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Fargas Goes On Mission: 10.52 in 100

Track and field: Tender hamstring doesn't stop him from second league title over Fletcher.


LA VERNE — Justin Fargas of Notre Dame High is often referred to as a supreme competitor.

Fargas showed why Friday in running a personal-best 10.52 seconds to win his second consecutive 100-meter title in the Mission League track and field finals at the University of La Verne.

The time lowered the defending state champion's previous best by .03 seconds, moved him to third on the all-time region performer list and gave him a .17 victory over second-place Miguel Fletcher of Alemany.

Not bad for someone whose father didn't want him to run earlier in the day because he was afraid he would seriously injure a sore right hamstring. Last week against Loyola, Fargas was limited to a third-place hand time of 10.9 in the 100 and withdrew from the 200.

"I just tried to have all positive thoughts," Fargas said. "I didn't want to have any negative energy out there. That's why I didn't run with my leg wrapped."

The Michigan-bound Fargas used unconventional starting blocks that allowed him to begin the race in a three-point stance similar to a wide receiver in football.

Notre Dame Coach Joe McNab said the start is illegal at the collegiate and world level--where sprinters are required to have both hands on the ground at the start when using blocks--but it put less stress on Fargas' hamstring.

"It's actually a better way to start," McNab said. "But kids don't like to use it because it looks weird."

Fargas left the USC-bound Fletcher and the rest of the field behind in the first 20 meters and they never caught up.

"I think maybe those standing blocks are better," said Fletcher, runner-up in the 100 in last year's state championships. "Because he just got out there ahead of us. . . He was way ahead."

"It's something that I have to battle with," Fargas said of his tender hamstring. "I have to put it aside in my mind. If I'm going to come out here to run, I'm running to win. I'm not running just to move on [to the next meet]."

Fargas, who didn't run in any other events, and Fletcher, who won the 200 in 21.56, were the two headline performers, but several other Valley athletes turned in notable efforts.

Senior Rod Arzu of Notre Dame won the boys' 400 in a personal best of 48.43.

Junior teammate Kevin Lelles won the 1,600 in a career best of 4:24.77 and the 3,200 in 9:55.50.

Junior Tiffany Thompson of Notre Dame edged freshman teammate Sierra Hauser-Price, 12.48-12.49, in the girls' 100, but Hauser-Price took the 200 in 24.89 to Thompson's 25.36.

Senior Michelle Wilkinson of Alemany won the girls' 800 in 2:23.66 and the 3,200 in 12:06.79 while junior Becky Rauth of Harvard-Westlake won the 300 low hurdles in 45.0.

The top three finishers in each event automatically qualified for the Southern Section Division III preliminaries on May 15.

* PANTHERS WIN: Camarillo's Matt Lea set a record in the 400 but Newbury Park won Marmonte League boys' championship. C15

* GOLDEN BOY: Highland's Justin Patananan swept the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters in the Golden League finals. Roundup, C15

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