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Granville Closes Fast at Year's End : State meet: Freshman finishes third in 400. He is still California's only ninth-grader to break 48 seconds.

June 27, 1993|KIRBY LEE | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Michael Granville's freshman season at Bell Gardens High came to a close at the state track meet June 19 at Cerritos College, but not before he ran the 400 once again faster than any freshman in state history.

His 47.74-second mark was good for third place in what turned out to be the nation's fastest high school 400-meter race. Calvin Harrison of North Salinas set a national record with a blistering 45.25 and Andre DeSaussure of Woodland Hills Taft was second in 47.11.

Harrison's time eclipsed the 1985 state record of 45.7 set by Chip Rish of Huntington Beach Marina and the 1981 national record of 45.5 held by Anthony Ketchum of Needleville, Tex.

"He got the record and God bless him," Granville said. "I'm going to go for it next year. I'm proud of what I did. I improved this year and learned a lot from that race. Now I have a little more knowledge of what to do in the quarter."

Although Granville was off his state freshman record of 47.24, run May 29 at the Masters Meet, he is still California's only ninth-grader to break 48 seconds.

It is a feat that neither Steve Lewis nor Quincy Watts, the 1988 and '92 Olympic gold medalists in the 400, were able to achieve as freshmen. Lewis won state 400-meter titles as a junior and senior at American High in Fremont in 1986 and '87; Watts was a two-time state 200-meter champion at Woodland Hills Taft during that period.

The previous freshman state record of 48.56 held by Henry Thomas of Hawthorne had remained intact for 11 years before the emergence of Granville, the only freshman boy to advance to this year's state finals in the sprints.

Nevertheless, Granville said he was still a little nervous running in his first state meet. He trailed most of the field in the early stages of the race but pulled into third down the final backstretch.

"I was way back there, but I swooped on everybody coming off the curve," Granville said. "I have to work on running my first 200 a little faster to get my times down."

However, his best race might be the 800, where he lowered his national freshman record to 1:51.03 a week before in the National Scholastic Meet at UCLA.

"I'll focus on the 800 next year," Granville said. "I might even try the 400 and 800 (in postseason competition.)"

For now, it's the 100 and 400. Granville, who runs for the Canoga Park-based West Valley Eagles track club, will try to qualify in both events for the Athletics Congress Junior Olympics July 29-Aug. 1 at Louisiana State University.

The state meet was also a milestone for Fremont seniors Brian Clark and Kory Jones, who are off to Santa Monica College this fall. Clark finished third in the long jump with a leap of 23 feet 4 1/2 inches and Jones was seventh in the 200 in 22.25.

Clark and Jones were among more than 300 athletes who received another opportunity to compete in the meet, which was rescheduled after it was canceled June 5 because of rain.

The announcement to reschedule was made more than a week in advance. But Clark, who had been preoccupied with prom and missed several days of school because of the flu, did not find out until two days before the meet.

"All I had time for was one day of stretching and a couple of jumps," Clark said. "My mark was off and I wasn't hitting the board. There was not much I could really do. I didn't really decide to go until (the) morning (of the meet)."

The layoff did little to slow Harrison. The senior also won the 200 in 21.12 despite a 2.30 meter-per-second head wind. He also anchored North Salinas' 1,600-meter relay team to victory in 3:14.19. North Salinas tied with Merced High for the boys' team title with 36 points. Muir, of Pasadena, and Canyon Springs, in Moreno Valley, were third and fourth with 30 and 22 points.

Long Beach Poly won its second consecutive title in the girls' competition with 56 points. Oakland Bishop O'Dowd was second with 37 and Thousand Oaks--paced by Marion Jones' victories in the 100, 200 and long jump--was third with 30.

Charlton Jordan of Washington was third in the 300 intermediate hurdles in 38.72 and Brenda Stewart of Locke turned in a personal best to place seventh in the 800 in 2:14.00.

Anthony Wheeler of Dorsey finished fifth in the 800 in 1:55.45, gaining three places in the final 400. Vondre Armour of Bakersfield clocked 49.9 for the first 400 and hung on to win by more than two seconds in 1:50.13 over runner-up Jesse Camp of Lakeside El Capitan (1:52.97).

Patty Trejo and Auria Roberto of Belmont finished 12th and 18th in the 3,200 in 11:31.50 and 11:55.07. Garfield's Fred Bailon and Jaime Moreno of Roosevelt, who will attend Mt. San Antonio College, were 14th and 17th in the boys' 3,200, running 9:45.0 and 9:54.5.

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