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Haag Gets Past a Couple of Barriers : Track and field: Granada Hills star wins his heat in two hurdle events and also qualifies for City finals in long jump.

May 20, 1994|JOHN ORTEGA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

VAN NUYS — His bruised right heel is nearly 100% healed.

His hurdle workouts are proceeding better than ever.

Now Danny Haag of Granada Hills High just needs to relax a little more the day of a meet.

Haag ran 14.82 seconds in the 110-meter high hurdles and a personal best of 38.95 in the 300 intermediates Thursday to win his respective heats in those events of the City Section preliminaries at Birmingham High. In addition, he spanned a wind-aided 22 feet 6 1/2 inches in the long jump to qualify for next week's City finals in three events.

"I was hoping to run a better time in the highs," Haag said. "I've been running much better in the highs in practice than I've shown in the races and that's been frustrating.

"I think my problem is that I get so hyped up during the day of a meet that by the time it gets time to run the highs, I feel tired. I've just got to find something else to think about during the day."

Haag, a senior, recorded the fastest time of the meet in the highs and the second-fastest in the intermediates. His long jump mark qualified him fifth.

His time in the intermediates was a personal best, though he stutter-stepped badly at the fifth of eight hurdles.

"The heel doesn't bother me (from an injury incurred in March) in the highs, but after the long jump, I definitely feel it in the intermediates," Haag explained. "And I'm still having some problems with my steps. I've worked on alternating my lead leg in practice, but I haven't done it in a race yet. Maybe I will next week."

Birmingham, which has finished second, first and second in the last three City championships, produced 11 qualifiers for the finals, behind defending champion Dorsey with 12.

James Lincoln led the Braves by qualifying in four events for the second year in a row.

The Cal State Northridge-bound senior placed second in his heat of the 110 high hurdles (15.16), leaped a wind-aided 22-4 3/4 in the long jump to qualify sixth, was one of 12 athletes to clear 6-0 in the high jump and bounded 44-4 1/4 for second in the triple jump.

Other top local efforts were turned in by Andre DeSaussure of Taft, Dante Cain of Monroe, Neisha Henderson of Cleveland and Darvena Merritt of North Hollywood.

DeSaussure posted the fastest time of the meet in the 400 with a clocking of 48.52, even though he waved to the crowd with 50 meters still remaining in the race. He also ran a 48.1 anchor leg on Taft's 1,600 relay team that finished third in its heat and grabbed the eighth--and final--qualifying spot with a time of 3 minutes 27.75 seconds.

Monroe had a disappointing meet overall as the Vikings' 400 relay team failed to advance, but Cain led long jump qualifying with a wind-aided 22-10 1/2.

Henderson was the leading qualifier in the long jump and triple jump with personal bests of 17-1 and 36-7 1/2.

Merritt's personal best of 42-2 in the girls' shotput led qualifying in that event by nearly six feet.

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