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Queen Prepared to Add More Jewels to Crown : High school track: Thousand Oaks' Marion Jones, tries for three more titles in state meet.

June 04, 1993|JOHN ORTEGA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The final tribute to Thousand Oaks High's Marion Jones as high school track's reigning queen is expected to take place this weekend in the state track and field championships at Cerritos College.

Last year, Jones became one of four female athletes to win six individual state titles during her career.

Today, she will begin her quest to break that logjam when she competes in qualifying rounds of the 100 and 200 meters and long jump. Finals are Saturday.

Jones, the three-time defending state champion in the 100 and 200, ran yearly nation-leading times of 11.31 and 23.00 in last week's Masters Meet. She also leads the nation in the long jump with a mark of 21 feet 7 inches.

Three wins by Jones would give Thousand Oaks 30 points in the team title race, but the Lancers have no other entrants and will need ample luck to finish ahead of defending champion Long Beach Poly or Inglewood Morningside.

The Oakland duo of Bishop O'Dowd and Skyline also are expected to contend for team honors.

A Jones hat trick will make her the first girl to win four consecutive titles in either the 100 or 200, the second girl to win four consecutive titles in any event--Natalie Kaaiawahia of Fullerton was the shotput champion from 1980-83--and the first girl since Janeene Vickers of Pomona (1987) to win three individual titles in the same year.

"She has that rare ability to drop her times and improve her distances in the bigger meets," Thousand Oaks Coach Art Green said. "And she's doing it again this season."

Several others from the region could join Jones as champions.

In the boys' meet, Andre DeSaussure of Taft (200), Ryan Wilson of Agoura (1,600), Margarito Casillas of Hoover (3,200) and Drue Powell of Reseda (110 high hurdles) are expected to contend for titles.

Jeff Nadeau of Monroe and Jeremy Fischer of Camarillo are the top-ranked high jumpers in the state with bests of 7-2 1/4 and 7-2, and Ty Gaines of Palmdale bounded a state-leading 50-1 3/4 to win the triple jump in the Masters Meet.

Cheaza Figueroa of Quartz Hill has been overshadowed by Jones all season, but she has the leading qualifying mark in the girls' triple jump (39-8 1/2) and also could place among the top three finishers in the 100 high hurdles and the long jump.

"We've been training all season with the state meet in mind," Quartz Hill Coach Don Crimin said. "We have viewed the last few weeks as qualifying meets. The goal hasn't necessarily been to win, but to qualify and move on."

Wilson expressed similar sentiments after timing a season best of 4:12.82 to place first in the 1,600 in the Masters Meet, but winning is his No. 1 goal this week.

"I just want to win state," Wilson said. "I don't care if I run 4:07 or 4:15, as long as I win."

Powell, who finished third in the 110 highs in last year's meet, was hampered by a groin injury during the first half of the season, but appears to be in top form. He ran a wind-aided 13.99 to win his second consecutive City Section title last week.

"I can run a better race," Powell said. "I really whacked the sixth or seventh hurdle. That turned my body completely sideways, but I was able to keep three-stepping and bring it on home."

Nadeau, the City champion, and Fischer, the Masters champion, will meet for the first time this season in the high jump. They cannot afford to get too engulfed in each other's performance, however. Three other competitors have cleared 7-0 or higher this season.

In other events, Karen Bockel of Nordhoff and Crystal Brownlee of Westlake also are expected to contend for top-three finishes in the girls' 3,200 and shotput.

The field events in today's meet will start at 3 p.m. with the boys' discus. Running events will begin at 5 with the first heat of the girls' 400 relay.

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