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TRACK AND FIELD : Scott, Pentecost Win After Taking Setbacks in Stride : State championships: The Fremont junior wins long jump title despite a groin injury. And the senior from Loyola captures shotput event after failing to qualify for the discus.

June 11, 1995|KIRBY LEE | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Clarence Scott of Fremont High and Matt Pentecost of Loyola both overcame setbacks to win State titles in the June 2-3 meet at Cerritos College.

Scott won the long jump with a leap of 24 feet 7 3/4 inches despite a groin injury that prevented him from running in the 200 meters and 1,600-meter relay. Pentecost won the shotput with a lifetime best 62-3 3/4 after failing to qualify for the State meet in the discus.

Scott posted the top qualifying mark of 23-9 1/2 in the preliminaries on the meet's first day, but strained his groin while warming up for the 200 meter heats several hours later.

Fremont Coach Steve Lang decided to scratch the junior from the 200- and 1,600-meter heats as a precaution.

"We didn't want to risk it," Lang said. "We would rather have a chance to win one State title than none at all."

After therapy and a good night's sleep, Scott said his groin injury did not flare up but he had to battle a nagging headache during the long- jump finals.

Scott jumped 24-6 3/4 on his first attempt before unleashing his winning jump of 24-7 3/4 on his second try. He fouled three times before leaping 24-5 1/2 on his last jump.

"I went to sleep and I felt fine," Scott said. "I don't know whether I fouled so many times because of my headache or because I was excited. I never quite got my step down"

Although Scott did not approach his nation-leading mark of 25-4 1/2, he had no problems outdistancing runner-up Jimmy Devine of Ramona (23-8 3/4) and Jeff Nord of Los Altos (22-11 3/4) to become the first Fremont athlete since Robert McKeever to win a long jump title in 1961.

Pentecost improved his best by almost 10 feet in the shotput during the season to become Loyola's first State champion in the event.

Pentecost barely made it to the Masters Meet, the qualifying meet for the State meet, after throwing 52-10 to finish fourth in the Southern Section Division III finals. Pentecost had the eighth best mark of nine competitors in the Masters Meet, but won with a heave of 61-10 1/2.

In the State meet, he improved to 62-3 3/4 to beat J.D. Martin of Madera (60-7) and Brian Chase of Cardinal Newman (60-3 1/2).

The victory helped erase the disappointment over the discus. Pentecost finished second in the Southern Section Division III finals, but placed last in the nine-man field in the Masters Meet.

"I was immediately upset afterward," said Pentecost, a 6-4, 280-pound lineman who will attend UCLA on a football scholarship. "I decided to put it out of my mind, count my blessings and go on to the shot and focus on that. Relaxation was the biggest thing."

Michael Granville of Bell Gardens didn't have that luxury in the 800 meters, coming within inches of winning his second consecutive State title.

The junior, bothered by asthma, was out-leaned at the tape by Aaron Richburg of Union City Logan, 1:48.40 to 1:48.47. Granville collapsed at the finish and had to be carried off the track. It was the first loss in the 800 in two years for Granville, who had defeated Richburg at the Foot Locker/Arcadia Invitational in April.

A hamstring injury kept Keisha Griffis of Washington, the three-time City champion in the 300-meter low hurdles, from improving on her third-place finish in last year's state meet. The University of Washington-bound Griffis was fifth in her heat in 45.24 and did not qualify for the finals.

Keith Friday of Dorsey was ninth in the triple jump with 45-4, and Garfield's Richard Martinez placed 14th in the 3,200 meters in 9:27.92.

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