday. After all, if the foursome was not given a repreive by a league committee of coaches, their hopes of defending their CIF state title later this spring would be dashed. On Monday, though, Helix was given one of the league's two automatic berths into the next step of San Diego Section qualifying. The coaches were able to vote in Helix as one of the league's two automatic qualifiers without controversy because the two teams that were not disqualified in the league meet can move on to the next level as well due to having a qualifying time. But Helix better not drop it again because once the section qualifiers start there's no vote than can save you.
•Another interesting San Diego Section league meet was the Palomar League finals at Poway High's track. Junior Deun White of Rancho Bernardo and his senior brother, Kino, both won two events and had some surprisingly frank things to say to San Diego Union Tribune writer Tom Shanahan about the controversy at the school surrounding an assistant principal who was placed on leave for reportedly checking to see if any girls were wearing thong underwear at a recent school dance. Deun took first in the 400 in a state best 47.63 seconds and added a first in the 200 in 21.16, which moved him into second in the state for the season. Kino leaped 23-11 1/2 to win the long jump and went over the bar at 6-8 to win the high jump. Both Whites say they've benefitted greatly fromWilson's guidance and wanted to publicly praise her. "She's a great lady, and it's not right what people have been saying about her," Deun told Shanahan. "She cares about kids a lot." Kino added: "We owe her a lot for helping us when we came to this school. Whenever we had a problem, we knew we could talk to her." Don't know if Jay Leno will do any jokes about that.
•For Star Wars fans lining up at theaters throughout the state this weekend, we've got a track athlete for you. He's Anthony Daniels, a quarter-miler from Canyon Springs High of Moreno Valley. Anthony has a top time this year of 47.77 seconds. Anthony Daniels also is the name of the actor who plays the droid, C-3PO.
•The CIF Southern Section held its divisional prelims last weekend and the best marks were from Alyson Felix from L.A. Baptist of West Hills (11.48 wind-aided in girls 100), Angel Perkins from Gahr of Cerritos (11.80 windy in the 100 and 23.98 in the 200), Michelle Sanford from Woodbridge of Irvine (41-11 in the triple jump) and Phillip Reid from Rio Mesa of Oxnard (9:09.63 in the boys 3200).
•There's finally a 50-foot triple jumper in the state this season and even though it was wind-aided the mark of 50-11 by Demetrius Ragland of Tulare Western at the Lemoore Area qualifying meet makes him one of the favorites for a state crown. The first section track finals will be this weekend in Bakersfield for the CIF Central Section. The hometown Bakersfield Drillers were expected to do well in both boys and girls competitions.
•Watch out for sophomore Lionel Larry from Dominguez of Compton. Lionel was the top qualifier at the CIFSS Div. II prelims in the 100 with a nifty 10.65 and also clocked a 21.32 in the 200.
(According to the California Track & Running News prep track web site; all times fully automatic; wind-aided marks listed when superior to top legal mark; through reported meets of May 11)
100 -- Garry Jones (Skyline, Oakland) 10.45, Matt Bruno (Trabuco Hills, Mission Viejo) 10.33w; 200 -- Reggie Bush (Helix, La Mesa) 21.11; 400 -- Deun White (Rancho Bernardo, San Diego) 47.63, Blake Mackey (Bakersfield) 47.69; 800 -- Eric Gifford (Exeter) 1:53.5, Travis Patterson (Royal, Simi Valley) 1:53.89; 1600 -- Phillip Reid (Rio Mesa, Oxnard) 4:12.25; 3200 -- Tim Nelson (Taft) 8:54.85; 110HH -- Thomas Mack (Bakersfield) 14.04; 300IH -- Thomas Mack (Bakersfield) 37.28; 400 Relay -- Long Beach Poly 40.96; 1600 Relay -- Taft (Woodland Hills) 3:12.91, Long Beach Poly 3:13.30; HJ -- Teak Wilburn (Chico) 7-4 1/4; PV -- David Murphy (Arroyo Grande) 16-0, Mike Landers (Golden Valley, Merced) 16-0; LJ -- Chris McFoy (Chino) 23-7 1/4, Rudy Burgess (Desert, Edwards) 24-0 1/2w, Demitrius Ragland (Tulare Western) 24-0w; TJ -- Keno White (Rancho Bernardo, San Diego) 48-8, Demitrius Ragland (Tulare Western) 50-11w; SP -- Noah Bryant (Carpinteria) 65-11; DT -- Jarared Morgan (La Quinta) 197-10.
100 -- Alyson Felix (L.A. Baptist, North Hills) 11.54, 11.48w; 200 -- Alyson Felix (L.A. Baptist, North Hills) 23.05; 400 -- Ashley Freeman (Wilson, Long Beach) 53.96, Angel Perkins (Gahr, Cerritos) 54.22, Tracee Thomas (J.W. North, Riverside) 54.22 (indoors); 800 -- Jamillah Titus (Vintage, Napa) 2:08.95, Jenna Timinsky (San Dieguito Academy, Encinitas) 2:09.59; 1600 -- Shannon Rowbury (Sacred Heart Cathedral, S.F.) 4:51.0; ; 3200 -- Amber Trotter (Ukiah) 10:20.5; 100HH -- Talia Stewart (James Logan, Union City) 13.88w, 14.15; 300LH -- Tunisia Johnson (Poly, Long Beach) 42.58; 400 Relay -- Long Beach Poly 45.33; 1600 Relay -- Long Beach Poly 3:39.19; HJ -- Chaunte Howard (J.W. North, Riverside) 6-0, Kaylene Wagner (Dos Pueblos, Goleta) 6-0; PV -- Chelsea Johnson (Arroyo Grande) 13-4; LJ -- Chaunte Howard (J.W. North, Riverside) 20-6 1/2w, 19-8; TJ -- Michelle Sanford (Woodbridge, Irvine) 42-5 1/2w, 41-11; SP -- Rachel Varner (Bakersfield) 48-11 1/2; DT -- Rachel Varner (Bakersfield) 178-0, Bobbie Jo Grant (Arroyo Grande) 175-3.