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THE TIMES ALL-REGION TRACK AND FIELD BOYS' TEAM

Boys: State championships aside, Fletcher's feats unmatched in region.

June 20, 1996|JOHN ORTEGA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

MISSION HILLS — Advancing to the finals of the State championships in the 100 and 200 meters would be a great way to cap the season for most sprinters.

But sophomore Miguel Fletcher of Alemany is not your typical sprinter.

The Times' Valley boys' track and field athlete of the year was distraught after finishing seventh in the 200 and eighth in the 100 in the State meet nearly three weeks ago.

Fletcher entered the meet as a top-three contender in both events with career-bests of 10.47 seconds and 21.06, but ran 10.86 and 21.75 in the finals.

"I was just tired from studying for finals all week," Fletcher said. "My mind wasn't into running. My speed was there, but I just didn't have enough strength."

Fletcher's lightning-quick start was missing in the 100, as was his ability to hold his form and maintain his speed in the homestretch of the 200.

"He definitely was tired," Alemany Coach Dimitri Lagos said. "But regardless of what happened in the State meet, he had a great, great season."

Statistics support Lagos' claim.

Fletcher has run 10.68 or better eight times in the 100 and he's timed 21.44 or faster on seven occasions in the 200. In addition, he consistently ran sub-48 anchor legs on a Alemany 1,600 relay team that lowered the school record to 3 minutes 17.29 seconds.

He won the 100 in the Arcadia Invitational in April and followed that with a nation-leading time of 21.06 to win the 200 in the Mt. San Antonio College Relays a week later.

He also clocked 10.54 in the 100 and 21.06 in the 200 while running into head wind to win the Southern Section Division III titles before a long season appeared to catch up with him.

Lagos would like to have seen Fletcher perform better in the State championships, but he takes solace in the fact that his charge is only halfway through his high school career.

"You have to remember that Miguel is only a sophomore," Lagos said. "Sometimes it's easy to forget that."

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