Attention high school sprinters: If you are competing against Rio Mesa High and Angela Burnham is hobbling around the track during warm-ups like a horse headed for the glue factory, don't let up--she'll probably run like Secretariat when the gun sounds.
Burnham was nursing a strained hamstring before the Arcadia Invitational on Saturday night, and limped to the starting blocks for the 100-meter run. After a slow start, she burst to victory.
Next, she limped to the starting blocks for the 200-meter run. After a slow start, she stormed to another come-from-behind victory.
Finally, she limped to the anchor position in the open 400-meter relay. When she was handed the baton, the Spartans were in sixth place. Burnham passed three runners in 100 meters to give Rio Mesa second place.
The injury prevented Burnham from running in the Spartans' double-dual meet against Hueneme and Oxnard last Thursday, but it didn't stop her from taking the 100 and 200 at Arcadia for the second consecutive year.
Her times of 11.65 and 23.94 were both personal bests and moved her into second and first, respectively, on this year's national high school list.
"The leg felt fine," a relieved Burnham said after the 100. "I didn't have any problems with it."
Her 200 victory was particularly impressive as she overtook speedy sophomore Inger Miller of Muir in the final 30 meters. Miller, the daughter of two-time Olympic 100-meter medalist Lennox Miller of Jamaica's held a commanding a five-yard lead on Burnham with 90 meters remaining. But the Spartan junior turned on the afterburners to win going away.
"She's capable of running 23.5 if she runs the turn well," Rio Mesa Coach Brian FitzGerald said of his protege. "I told her before the race to run as hard as she could for the first 30 meters then float the rest of the turn if she wanted too. But she misunderstood me. She floated the whole turn.
"From now on, I think I'll refrain from giving her advice."
Add Burnham: Chryste Gaines of South Oak Ridge Cliff High in Dallas and Burnham were expected to clash at Arcadia until two weeks ago. But evidently a mix-up occured.
Gaines, a senior, ran a national leading mark of 11.50 in the 100 at the Texas Relays on Friday.
"I don't know what happened," Arcadia Meet Director Doug Speck said. "When we invited South Oak Cliff to come out here, we meant their girls' team as well as their boys' team. But they've got different coaches for each team and apparently the girls coach didn't want to come out."
Mike Kennedy, high school editor for Track and Field News, said that the Gaines-Burnham match-up would have been a classic.
"Angela would have really had her hands full," he said. "I've seen Gaines run and she's a real work of art."
New Coach: It will be a homecoming of sorts for Remy McCarthy when he returns to the County to take over the reins of the Oxnard College basketball team.
McCarthy, 31, played at Camarillo High and Moorpark College in the mid-1970s, and served as an assistant to Moorpark Coach Al Nordquist from 1979-1982. He was an assistant at the University of Utah from 1983-87 and last season was head coach at Wenatchee Valley College in Washington.
McCarthy takes over for Bruce Furuya, who coached the Condors last season in an interim capacity.
Kochel calls it quits: Rex Kochel, who coached the Ventura High girls' basketball team the past three seasons, has resigned.
Kochel, 43, led the team to a record of 16-10 this season and compiled a career mark of 39-33. This year's team advanced to the Southern Section 4-A quarterfinals before losing to eventual-champion Morningside.
All-star hoops: The annual County all-star basketball games will be held Friday, June 24, at Ventura High. The girls' game will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the boys' game following at 8:15.
For the boys' game, Glen Hannah of Buena and Chris Taylor of Ventura will coach the north team, while Kevin Pasky and Jim Hall, both of Agoura, will coach the south.
For the girls' game, Joe Vaughan and Lane Jackson of Buena will coach the north, while Chuck Brown of Thousand Oaks and Nori Parvin of Newbury Park will coach the south.
All-star football: Bob Richards of Thousand Oaks and Joel Gershon of Channel Islands, whose football teams squared off for the Coastal Conference title last fall, will coach the East and West, respectively, in the annual County all-star football game June 18 at Houser Field in Oxnard.
Thousand Oaks defeated Channel Islands, 27-12, for the conference title.
Portland-bound: Shawn Kirkeby, Buena High's 6-10, 140-pound center, has verbally committed to attend the University of Portland.
Kirkeby, who led the Bulldogs to a 23-3 record and an undefeated Channel League campaign this season by averaging 18.8 points and 10.5 rebounds a game, joins a Portland team that was 6-22 last season and 1-13 in the West Coast Athletic Conference.
Kirkeby was Channel League co-player of the year and was named to The Times' All-County team.