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Mission Viejo's Gleason Goes Near and Far for Three Wins


Mission Viejo's Mark Gleason said if he was going to succeed in three events Saturday at the Orange County Championships, he was going to have to treat each race as if it was the only one of the day.

"I knew coming in here, if I was going to triple, it was going to have to be one race at a time," he said. "I just wanted to fall asleep between races, forget about the past races, forget about the ones ahead of me, and concentrate on that one race I'm doing right then."

The strategy worked for Gleason, who completed an outstanding days in boys' high school track by winning the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 at Trabuco Hills. The victories were also the difference in the Diablos' 19-point victory over defending-champion Tustin in the team competition.

Gleason began his day by winning the 1,600 with a personal-best time of 4 minutes 14.45 seconds, which was a meet record. He then showed his speed in winning the 800 (1:55.64), a race he called the best he's ever run.

Gleason gathered himself for the 3,200 approximately two hours later and won the race in 9:14.46, a meet record.

"I've been in races where I've given up and I don't know why I give up," Gleason said. "I was hurting the most that I've ever felt [during the 3,200] and then I decided to go for it."

Another senior who had his best performance was Mater Dei sprinter Mike McNair. McNair blew away an elite six-man field in the 100, winning in 10.68, his best non-wind-aided time. Tustin's DeShaun Foster was second (10.86) and Brea Olinda's Claude Melvin was third (10.87).

"I pretty much viewed all of my opponents as one and just made everyone the one [opponent] that I'm worried about," McNair said.

McNair also equaled his personal best in the 200 with a winning time of 21.71.

Al Williams of Irvine won the 300 hurdles in 38.97 and finished second to Dana Hills' James Brown (14.59) in the 110 hurdles with a time of 14.87.

In the field events, Santosh Swamidass of El Modena continued to dominate the county's high jump competition, winning with a leap of 6 feet 6 inches.

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