Edison High School's Kaleaph Carter, Katella's Terry Johnson and Newport Harbor's Maggie Henson led Orange County athletes in the Masters track meet at Cerritos College Friday night.
The meet, held in front of 5,400 , determines who will qualify for next week's state championships (June 6-7). The top five finishers from each event qualify.
Carter, a sophomore shotputter, threw 61-feet, 11-inches--the best mark in the state this season.
His mark not only established Carter as No. 1 in his event going into next week's state championships, it also meant something almost as important.
No more teasing.
Teasing Kaleaph Carter is not advisable. He is 6-foot with 200 well-pumped pounds.
However, in the last two weeks his muscles could manage throws only in the 55-foot range. He qualified for the Masters with a throw of 57-6 3/4 after faulting five times.
His throw was good enough to qualify him second but not good enough for his coach, Ron Ciarelli, or his friends.
"Everyone knew I could do better," Carter said. "The constant antagonizing of my friends and coaches really helped motivate me."
Motivation started for Terry Johnson immediately after he lost his first 110- high hurdle race of the season last week. Rodney Bradshaw of Saugus not only beat Johnson but set a 3-A record with a time of 14.02, breaking Johnson's year-old division record of 14.16.
The rematch between between Johnson and Bradshaw was billed as a showdown.
Johnson burst out of the blocks and took control of the race from the very start.
"I knew I had something to prove this week," Johnson said.
He did. Johnson's ran a 13.97 to easily defeat Bradshaw, who finished second with a time of 14.21.
"I proved myself today," said Johnson, who recorded his fastest time of the season. "I didn't like being second. That was motivation enough for me."
Johnson and Bradshaw were matched again in the 300 intermediate hurdles. Johnson ran a 37.26, though he said his muscles were tightening on him throughout the race, to edge Bradshaw, who ran a 37.49.
And then there is Newport Harbor's Maggie Henson. Henson, who won won the girls' 800 and 1,600, seemed more concerned with consoling Woodbridge's Sherri Smith, who had a rather dismal day.
After the 800, which Henson won with a time of 2:09.17, she walked beside a downcast Smith.
Smith had been the race favorite after recording the top Southern Section mark this season at 2:11.22. But Friday she placed eighth with a time of 2:13.90.
"It's really hard sometimes," Henson said. "I felt so bad for Sherri, she's such a great athlete. I was trying to console her but here I am on Cloud Nine."
Mission Viejo's Kathy Grayson (2:10.97) placed third to qualify.
Henson completed her double by wining the 1,600 with a time of 4:53.02. John Hollis of Santa Ana Valley won the boys' 400 with a time of 48.31, edging out Mike Fritz Anaheim, who ran a 48.32. Geno Howard of Los Amigos just missed qualifying for the state meet by finishing sixth (49.69).
Other Orange County athletes to qualify for the state championships were:
--Shotputter Shelly Lovati of El Modena, who placed second in that event with throw of 43-7 1/2.
--Debbie Orr, who won the triple jump with a mark of 38 3/4 and tied with Lisa Coleman of Marina for third in the high jump by leaping 5-6.
--Yleana Carrasco placed second in the high jump with a a mark of 5-8.
--The boys' 400 relay team of Santa Ana Valley and the girls' relay team of Mission Viejo. The Falcons (42.05) qualified fifth. The Diablos (3:50.15) qualified second.
--Villa Park's Jim Sorenson and El Dorado's Craig Olson placed second and third, respectively, in the boys' 800.
--Servite's Steve Williams, Estancia's Doug Miller and Foothill's Steve Slocum all qualified in the pole vault with marks of 14-4.