Twenty-nine athletes will represent Orange County at the CIF track and field meet at Cerritos College today and Saturday.
The pole vault begins with the preliminary round at 1 p.m. today. The other field events start at 4 and the running events at 5.
On Saturday, competition starts with the pole vault at 1 p.m. Field events begin at 3 and running events at 4.
Four county athletes enter the meet with the top marks in their respective events: Esperanza senior Kelly O'Connor, Laguna Hills junior Tayyiba Haneef, Foothill senior Erica Hoernig and Brethren Christian senior Steve Michels.
O'Connor, the defending state champion in the triple jump, has jumped 40 feet 11 3/4 inches. Tisha Ponder of San Jose Del Mar has also reached that distance, but with a wind-aided mark. O'Connor will also compete in the long jump.
Haneef and Reedley Immanuel's Tara Flaming are tied for the state's best high jump mark at 5-10.
Hoernig has the top outdoor mark in the nation this spring in the pole vault, clearing 12-0 3/4. She won the Southern Section Division II title and finished second in the Masters meet.
Michels, who finished second in the pole vault to Edison senior Nate Fox (16-1) in the Masters meet, has jumped 16-5 1/4 to lead all competitors. Michels, who will attend Ohio State next year, won Southern Section Division IV and Olympic League titles this spring.
Hurdlers Dominique DeGrammont of Tustin and Matt Blasdel of Santa Margarita are among the favorites in their events.
DeGrammont emerged as one of the nation's best 110-meter high hurdlers last weekend when he won the Masters meet in a wind-aided 13.76. It was the fourth-best time by a county athlete.
DeGrammont, a junior who also competes in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles, ranks second in the state behind defending state champion Joe Naivalu of Sunnyvale Fremont.
Blasdel won the Southern Section Division II title in the 300 intermediate hurdles, running the third-fastest time in the state (37.13).
Junior Elliott Parks of El Toro is among the state leaders in the high jump. He has cleared 6-10 on three occasions. Parks won the Masters title.
Mission Viejo sophomore hurdler Ashley Bethel, Huntington Beach senior Jess Strutzel (800 meters) and Garden Grove senior Kevin Griswold (200 meters) will all make their second consecutive appearances in the state meet.
Villa Park's 1,600 relay team--Lyndon Covington, Steve Moffat, Shane Vickers and Chuck Reid--have run 3:21.33 and are the county's only relay team to qualify.
Five county discus throwers will also compete: Carrie Axton (Los Amigos), Marie Philman (Edison) and Sonya Bryant (Marina) in the girls' event; Scott Moser (Huntington Beach) and Sean Jarne (Esperanza) in the boys'. Philman also qualified in the shot put. . . . In the boys' shotput, Brodie Riederich (Edison), Dan Noll (El Toro) and Rich Nichols (Corona del Mar) qualified. . . . University freshman Allyson Marquand and Buena Park sophomore Heather Garritson will represent the county in the 3,200 meters, and Christa Fitzgerald of Dana Hills will run in the 800. . . . Edison standout Kerry O'Bric was one of only four area athletes to qualify in two events. She will compete in the long jump and triple jump. . . . Others competing will be: Pat Swanson of Esperanza in the 110-meter high hurdles; and Katie Rorem of Marina in the girls' pole vault.