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RELAYS

Morgan, Holmes Are Talk of Meet

Track and field: Hurdler, high jumper produce top efforts.

March 19, 2000|JOHN ORTEGA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NORTHRIDGE — Is a seven-foot high jump better than a 14.12-second clocking in the 110-meter high hurdles?

That was the question spectators were left to ponder at the Northridge-Alemany Relays at Cal State Northridge on Saturday as those two performances outshone all others in a meet filled with several notable efforts.

If the all-time region lists are considered, Chris Morgan of Taft High had a slightly better mark in the high hurdles than Jerrick Holmes of Palmdale did in the high jump.

But there's still something magical about breaking the seven-foot barrier, a height first cleared by Charlie Dumas of the United States in 1956.

"My goal was to clear seven feet [Saturday]," Holmes said. "I thought I was capable of doing it last year, but it didn't happen."

Holmes, a 6-foot-3 senior, cleared 6-10 to win the Mt. San Antonio College Relays last April. But he placed ninth with a 6-foot effort at the Southern Section Division I final in May.

Holmes said faulty spikes that caused him to slip on his approach to the bar contributed to his demise, but he soared at Northridge.

After clearing his opening height of 6 feet on his second attempt, Holmes cleared 6-2, 6-4 and 6-6 on his first tries. He cleared 6-8 and 6-10 on his second attempts before popping over a school-record 7 feet on his first try to move into a tie for 10th on the all-time region list.

In addition to the high jump, Holmes won his heat of the 400 in 49.97--the third-fastest time overall--and ran on teams that placed third in the 400 relay in 43.02 and fourth in the 1,600 relay in 3:22.66.

"Because this is my last year [in high school], I have to leave a mark in every meet," Holmes said.

Morgan, a junior, pulled away from Marcus Raines of Littlerock over the final five hurdles to demolish his previous best of 14.44 and move into a tie for eighth on the all-time region list.

"This was a real big confidence booster for me," Morgan said. "[Raines] is going to be one of the top high hurdlers in the state this year with me and two or three other guys, so it's an honor to beat him."

Morgan won the long jump with a 22-0 leap and ran the third leg on Taft's 400 relay team that clocked 42.31 to finish second to Cleveland's 42.09.

Raines, second in the high hurdles in a school-record 14.51, later won the 300 intermediates in a school-record 37.63.

Other notable winners were junior Jason Lovell of Cleveland in the boys' 400 in 48.86, senior Darren Quinn of Notre Dame in the boys' 800 in 1:56.27, senior Rodney Woods of Littlerock in the boys' triple jump at 47-2 1/2 and senior Erin Reed of Taft in the girls' 400 in 57.00.

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