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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Fleshman Makes Triple Statement on Way to Prom

Southern Section track and field: Canyon senior wins three distance events at divisional championships, then celebrates at party.

May 23, 1999|JOHN ORTEGA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NORWALK — The congratulatory hugs were coming fast and furious at senior Lauren Fleshman of Canyon High midway through the Southern Section divisional track and field championships at Cerritos College on Saturday, and for good reason.

Fleshman had just run a school-record 2:11.05 in winning the Division II 800 meters to complete the middle leg of an unprecedented distance triple, and Canyon assistants Isaac Turner, Dave DeLong and Tracy McCauley knew, as they hugged her, that the hardest part of the triple was over.

"Way to make it look easy," DeLong told Fleshman, who won the 1,600 in 5:00.30 and the 3,200 in 10:55.69 in addition to the 800 to become the first girl to win the three events in the championships in the same year.

"It wasn't easy," Fleshman said of the 800. "When we came through the first lap, I was tired. I was thinking, 'Forget the 3,200, let's go to the prom.' "

The Stanford-bound Fleshman, who headed to the school prom after the meet, trailed junior Liz Morse of Corona del Mar and freshman Summer Owens of Santa Margarita in the 800 after Morse came through the 400 in 64.3. But she moved into second place in the backstretch and sped past Morse with 70 meters left to clock a time that moved her to ninth on the all-time region list.

"They actually did us a favor by taking it out fast," DeLong said of Morse and Owens. "They made it a strength race and that's what we wanted."

Fleshman's triple, which helped Canyon place fourth with 35 points, was among several outstanding performances by athletes from the region.

Juniors Josh Spiker and Clark Goodwin led Ventura to the Division II boys' title, and senior Becky Rauth of Harvard-Westlake and sophomores Sierra Hauser-Price of Notre Dame and Anita Siraki of Hoover each won two titles.

Spiker won the 1,600 in 4:12.92 and finished second in the 3,200 in a school-record 9:04.04 in the 3,200 as Ventura totaled 49 points to defeat runner-up Brea by 17 points.

Goodwin won the 400 in a career-best 49.14, ran a 47.9 anchor leg on a team that finished second in the 1,600 relay in a school-record 3:19.94 and ran the anchor leg on a team that placed fourth in the 400 relay in 43.38.

Junior Augie Escobar of Villa Park defeated Spiker with a state-leading 9:03.64 clocking in the 3,200, but Spiker didn't mind.

"It's pretty cool that it looks like we're going to win it," Spiker said prior to the 1,600 relay, the last event of the meet.

"No Ventura team has ever done that."

Rauth, who will compete for Yale next year, won Division III titles in the girls' 100 high hurdles with a school record of 14.78 and in the 300 lows with a time of 43.78.

Hauser-Price, a state finalist in the girls' 100 and 200 last year, won the Division III 100 in 11.90 and the 200 in a season-best 24.16 to edge sophomore Shakhan Lewis of Duarte by .02 in the 100 and by .04 in the 200.

"I knew she was coming on me [at the end of the 200]," Hauser-Price said of Lewis.

"But she was coming on me in the 100 too."

Siraki won the Division I 1,600 in a school-record 4:55.75 and took the 3,200 in 10:55.34 to record the fastest times of the meet in both races.

Senior teammate Bridget Pearson won the pole vault at 12 feet as Hoover finished fourth with 30 points.

The top nine finishers in each event in each division qualified for the Southern Section Masters Meet at Cerritos College on Friday.

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