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Six O.C. Runners Pick and Choose Their Spots in Today's Masters Meet


Six Orange County runners qualified in both the 1,600 and 3,200 meters for tonight's Southern Section Masters Meet at Cerritos College, but Esperanza's Ryan Bousquet and Newport Harbor's Amber Steen are the only athletes who plan to run both events.

Santa Margarita's Lori Mann, Mater Dei's Jenny Sears, Fountain Valley's Julie Allen and Katella's Danny Mejia were among the 14 double qualifiers in the distance events, but each scratched from the 1,600 this week in favor of the eight-lap race, which begins about two hours later.

Mejia finished third in the 1,600 at the Southern Section Division II finals Saturday, qualifying eighth in the field of nine for tonight's race. He came back about five hours later and finished second in the 3,200, qualifying ninth in the field of 12. The top five advance to the state finals next week at Cerritos.

Allen is the No. 2 qualifier in the 3,200, and was the fifth qualifier in the 1,600, but also wants to focus on one event.

She missed much of the fall cross-country season because of conflicts with her club soccer schedule, but was still good enough to run the fastest time at the Orange County Championships and finish second at the Division I state finals. Allen has recently decided to take a leave from soccer to concentrate on running. Her first task will be trying to catch up with Glendale Hoover's Anita Siraki, the top qualifier.

"I just decided I wanted to focus on one race," Allen said. "Doing two races in one day is mentally and physically taxing."

Steen and Bousquet are prepared to run both, and they each follow a similar strategy.

Both consider their specialty to be the 1,600, and neither needs to be worried about conserving energy for that race, since it will come first.

Not dropping the 3,200 also leaves both a safety valve should they take a spill in the earlier race and not qualify.

"I'm sitting third overall in both the mile and two mile and I think I can qualify in both," Bousquet said. "At the moment, I'm planning to do both and go for one last [personal record] in the two mile."

The meet begins with the boys' discus and girls' shotput at 4:30 p.m. The first running event is the girls' 400 relay at 6. Admission is $7, students with identification and children 12-and-under are 3$.


The remaining individual qualifiers are: Dana Bethel, Mission Viejo (100 hurdles, long jump); Maribeth Buche, Esperanza (800); Jenny Cummins, Corona del Mar (800); Crystal Davis, Santa Ana Valley (200); Krista Dill, Newport Harbor (discus); Reena Gonzales, Brea Olinda (discus); Julie Handy, Esperanza (100 hurdles); Eurie Jennings, Edison (triple jump); Travis Jones, Esperanza (shotput); Julie Kroening, Costa Mesa (300 hurdles); Matala Lualamaga, Santa Ana (shotput); Pat Luke, Santa Margarita (pole vault); Jim Lunnen, Santa Margarita (high jump); Alex Marbley, Tustin (high jump); Garrett Milner, San Clemente, (1,600); Kris Monte, Capistrano Valley (800); Clarence Moore, Cypress (triple jump); Liz Morse, Corona del Mar (800); Stevie Nicholas, Sunny Hills (high jump); Logan Odden, Marina (pole vault); Travis Pendleton, Esperanza (discus); Darryl Poston, Edison (100); Caroline Rebello, Marina (pole vault); Michelle Sanford, Woodbridge (long jump, triple jump); Alonso Smith, Tustin, (800); Cortney Stafford, Katella (triple jump); Antonio Thomas, Century (long jump); Kristen Thompson Esperanza (discus); Christy Von Der Ahe, Santa Margarita (pole vault); Lindsay Wells, Mater Dei (300 hurdles); Bianca Ziemann, Edison (high jump); Rachael Ziemann, Edison (high jump).

The drop list includes Littlerock hurdler Marcus Raines, who was arrested this week on murder charges in the fatal beating of a 19-year-old man.

Raines and fellow student Richard Newton, both 17, allegedly attacked the victim, Christopher O'Leary, during a Friday night party, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept. said. Raines won a Southern Section Division I title in both the 110 and 300 hurdles Saturday, the day after the alleged assault.

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