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Spiker's Goal: Break 9-Minute Mark in 3,200

Southern Section track: Ventura High junior attempts to become second runner from county to eclipse barrier.


NORWALK — With the 1,600 meters no longer on his racing itinerary, Josh Spiker of Ventura High will go after a nine-minute 3,200 tonight in the Southern Section Masters Meet at Cerritos College.

Spiker, a junior, won the 1,600 in 4:12.92 and placed second in the 3,200 in a school-record 9:04.04 in the Division II races of the divisional championships at Cerritos College on Saturday. But he'll run only the 3,200 tonight in an attempt to become the second high school runner from Ventura County to break nine minutes in the event.

Eric Reynolds of Camarillo ran a hand-held time of 8:44.0 for two miles--which converts to a 8:41.0 3,200--in 1983.

The Masters Meet starts with field events at 4:30 p.m., followed by running events at 6.

The top five finishers in each event will advance to the state championships at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento on June 4-5.

Junior Augie Escobar of Villa Park ran a yearly state-leading time of 9:03.64 to defeat Spiker for the Division II title, but they plan on working together tonight in an effort to become the first Southern Section runners to break nine minutes since Angel Martinez of San Gabriel accomplished the feat in 1992.

While Spiker is shooting for his first berth in the state championships, six athletes from the region are trying to become repeat qualifiers.

Senior Bridget Pearson of Hoover, the 1997 state champion in the girls' pole vault, is trying for her fourth berth in the state meet. Senior Lauren Fleshman of Canyon, the national leader in the girls' 3,200 at 10:21.36, is shooting for her third berth.

Senior Tim Adrian of Moorpark, fifth in the boys' discus in the state championships last year, will attempt to qualify for the second time in that event, as will senior Becky Rauth of Harvard-Westlake in the girls' 300 low hurdles, junior Oliver Jackson of Royal in the boys' long jump and sophomore Sierra Hauser-Price of Notre Dame in the girls' 100 and 200.

Rauth is also entered in the 100 high hurdles, but is regarded as a long shot to finish in the top five.

Sophomore Porchea Carroll of Rio Mesa will be shooting for her first berths in the state championships in the girls' 100, 200 and long jump, as will senior Annmarie Turpin of Simi Valley in the girls' high jump, sophomore Anita Siraki of Hoover in the girls' 3,200, senior Mentu Daniel of Antelope Valley in the boys' 400 and juniors Will Svitek of Newbury Park and Travis Johnson of Notre Dame in the boys' shotput.

Siraki advanced to tonight's meet in the 1,600 and 3,200, but chose to run only the 3,200, as did Fleshman after qualifying in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200.

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