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Lyon Still Makes Noise in 1,600


Senior Dan Lyon of Hesperia Sultana High continued his meteoric late-season progression in the boys' 1,600 meters by posting the fastest qualifying time Friday before 6,895 in the state track and field championships at Cerritos College.

It remains to be seen, however, if he'll run as well in today's final.

Lyon looked superb in winning his heat in a career best of 4 minutes 11.92 seconds, the second-fastest time in the state this year. But he expended valuable energy by running the final lap in 57.7 seconds when he needed only to finish among the top three runners in his heat to automatically advance to the final.

Sean Drake of San Francisco University, the state leader at 4:11.55, finished second behind Lyon in 4:14.48 with Humberto Rojas of Costa Mesa Estancia third in 4:14.70.

"I feel fine. I feel great," Lyon said when asked if he might have run too fast on his final lap. "I was hoping [to run a personal record], so I'm happy."

Lyon viewed the 1,600 as his third-best race a month ago. But since the steeplechase, his favorite event, is not contested at the high school level in California, he figured his best chance to advance to the state championships was by running the 800.

"I wanted to run 1:52," Lyon said of his goal in the 800. "But I had a bad race at [the Southern Section Division II preliminaries]."

That bad race--a ninth-place finish in 2:02.60 in his heat--ended Lyon's season in the 800. But it has allowed him to flourish in the 1,600.

After running a then-career best of 4:22.88 to finish third in his qualifying heat in the Division II preliminaries on May 10, he won the final eight days later in 4:14.54 and placed third in 4:15.17 in the Southern Section Masters Meet on May 24.

Junior Allyson Felix of North Hills L.A. Baptist, senior Matt Bruno of Mission Viejo Trabuco Hills and sophomore Michael Haddan of Irvine Woodbridge were other local athletes who brought the crowd to its feet with their performances.

Felix, the defending state champion in the girls' 100, ran a career-best and nation-leading 11.40 in the that event and clocked a wind-aided 22.69 in the 200.

The time in the 100 moved her to fifth on the all-time state performer list and the 200 clocking was the fourth fastest U.S. girls' time ever.

Bruno led qualifying in the boys' 100 with a wind-aided 10.40, despite looking to his right and then his left to check out his competition in the final 20 meters of the race. He also won his heat of the 200 in 21.02, the second-fastest qualifying time.

Haddan cut more than 2 1/2 seconds off his best in the boys' 800 by winning his heat in a career-best and state-leading 1:51.02.

High jumper T.J. Fakehinde of Fullerton Eastside Christian and long jumper Chris McFoy of Chino were notable non-qualifiers. Fakehinde tied for 10th in the high jump at 6 feet 5 inches after clearing 7 feet earlier this year. McFoy failed to get off a fair jump.

The Bakersfield boys and the Long Beach Poly girls remained favorites for team titles with their solid performances Friday.

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