The 23rd Beach Cities Invitational track and field meet was only five minutes old Saturday morning when Kaleaph Carter of Edison High School first made news.
"Ladies and gentleman," the announcer said. "Kaleaph Carter's last shotput attempt just landed outside the shotput area."
For Carter, a two-time runner-up in the shotput at the state meet, this was nothing new. The concrete retaining sector at Newport Harbor High School is 60 feet from the ring. Carter's personal best is 63 even.
Saturday, Carter threw 61 feet 10 1/2 inches, defeating second-place finisher Mike Engen of Westminster by more than 10 feet. Only one of Carter's five throws was under 60 feet, and that by just 8 inches.
But Carter didn't stop with the shot.
He finished second to Marina's Marc Kallick in the 120-yard high hurdles. He ran a 53.4-second opening leg to lead the Chargers' mile-relay victory. And he threw the discus 143- 1/2, placing fourth.
But, despite being named athlete of the meet for the second consecutive year, Carter wasn't satisfied.
"My throw (in the discus) was my worst of the year," said Carter, whose career best is 159-10.
"I learned from this. I did OK. But it should have been three firsts and a second."
Lakewood's Andre La Coste was the only athlete to set a meet record. La Coste won the high jump with a jump of 6-9, breaking the record of 6-7 set in 1985 by Eric Wheelwright of Edison. Mission Viejo's Eric Pryce was second at 6-6.
In the sprints, David Reedus of Westminster won the 100- and 200-yard runs. Reedus, who won each of his four races in dual meets both Tuesday and Thursday, ran semi-conservatively Saturday because a nagging hamstring injury in his left leg was aggravated in the morning heats.
"I'm just happy I got through the meet," said Reedus, who also anchored Westminster's 440-relay team to third place. "I'm very proud of myself. I hope this injury doesn't throw off my (confidence)."
In the two-mile, Shanon Winkelman of Marina held off Corona del Mar's Eddie Lavelle to win in 9:41.7. The pack of 24 runners ran a slow, tactical race through the first mile (4:57).
Winkelman and Lavelle finally broke away with a half-mile remaining. Lavelle, readying himself for a final kick, stayed a stride behind. But with 250 yards to go, Winkelman threw in a quick, hard surge that he held to the finish line. Lavelle finished a half-stride behind in 9:42.5.
"I didn't think it was going to be easy," Winkelman said. "Eddie is an awesome racer. Even when he's in lame shape, he's in there. But with 250 (yards) to go, I said, 'Forget this man,' and took off as fast as I could . . . I'm \o7 totally\f7 stoked."
Corona del Mar's Jim Robbins shared similar feelings after his victory in the 880. Robbins followed Trabuco Hills' Jim Cravotta closely through 660 yards, then shifted into a high-speed kick to pass Cravotta and win by 15 yards in 1:57.96.
"I saw his form start to (falter) with 220 to go," Robbins said. "I felt really, really strong."
In the pole vault, Edison's David Noel and Newport Harbor's R.W. Henson both cleared 14-6, but neither could clear the next height at 15-1.
Noel, whose first attempt at 15-1 was marred when his pole snapped in mid-vault, won the event as he had cleared 14-6 without a miss while Henson missed the height twice.
Mission Viejo won the team title with 94 1/2 points. Edison was second with 67 points and Capistrano Valley third with 57. Greg Lamb was Mission Viejo's only individual event champion. Lamb, who took--and held--a 20-yard lead after the first lap, won the mile in 4:25.6. El Toro's Rob Boldt won both the long jump (22-4) and the triple jump (44-0), but scratched from the 100-yard dash because of a slight leg strain. Capistrano Valley's Joe White won the 440 (50.42) and finished second to David Reedus in the 220 (23.39).