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They're Ready to Run, Weather or Not

March 06, 2001|DAN ARRITT

While most running tracks at county high schools resembled moats last week, some notable marks were posted on the county's few all-weather surfaces.

Santa Margarita made good use of its rubberized track, hosting Newport Harbor and Mater Dei in a three-way meet Friday that produced several outstanding marks for the first week of competition.

The biggest surprise came from Santa Margarita sophomore Emily Kalmbach, who won the 400 meters in 59.97 seconds, just off her personal best of 58.52 set last season. She had suffered a broken leg while playing soccer last summer.

Santa Margarita Coach Hayes Ferry wasn't even sure if Kalmbach could run track this season, much less break 60 seconds her first time back in the one-lap event.

"We were all surprised about that," Ferry said. "She still has a steel rod in her leg."

Kalmbach also finished second in the 200 (27.12), which was won by another sophomore, Amy Burlingham of Newport Harbor (26.26).

Burlingham also won the 100 in 12.51, which bettered her personal best of 12.62 set last season.

Newport Harbor's Amber Steen, the Times' Orange County runner of the year in cross-country last fall, won the 800 meters in 2:18.36 and the 1,600 in 5:05.83.

The 1,600 field included Mater Dei junior Jenny Sears, a two-time all-county cross-country runner, who finished second in 5:26.65.

Santa Margarita's Lori Mann, a three-time all-county selection in cross-country, opted out of the 1,600 in favor of the 1,600 relay, which she later bypassed. She did run the 800, finishing third in 2:22.05. Mater Dei freshman Kristen Kovacich finished second to Steen in the 800 (2:21.58).

"Lori will be seeing a lot of Sears and Steen in the coming months," Ferry said.

The tightest race was the 400 relay, which Santa Margarita won in 51.14. Mater Dei was second in 51.43 and Newport Harbor third in 51.66.

Ferry didn't keep team scores for the girls' meet, but it appeared Newport Harbor came out slightly ahead.

Scoring was kept for the boys' competition, which Newport Harbor won with 78 points. Santa Margarita finished second with 61 points and Mater Dei had 30.

Newport Harbor's Chris McMillan won the 1,600 (4:38.00) and 3,200 (10:10.44) and teammate John Peschelt won the 800 in 1:59.58 and cleared 6 feet 4 inches to finish second in the high jump.

Santa Margarita's Matt Johnson jumped 6-6 to win the high jump and teammate Sean Zeitler won the 110 hurdles (15.83) and 300 hurdles (40.19), and ran on Santa Margarita's winning 400-meter (43.39) and 1,600-meter (3:24.32) relay teams.


Santa Margarita is one of five high schools in the county with all-weather tracks on campus. The others are Corona del Mar, Irvine, Trabuco Hills and Huntington Beach.

Because of rain, only four meets were held last week, all on all-weather tracks.

Corona del Mar hosted a meet against Calvary Chapel, and the all-weather track at Santa Ana College was used for a dual meet between Woodbridge and Santa Ana on Thursday and the Earl Engman Relays on Saturday.


Mission Viejo senior Dana Bethel will be traveling to Landover, Md., this weekend for the Nike Indoor Classic.

Bethel, the 1999 Times' Orange County track and field athlete of the year, is entered in the 60-meter hurdles, long jump and pentathlon.

The meet will be held inside the Field House at the Prince George's Sports & Learning Complex, a 3,000-seat complex that features a 200-meter, six-lane track, one of the few indoor venues in the region.


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