Usually when the wind blows at Mt. San Antonio College it makes for fast times on the track and excellent marks in the field events.
But Saturday in the high school portion of the Mt. San Antonio College Relays, a rare north wind, which gusted up to 30 m.p.h., slowed most performances on the track and reduced Brian Blutreich of Capistrano Valley, the second-best prep discus thrower of all-time, to a mere mortal.
But even though there were sub-par performances in the sprints and hurdles, Hawthorne High's girls turned in outstanding efforts in the 400- and 800-meter relays.
A team of senior Kim Grant, junior Tami Stiles and freshmen De De Wheeler and DeAnna Amy, ran the 400 relay in 45.29, the second fastest time in prep history behind the national record of 45.13, set by Berkeley in 1981.
An hour and 15 minutes later the same foursome came back to run 1:36.87, the third fastest of all-time behind Smiley of Houston, Tex., (1:36.46) and Berkeley (1:36.7).
One group of athletes who were particularly effected by the wind were the discus throwers. Blutreich, who has a best of 210-8, threw only 191-7, his worst performance of the year. In the shotput, he was at least close to his seasonal best of 66-6 1/2 with a put of 65-0.
Most of the vaulters didn't have any problem with the wind. When it was blowing from north to south, they ran that way on the runway. When the wind switched later in afternoon, they just switched the pit from southern end of the runway to the northern end.
Fritz Howser of Newport Harbor and Patrick Johnson of Huntington Park each had personal bests of 15-0 in finishing second and third, respectively, behind the winner, Simon Arkell of Australia, who also cleared 15-0.
One vaulter who did have trouble was Brandon Richards of San Marcos in Santa Barbara, the son of two-time Olympic champion Bob Richards.
After passing to 16-6, he failed three times. Richards, the high school indoor record-holder at 17-6, has competed outdoors only twice this year, and has yet to clear a height.
Danny Everett of Fairfax was one of the few runners able to take advantage of the wind as he raced to a nation-leading time of 46.71 in the 400 meters. His race came at a time when the wind was switching, and it actually appeared that he had the wind at his back down the backstretch as well as in the homestretch.
Locke's Choo Choo Knighten, running into the wind, won the 100 meters in 12.24, far off her best of 11.66. She also won the 100-meter low hurdles in 14.23, where her season's best is 13.71.