SAN DIEGO — The 1986 San Diego Section track and field finals will be a stark contrast to last season's.
Parity was the word used by most to describe the 1985 finals. Only two athletes won more than one event--Lesley Noll of Mount Carmel High School (400 and 800 meters) and Michelle Outlaw of Lincoln High (100- and 300-meter low hurdles).
Noll has graduated, but Outlaw, a junior, is one of four girls and three boys favored in two or more events at this year's finals, which will be held today on the all-weather track at San Diego State University. The first field event begins at 1 p.m. and the first race is at 3 p.m.
The seven are favored to win two or more section titles, but a handful of others could upset six of them. Probably the only one who won't have much problem winning two events is Brian Boggess of El Capitan, who has been the best by far in the shotput and discus this season.
Here's a closer look at today's events. Athletes' and schools' best marks are in parentheses:
BOYS 100 meters--Patrick Rowe of Lincoln (10.72) has been the county leader but he didn't run well in the preliminaries, running a wind-aided 10.92. Ron Young of Mount Miguel ran a 10.70 on a slow track at the Grossmont League finals and was the second qualifier with a wind-aided 10.87. Freshman Glen Reyes of Orange Glen is the top qualifier at 10.80.
200 meters--Young looked strong at the preliminaries, running a county-best 21.72, the same time he won the finals with a year ago. Terry Rodgers of Sweetwater was the second qualifier (21.98). Also watch for Damion Cormier (Crawford) and Ed Taylor (Clairemont).
400 meters--Rowe finished strong in the preliminaries (49.4) and was only one-hundredth of a second behind the top qualifier and county leader, Tim Pipes of Fallbrook, who ran a 49.87. Rowe's best time (49.4) was the county's fifth fastest behind Pipes (48.6) but Rowe looked stronger. Russell Smith (49.9) of Monte Vista and Dustin Seale of Poway (49.1) also should challenge the favorites.
800 meters--Third qualifier Larry Williams of Morse was not among the county leaders at the end of the season, and he received an at-large berth to the preliminaries. But he could be the one to beat. George Puryear of Patrick Henry (1:55.7) and James Fraser of Monte Vista (1:56.36) have been among the county leaders all year.
1,600 meters--This was supposed to be one of the best events at the start of the season, but the race lost its glamour when Mark Dani of Valhalla and Marc Davis of San Diego opted to run only the 3,200. Ramona's Jorge Castro (4:17.63) was the top qualifier by four seconds. Lawrence Threat of Morse (4:24.77) has gradually improved this season and should push Castro, but Goshu Tadese of Crawford (4:25) ran his best race of the year at the Central League finals.
3,200 meters--Davis (9:21.9) is one of the country's best junior runners but he still has a long way to go to catch Dani. Dani has not run anywhere near the 8:49.1 he ran at the Michelob Invitational in February, but he has run that early in the season. Dani needs to run well at the section meet in preparation for the state meet and brothers Eric and Mark Mastalir of San Jose Jesuit. Robbie Lopes of Monte Vista could be with the leaders.
110-meter high hurdles--The top three qualifiers were only three-hundredths of a second apart. Top qualifier is Reggie Black of University City (14.74). Brian Lockwood of Vista (14.79) did not run well in the preliminaries but should push Black along with Charles Patterson of Lincoln.
300-meter intermediate hurdles--Juniors Kevin Jones of Mount Miguel and Doug Eagle of Poway each has run 39.0. Bruce Stone of University City (39.19) is the top qualifier. Watch for Black to challenge these three.
400-meter relay--Patrick Henry ran 42.38 early in the season but hasn't been healthy since. Crawford ran the second best in the county (42.61) in early April. This could be one of the best races of the day if both teams can regain their early season form. Fallbrook also could contend.
1,600-meter relay--Morse may not have the sprinters it usually does but it does have plenty of good middle-distance runners. Look for Poway, Mount Carmel and Monte Vista to also contend. High jump--Erik Peterson of Monte Vista (6-8 1/2) was the section champion a year ago. The question is, can he finally clear 6-10? Blake Risner of Vista has cleared 6-8. Pat Wedge of San Marcos (6-6 1/2) and Greg Hilzer of Mira Mesa (6-7) could push him over 6-10.
Pole vault--The top two this season have been San Pasqual's Curt Brown (15-0) and Ramona's Pat Alduenda (14-6). However, Alduenda is coming off a wrist injury. Brown has a chance to break the section record of 15-2. Hue Nguyen of Castle Park (14-0) and Jay Rafail (14-6) of Vista also could do well.