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High Schools | BOYS' TRACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

Quite Accomplished

Reid makes amends by completing an unbeaten season in the 1,600 meters with a state title.

June 20, 2003|John Ortega | Times Staff Writer

Had Phillip Reid of Oxnard Rio Mesa gotten too big for his britches?

It might have sounded that way while listening to his comments after the Golden West Invitational track and field meet at Cal State Sacramento on Sunday.

Reid had just scored a convincing victory over state champion Tim Nelson of Redding Liberty Christian in the boys' 3,200 meters, but said winning the race was "not that big of a deal."

That the Golden West Invitational, which is in its 44th year, is "really more of an exhibition" than a major meet.

Reid's comments could have been interpreted as being cocky, but to fully understand them, one needs to realize how emotionally drained he was after winning the 1,600 in the state track and field championships at Cerritos College in Norwalk on June 7.

How he was initially more relieved than happy to have won a race in which he had been beaten in the final 70 meters last year.

"I was telling my coach, 'Man, when my race is done, I'm going to be the happiest guy alive. Win or lose,' " Reid said after winning the state title in a school-record 4 minutes 8.49 seconds.

That focus might have worn on him, but it no doubt contributed to a superb senior season in which he ran four of the five fastest times in the state in the 1,600 and also clocked the sixth-fastest time in the 3,200.

He was undefeated in the 1,600 and his only two losses in the 3,200 came in meets in which he'd run the 1,600 less than 2 1/2 hours earlier.

All of those accomplishments led to Reid's selection as The Times' boys' track and field athlete of the year.

Like Reid, state 800 champion Duane Solomon of Lompoc Cabrillo was undefeated in his specialty. But Solomon wasn't quite as good in his secondary event, the 1,600, as Reid was in his, the 3,200.

While Solomon ran a fine 4:15.41 to finish third in the 1,600 in the Southern Section Division III final, Reid ran the 3,200 in a school-record 8:58.45 to win the Pasadena Games on March 29 and also ran 9:10.49 to complete a 1,600-3,200 double in the Southern Section Division II championships on May 24.

And then there was his victory Sunday, when he surged past Nelson with 210 meters to go on his way to a winning time of 9:02.76.

"I was honestly looking just to [run a career best]," said Reid, who has signed with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. "If I didn't win and I still [ran a career best], I would have rather had that, honestly. I would have rather run 8:55 and got third. Winning this meet is not that big of a deal because the state meet is the emotional peak of the year."

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

THE TIMES' RANKINGS

Final top 10 rankings of boys' track and field teams in the Southland:

1. DOMINGUEZ (SS-Div. III)

Junior sprinter Lionel Larry and senior hurdler Craig Woods helped Dons win Division III title and place second in state championships.

2. LONG BEACH POLY (SS-Div. I)

Junior sprinter Derrick Jones wasn't at his best at end of season because of injury, but Jackrabbits won their third consecutive Division I title and placed third in state.

3. LOYOLA (SS-Div. II)

Cubs placed 35th in state, but only Dominguez and Long Beach Poly would outscore the Division II champions in a hypothetical meet featuring all the Southland's top performers.

4. SERVITE (SS-Div. III)

Friars make first appearance in rankings after senior Matt Slater tied for second in 100 meters, placed fourth in 200 and anchored 400-relay team to sixth place in state.

5. DORSEY (City)

Sophomore David Gettis, state 400 champion, and junior Kai Kelly, City Section champion in 110 high hurdles and 300 intermediates, gave Dons dynamic duo at season's end.

6. CARSON (City)

Senior quarter-miler Brandon Myles led a Colt team that peaked nicely at end of season.

7. DESERT (SS-Div. IV)

Senior Rudy Burgess won state title in triple jump and placed third in long jump.

8. CYPRESS (SS-Div. II)

Centurions had talented senior trio in sprinter Anton Jamir, distance runner David Napper and thrower David Sampson.

9. TRABUCO HILLS (SS-Div. I)

Junior hurdler Brian Payne and senior jumper Jeremy Wooldridge paced Mustangs.

10. RIO MESA (SS-Div. II)

Phillip Reid won 1,600 in state championships, but hurdler Justin Johnson was slowed by a tight hamstring in meet.

-- John Ortega

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