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Solomon, Reid Get Redemption

June 08, 2003|John Ortega | Times Staff Writer

Duane Solomon of Lompoc Cabrillo and Phillip Reid of Oxnard Rio Mesa had been bitterly disappointed in last year's state track and field championships after being passed in the homestretch and finishing second in their respective races.

But those two seniors experienced joy, relief and redemption in the home straightaway Saturday when they powered away from their opponents to win the boys' 800 and 1,600 meters, respectively, before 11,627 on the final day of the state championships at Cerritos College in Norwalk.

La Mesa Helix, led by long jump champion Derrell Hutsona, won its first team title with a 23 1/2-19 1/2 victory over runner-up and favorite Compton Dominguez.

Solomon, who has signed with Arizona State, was overtaken by Michael Haddan of Irvine Woodbridge in the last 50 meters of the 800 in last year's state championships, but he dominated Saturday's race while running a school-record 1 minute 49.79 seconds. Mario Cobian of Rosemead was second in a career-best 1:51.14 and Haddan was third in 1:51.79.

Solomon's time was the fastest in the state this year, moved him to third on the yearly national list and bettered his previous best of 1:50.99. "That's my dream right there," Solomon said. "When I came into this race, I said I had to [break 1:50]."

Reid, who has signed with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, had watched helplessly in last year's state final when Matt Johnsrud of Roseville Woodcreek sped past him with 60 meters left in the 1,600. But he led for most of Saturday's race while running a state-leading and school-record 4:08.49.

Senior Humberto Rojas of Costa Mesa Estancia finished second in a career-best 4:10.58.

"My plan was to go through the 800 in 2:05," Reid said. "So when I heard the time, I just made up for it in the last two laps. I pushed it really hard in the last two laps."

Other Southland winners were junior Lionel Larry of Dominguez in the 200 at 20.97, sophomore David Gettis of Los Angeles Dorsey in the 400 at 47.41, senior Rudy Burgess of Edwards Air Force Base Desert in the triple jump with a school-record 50 feet 4 1/4 inches, Carson in the 400 relay at 41.53 and Long Beach Poly in the 1,600 relay at 3:14.35.

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