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Jones Goes Into Finishing Kick


With the dual-meet season behind her, Marion Jones of Thousand Oaks High will begin the final postseason tour of her prep career in today's Ventura County track and field championships at Camarillo High.

Jones, three-time defending state champion in the girls' 100 and 200 meters, is expected to compete in the 200, the 400- and 1,600-meter relays and the long jump.

Although Jones would have been a prohibitive favorite to win an unprecedented fourth consecutive county title in the 100, she will bypass that event so she can run legs on both relay teams.

"We're still trying to see which relay we will be better suited for at the (Southern Section Division I) level," Thousand Oaks Coach Art Green said. "Friday should give us a good idea."

Jones, the national high school leader in the 100 (11.48 seconds), 200 (23.49) and long jump (20 feet 9 1/4 inches), is favored to win the state title in each of those events. But with athletes limited to a maximum of four events per meet, Green must decide by next Friday's Marmonte League finals which relay she will run.

The league finals act as a qualifying meet for the Southern Section preliminaries the following week.

While Jones will shoot for her sixth and seventh individual county championships, Camarillo junior Jeremy Fischer will try to repeat in the high jump and long jump.

Fischer, one of three high jumpers in the nation to clear 7-2 this season, has jumped 7 feet or higher in four meets, including two on his home track. He also has a personal best of 22-1 in the long jump.

The distance races, as always in the county meet, will be high-quality affairs. Ryan Wilson of Agoura is the returning champion at 1,600 meters. Scheduled to clash in the girls' 1,600 are Amy Skieresz of Agoura, Maribella Aparicio of Fillmore and Karen Bockel of Nordhoff. Wilson, who has signed with Arkansas, is the regional leader in the boys' 1,600 (4 minutes 13.14 seconds) and Skieresz leads the state (4:57.97) in the girls' 1,600.

Aparicio, the defending county champion in the 3,200, is expected to double back in that event.

Bockel's 1,500 best of 4:36.07 makes her one of the top contenders for the state title in the 1,600.

Crystal Brownlee of Westlake (shotput, discus), Cathy Prater of Agoura (300 low hurdles) and Laura Saw of Rio Mesa (100 hurdles) also will defend their titles.

Brownlee is the regional leader in the shotput (44-9) and discus (136-1), but she is expected to receive a stiff challenge from junior Dolores Tuimoloau of Channel Islands, who has personal bests of 44-0 and 135-0.

Marc Musitano of Thousand Oaks (110 high hurdles, 300 intermediates) and Tarik Smith of Oak Park (100) will defend their titles.

The meet will start at 3 p.m. with the girls' 3,200 relay.

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