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Between the Lines | High Schools

Long Trek to Arcadia Isn't Wasted for Some Runners

April 15, 1998

Heavy rains forced the postponement of the evening portion Saturday at the Arcadia Invitational track and field meet at Arcadia High until April 25, but there were still plenty of fast times run between 8 and 9:15 p.m.

That's when approximately 80-90 runners from nine states raced at the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter distances in what Arcadia meet director Doug Speck dubbed the Monrovia all-comers meet.

When Speck decided to postpone the meet at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, he knew most of the athletes from Northern California, and from states such as Utah, Washington and Montana would be unable to return in two weeks. So he told coaches to have their distance runners back at the track at 8 if they wanted to race.

The rains stopped by that time and the runners took advantage of the cool, windless conditions.

Gary Passanisi of Aptos won the boys' 3,200 in 9:05.9, the fastest outdoor time in the nation this year, and five others broke 9:16.

Sara Gorton of Mountain Pointe High in Phoenix won the girls' division in 10:38.8, the No. 2 outdoor time in the nation.

Matt Lowe of Mead High in Spokane, Wash., won the boys' 1,600 in 4:22.9 and Brian Turner of Millard North in Omaha, Neb., took the 800 in 1:54.6.

On the girls' side, Jeanna Composti of Sachem High in Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y., won the 1,600 in 5:02.1 and Eri MacDonald of Punahou High in Honolulu took the 800 in 2:13.3.

Lauren Fleshman of Canyon ran a noteworthy 10:49 in the 3,200 on Saturday night, but that mark came in a time trial at about 7:15.

Fleshman, who has a personal best of 10:38.13 in the 3,200, ran the first 1,600 in 5:28 and the second in 5:21. "At one point, I asked myself, 'Why am I doing this?" Fleshman said. "But I'm glad I ran."


Viva Las Vegas: Birmingham junior infielder Billy McGrath loves Las Vegas. He went nine for 11 with five doubles during the Bishop Gorman tournament, raising his average to .510.

"He's been ripping the ball," Birmingham Coach Rick Weber said.

Weber has become a big fan of the McGrath family. Another brother, Jimmy, plays on the junior varsity, and two more baseball-playing McGrath brothers are still to come.

Good showing: The Thousand Oaks High baseball team, leaders of the Marmonte League, represented the region well at the Scottsdale (Ariz.) tournament last weekend.

The Lancers (13-3-1) were 3-2 in tournament play and advanced to the finals, losing 4-1 to Sacramento Jesuit High. Thousand Oaks' Shea Johnson and John Smith were selected to the all-tournament team and Lancer Matt Rogers was selected the pitcher of the tournament.

The 16-team tournament included host Horizon High, an Arizona state champion the past two years, Taylorsville, Utah, top-ranked in the West region by USA Today, and Xavierian High of Brooklyn, N.Y., ranked No. 11 in the country, also by USA Today.

Thousand Oaks defeated Atlee, Va., 12-2 in the semifinals.


Future teammates: When Camarillo and Mater Dei meet in today's Fountain Valley tournament matchup, the shortstops from each team will have extra incentive to be at their best.

Camarillo's Jessica Mendoza and Mater Dei's Robin Walker have both signed letters of intent with Stanford. The pair are well acquainted: both play for Gordon's Panthers 18-and-under gold team out of Orange County.

Mater Dei (12-2) is ranked No. 3 in the state. Camarillo (8-0) has outscored opponents, 26-1, and is No. 5.

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