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HIGH SCHOOL TRACK AND FIELD

Edison's Ziemann Twins Help to Raise the Bar

March 07, 2000|DAN ARRITT

The talent pool in girls' high jump this season appears deeper than ever.

Eight of the nine county athletes who cleared 5 feet 4 or better last spring are back, including Edison twins Bianca and Rachael Ziemann, whose accomplishments last season went unmatched among county competitors.

During a three-week span, Bianca finished second in the Southern Section Division I finals, fourth at Masters and second at the state finals. Rachael won the Division I title, finished second at Masters and sixth at state.

The Ziemanns were the only county high jumpers to advance past the section finals and the only ones to clear the 5-8 barrier.

But the competition appears stiffer in the upcoming months, and not just from the other six returning athletes.

Sunny Hills senior Stevie Nicholas finished second in state in the high jump two years ago, but a serious knee injury during her junior volleyball season forced her to sit out last spring. Now, she's ready to get back in the mix.

"It's my senior year and I won't get to high jump anymore after high school," said Nicholas, who signed to play volleyball at Baylor. "I love track. It's fun and I can just look at it that way. But I'm also very competitive at it."

Like the Ziemanns, Nicholas has a personal-best jump of 5-8. She won the Division III title as a sophomore and finished third at Masters, earning Times' Orange County second-team honors.

Nicholas was also a top returning volleyball player for the Lancers, having received All-Freeway League honors as a sophomore. She was enjoying an even stronger junior season when she landed awkwardly after attempting a kill toward the end of a three-game sweep of Fullerton in late October, tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee.

Nicholas had to undergo surgery and was put on a rigid rehabilitation program by her father, Fullerton physical therapist Steve Nicholas. She tried to come back for her junior track season--finishing first at the Trabuco Hills Invitational in early March--but she quit soon after to focus on strengthening her knee for her senior volleyball season.

"She seems to be 100%," Sunny Hills track and field Coach David Baxley said. "She's going to try and compete in the high jump as well as the hurdles."

Nicholas attempted her first jumps of the season Friday, clearing 5-2 in a three-way meet at Esperanza. Nicholas said that was a good sign, since she only cleared 4-8 at the same meet her sophomore year.

"I want to get to state again," Nicholas said. "And I want to jump 5-10. I would love to jump 5-10."

A LITTLE EARLY FOR THIS?

The season is less than a week old and already some quality marks have been turned in.

The most eye-catching number came from Cypress triple-jumper Clarence Moore, who flew 47-5 in a four-way meet at Santa Margarita Friday, the best mark from a county athlete since Tustin's Reggie Curry jumped 48-7 3/4 in 1994.

In the same meet, Santa Margarita's Jim Lunnen cleared 6-8 in the high jump, breaking the track record at the school.

The Eagles' Pat Luke cleared 14-7 in the pole vault to beat the track's record by an inch, and Trevor Jones of Newport Harbor ran the 300 hurdles in 38.92 seconds to beat the track record of 39.16 seconds.

Savanna senior Reanita Starr set a school record in the triple jump, leaping 38-2 1/2 against Sonora Thursday. Starr broke the record of 37-7 1/2 she set last year at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays.

If you have an item or idea for the track and field report, you can fax us at (714) 966-5663 or e-mail us at: dan.arritt@latimes.com

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