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Delay Doesn't Stress Tustin's Smith

April 10, 2001|DAN ARRITT

Unlike most who planned to spend Saturday at the Orange County Championships, Tustin High senior Alonso Smith didn't mind waking up to the rain.

The early-morning downpour washed out the county meet at Trabuco Hills High, forcing it to be rescheduled for April 28, only days before league finals begin.

Some teams have already indicated the make-up day won't fit into their remaining schedule, but Smith said he prefers the later date.

"I thought [Saturday] was too early [for the county championships]," said Smith, who was to run the 1,600 meters and defend his 800-meter title. "I was mostly concentrating on Arcadia."

The Arcadia Invitational, scheduled for this Saturday at Arcadia High, features some of the nation's top track and field athletes. Smith said it's more important for him to stay sharp for Arcadia than the Golden West League finals, which begin with the preliminaries April 30 and the finals May 3.

"Besides," Smith said. "If you're in a distance race, you don't have to run in the preliminaries for our league anyway."


Capistrano Valley senior Kris Monte joined Smith at the state finals last season, but said he wasn't planning to run the 800 with him at the county championships Saturday because of soreness in his legs.

"I had a couple hard practices and then I had massive pain in my legs afterward," Monte said. "I couldn't move them for a while."

Monte said his legs are feeling better, but he won't be running at Arcadia either. He'll be on a religious retreat in Mexicali, Mexico, helping build a church.

"My coach was cool with it," Monte said. "He kind of left it up to me, but I said I needed to be on the retreat."


Irvine senior Mario Bassani, the county leader in the 400 meters, was planning to skip the county championships as well, but changed his mind a few days before the meet.

Now, Bassani said there's a good chance the entire Irvine team will miss the meet so they can rest for the Sea View League prelims on May 1 and the finals May 4.

But Bim Barry, who coaches the Newport Harbor boys' team, said he isn't worried about conserving energy for the same league finals. He expects the Sailors to be at full strength for the county meet.

"You only get two kids in each event at the county championships," Barry said, "and usually they're good enough to get through the league preliminaries anyway."


Trabuco Hills junior Matt Bruno is entered in Arcadia's fastest 100- and 200-meter heats, and expects the competition to bring out the best in him.

"My times at invitationals are usually about .3 seconds faster than at a dual meet," Bruno said. "I work pretty hard under pressure and it makes my turnover a lot faster."

Bruno's county-leading times are a wind-aided 10.66 in the 100 and 21.62 in the 200.


Rick Martinez, who coaches the Mater Dei boys' and girls' teams, would like to take some athletes to Arcadia, but Mater Dei has a long-standing policy of not allowing students to compete on Holy Saturday.

Martinez said the rule was lifted three years ago, when Mike McNair, one of the top sprinters in the Southern Section, was allowed to compete at Arcadia.

"They made an exception that time," Martinez said. "I try not to ask very often."


Edison's decision to skip the county championships and travel to the Oakland Relays seems to have paid off.

The boys' team finished second in the team standings, winning the 400 relay in a county-leading 42.0 and the 3,200 relay in 8:02, which is the second-best time in the state this season.

Edison's Aaron Corbett also won the pole vault at 14-0, Scott Brandos finished second in the 3,200 (9:32) and Denny Flanagan was second in the 110 hurdles (14.67) and the 300 hurdles (39.02).

The Edison girls' team was led by Maryann Pynchon, who won the 3,200 in 11:14, and Rachael Ziemann, who won the high jump at 5-6.

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Orange County Sportswriters' Poll



Pos. School League 1. Woodbridge (1) Sea View 2. Mission Viejo (2) South Coast 3. Esperanza (3) Sunset 4. Newport Harbor (4) Sea View 5. Corona del Mar (5) Pacific Coast 6. Santa Margarita (6) Serra 7. Mater Dei (7) Serra 8. Dana Hills (8) South Coast 9. Santa Ana Valley (9) Century 10. El Toro (NR) Empire




Pos. School League 1. Edison (1) Sunset 2. Tustin (2) Golden West 3. Santa Margarita (3) Serra 4. Newport Harbor (4) Sea View 5. Esperanza (5) Sunset 6. Mission Viejo (6) South Coast 7. Valencia (7) Orange 8. Cypress (8) Empire 9. Trabuco Hills (9) South Coast 10. Corona del Mar (10) Pacific Coast


Last week's ranking in parentheses

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