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VALLEY/VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Fletcher Wins at Arcadia on the Double-Quick

Track and field: Alemany sprinter runs down Fargas to capture the 100 and holds off McCullough in the 200.

April 26, 1998|JOHN ORTEGA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

ARCADIA — The wait was well worth it for senior Miguel Fletcher of Alemany High.

Fletcher returned for the Arcadia Invitational on Saturday night two weeks after the meet was postponed because of rain and won an unprecedented third consecutive title in the boys' 100 meters and his first in the 200 at Arcadia High.

The USC-bound Fletcher came from behind to beat state champion Justin Fargas of Notre Dame in the 100, 10.60 to 10.66 seconds, and then held off Sultan McCullough of Pasadena Muir in the 200 to clock a career-best 20.94, fastest time in the nation this year.

McCullough, the national leader in the 200 at 20.62 last year, withdrew from the 400 so he'd be fresh for his race against Fletcher, but found himself trailing by three meters as he came off the turn.

"I knew I was strong," Fletcher said. "If I got out ahead of him, I'd probably be able to hold him off."

McCullough cut Fletcher's lead to five feet with about 50 meters left, but Fletcher maintained his form to the finish. McCullough was second in 21.17.

Fletcher's time topped his previous best of 21.06 from 1996 and solidified his hold on second on the all-time region list behind the 20.50 by Quincy Watts in 1987.

"I felt him," Fletcher said of McCullough. "I just kept telling myself that I had to keep my concentration."

Fargas was late checking in for the 100 and said he never felt totally comfortable even though he got off to a good start.

He had a small lead on Fletcher after 70 meters but Fletcher moved past him in the final 10 meters.

"He ran a good race," Fargas said of Fletcher. "I wasn't focused. I had to rush to get over here and I didn't get a chance to practice my starts properly."

Fletcher is 2-1 against Fargas this season.

"He pushed me really good," Fletcher said. "It was fun."

Fargas, who had run a personal best of 10.55 to defeat McCullough and Fletcher in the Pasadena Games on March 28, helped Notre Dame to a fourth-place time of 41.74 in the 400 relay but didn't run the 200.

Senior Matt Lea of Camarillo clocked 47.83 to win the boys' 400 and freshman Schquay Brignac of Cleveland cleared 5-6 to win the girls' high jump.

Lea, who ran a state-leading 47.6 earlier this month, remained undefeated in the 400, but by the smallest of margins as Mike Ryan of Beverly Hills finished second in 47.84.

The 400 was billed as a matchup between Lea and McCullough, but when McCullough didn't run, Lea appeared to be headed to a easy victory for 300 meters.

Ryan began to reel him in, cutting Lea's lead to three meters with 50 meters to go and to an inch or two at the finish line.

"I felt someone coming in the last five meters and I tried to pick it up," Lea said. "But that's hard to do at that point. I think I got him still."

Brignac remained undefeated in the high jump, but she was a little disappointed with her winning height.

"I was hoping for 5-10," she said.

Julie Stevenson of Diamond Bar also cleared 5-6, but finished second because she did it on her second attempt while Brignac did it on her first.

Senior Heather Sickler of Camarillo, freshmen Porchea Carroll of Rio Mesa and Sierra Hauser-Price of Notre Dame and seniors Ryan Meuse of Simi Valley, Tara Gregory of Crescenta Valley and Jenny Kenyon of Newbury Park also turned in notable performances.

Sickler placed second in the pole vault at 11 feet.

She cleared the same height as winner Brooke Lankard of Visalia Golden West, but Lankard won because she did it on her first attempt while Sickler did it on her third.

Carroll placed third in the 100 with a personal best of 12.06 and Hauser-Price was third in the 200 with a career best of 24.55.

Meuse placed third in the boys' 800 in a season best of 1:55.00 and Gregory finished third in the girls' 800 with a season best of 2:16.24.

Kenyon placed third in the girls' long jump with a leap of 18-3.

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