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Few Surprises From Area Athletes in Qualifying


LONG BEACH — Hustling into the starting blocks Friday, sophomore Bruce Hancock had no time to celebrate with Costa Mesa teammate Eric Soliz, who had just won his heat in the 1,600 meters.

But about four minutes later, he and Soliz had a chance to embrace. Hancock not only won his heat going away--but turned in the second-fastest 1,600 time of the afternoon at the Southern Section Division III track preliminaries at Veterans Stadium.

Hancock took charge on the second turn of the final lap. His time of 4 minutes 24.64 seconds was a personal best by almost five seconds, but nearly 3 1/2 seconds behind the top time, turned in by Isaiah Festa of Morro Bay in the following heat.

"I just went out for it. I really had it today," Hancock said. "I felt good." Soliz, a senior who later qualified in his best event, the 800, had the fourth-fastest time in the 1,600, 4:25.15.

"I saw the time up there on the board and I just kicked for it at the end," Soliz said.

Several good qualifying performances were turned in by Orange County athletes.

Two hours later, Soliz ran the 800 heat in 1:57.89.

High-jumper Tanya Haneef of Laguna Hills, who has cleared 5 feet 8 this season, passed until everyone else was finished, then cleared 5-2, top mark on the day.

Kelly Cramm of Laguna Beach and Joanna Evans of Sunny Hills each posted 59.23 times in winning separate heats of the 400; Sunny Nicholas (Sunny Hills) and Sara Bonilla (Brea Olinda) took their heats in the 300 low hurdles in 46.09 and 46.07, respectively.

University distance runner Allyson Marquand had little trouble winning her 1,600 heat in 5:09.21, second to Elaine Canchola of Ojai Nordhoff (5:07.63). Late in the evening, Marquand (11:02.09) qualified in the 3,200 with her best time of the year.

Sonora's Heiberto Sarabia took the lead with 200 meters to go and won an exciting 3,200 heat in 9:32.08.

Chayne Chaldu (Laguna Beach) won heats in the 300 intermediate hurdles (39.36) and 110 high hurdles (15.13).

Carrie Axton of Los Amigos threw a 140-7 to qualify first in the discus.

Freshman Diana Quinones of Buena Park turned in a 2:23.59 to win her 800 heat. Junior Makia Nelson of Brea Olinda countered, winning the next heat in 2:16.5, second-best time of the day and less than a second off her personal best.

Savanna's Robert Peinado ran a 49.69 to advance in the 400.

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