Neither stifling heat nor a strong head wind could prevent Taft's Quincy Watts from winning two events during Friday's West Valley League finals at Birmingham High.
Although he was exhausted by the elements, Watts still scored impressive wins in the 100 (10.76) and 200 (21.27) meter events. And if that wasn't sufficient, Watts led Taft's 4 x 100 (41.58) and 4 x 400 (3:24.79) relay teams to victories and qualified for next week's City quarterfinals at Birmingham.
In the last event, Watts overcame a 20-yard Reseda lead by running a 45.2 third leg before handing the baton to anchor Sean Roberts.
"Although it was tough being in the heat, I was pleased with my time," Watts said of his 4 x 400-meter relay effort. "My times would have been a lot faster if it hadn't been for the heat and the wind. They really sapped my energy."
Although Watts was the focal point of Taft's effort, Roberts also had a strong meet. Besides running legs on both Taft relays, he utilized a strong final 100 to score a come-from-behind win in the 400 with a 50.50 time.
"Sean did exactly what we wanted him to do," Taft Coach Tom Stevenson said. "He stayed in contact with the field during the first 300 meters and sprinted away with the win in the final 100."
In other events, Chatsworth high jumper Kurt Gustafson turned in the Valley's best City Section mark by winning his event at 6-5. Chatsworth's Greg Bettinger posted a double, winning the 1,600 in 4:30.07 and the 3,200 in 10:01.1.
Chatsworth pole vaulter Jay Bettinger won his specialty with a 14-3 effort.
El Camino Real's Vicki Gurney, who holds the Valley's second best mark in the girls shotput (40-9), won her event with a 38-4 1/2 toss.