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Jones Just Misses National Record : Track and field: Thousand Oaks senior wins three Southern Section championship events, but is denied long jump mark on foul. Lancers finish fourth.


Marion Jones of Thousand Oaks High won the eighth, ninth and 10th individual titles of her career in the Southern Section track and field championships at Cerritos College on Saturday, yet all she could talk about was what might have been if not for swirling winds and a foul in the long jump.

Jones won Division I titles in the girls' 100 (11.32 seconds) and 200 (wind-aided 22.79) meters, and long jump (wind-aided 22 feet 1 3/4 inches). She also ran a blistering 53.5-second split on the anchor leg of the Lancers' 1,600 relay team in 3 minutes 59.14 seconds, but the long jump that got away was the thing that was foremost on her mind.

After leaping 21-7 1/4 (wind-aided), 21-1 1/2 (a Southern Section record) and 22-1 3/4 (wind-aided), Jones popped one in the 22-6 range on her fourth try, but was called for a foul because her toe was about an inch past the takeoff board.

"It was this close to being a fair jump," Jones said as she held right thumb and index finger about an inch apart. "I thought I had it."

"It" is the national high school record of 22-3 set by Kathy McMillan of Hoke County (N.C.) High in 1976. Still, Jones did not seem too disappointed.

"I guess it just wasn't meant to be," Jones said. "That's all right. It will give me something to shoot for in the next few weeks."

Thousand Oaks, the 1992 3-A Division champion, finished fourth in the Division I standings with 36 points. Long Beach Poly won with 76 points, followed by Long Beach Wilson (67) and Marmonte League champion Agoura (42).

Hart, led by junior Jason Medearis, finished second behind Muir (51-42) in the boys' Division I meet.

St. Bonaventure (37 1/3) and L.A. Baptist (32) finished second and third behind Verbum Dei (62) in the Division IV boys' meet, while Cate edged Paraclete, 46-44, for the Division IV girls' title.

The top nine finishers in each event based on performances qualify for Friday's Masters meet at Cerritos.

Agoura, the three-time defending state Division I girls' cross-country champion, scored 34 of its 42 points in the middle- and long-distance races.

Sophomore Amy Skieresz (4:56.39) and junior Kay Nekota (5:04.95) finished first and third in the 1,600, and first (11:00.97) and fourth (11:11.35) in the 3,200. Senior Kristie Camp added a fourth-place finish in the 800 with a time of 2:19.50.

Although Skieresz' time in the 3,200 was more than 15 seconds slower than her personal best, it was impressive considering that she came through the first 1,600 meters in 5:37.

"I just wanted to feel good, run relaxed and see how things went," Skieresz said of the 3,200. "In the 1,600, I didn't have any specific time goal. I just wanted to run pretty fast and win."

Like Agoura, Hart racked up a lot of points (22) in the middle- and long-distance races in the Division I boys' meet, but the Indians also scored 14 points in the hurdles and six points in the weight events.

Medearis placed second in the 300 intermediate hurdles (38.16) and third in the 110 highs (14.49). Both marks were personal bests and the time in the intermediates was a regional season best.

Senior Paul De La Cerda finished second in the 800 with a personal best of 1:54.29, and sophomore Brett Strahan added a third in the 1,600 (4:18.80) and a fourth (9:26.64) in the 3,200.

In other Division I action, Margarito Casillas of Hoover turned in the fastest double of his career in the boys' 1,600 and 3,200, and Cheaza Figueroa of Quartz Hill won the girls' 100 high hurdles and triple jump.

Casillas, the 1992 state Division I cross-country champion, won the 3,200 in 9:06.92, the third-fastest time of his career, and placed second in the 1,600 with a personal best of 4:15.63.

Ryan Wilson of Agoura won the 1,600 in 4:14.29 after taking the lead with 500 meters left and gradually pulling away from the field. Wilson was expected to double back in the 800, but he pulled out of that race in order to conserve his strength for the 1,600 relay.

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