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Ventura County Championships(May 3rd 2012, 4:14am)
Ventura County Championships(May 3rd 2012, 4:14am)
ML Records Thru 2011(Apr 30th 2012, 3:20pm)



Top performances at county track championships

Published by
Scott Joerger   Apr 28th 2012, 5:20pm

Weiss' win one of many top performances at championships

Grant Weiss is accustomed to finishing off runs as a tailback with the Oxnard High football team.


Such experience paid dividends at the Ventura County Track and Field Championships on Friday.


Rebounding from a "really bad start," Weiss dialed up a strong finish and scored a razor-thin victory over a strong field in the boys 110-meter hurdles race at Moorpark High.


Catching and nipping the pack in the final 20 meters, Weiss scored the win in a school-record and personal-best 14.62 seconds.


The closest race of the meet had Adam Augustyn of Westlake place second in 14.67 and Jordan Pitcher of Oaks Christian take third in 14.68.


Weiss knows where he won his first county championship.


"At the finish," he said. "I had the really bad start, but I always find motivation because my teammate (Jelani Legohn) always starts faster than I do. I never want to let him beat me.


"I just starting powering through all the hurdles and caught everybody at the end."


Weiss' victory marked a passing of the torch in an event that has been dominated the past couple of seasons by graduated Agoura High star Johnathan Cabral.


"He was amazing to watch," said Weiss, who placed fourth in the same race a year ago. "I learned a lot just by watching him."


There were loads of starring performances Friday.


Repeat championships were earned by Ishmael Adams of Oaks Christian in the boys 100 dash and Karsen Sper of Thousand Oaks in the girls 100 hurdles.


Ishmael, a standout football cornerback who is headed to UCLA, flashed his football speed in winning his race in 10.81.


"After winning last year, it does put a little pressure on you to come through the second time," he said. "When you're surrounded by so many fast runners, all I can do is focus on my own race. I thought I had a strong finish."


Sper easily defended her title in 14.62.


"I always try to run the same way: Just run as fast as I can," she said. "It does feel good to win this again. I hope to take the momentum into CIF."


Sarah Baxter, the nation's leader in the girls 3,200, stuck to her specialty and won her second successive meet championship in 10:21.91.


A couple of throwing specialists won double championships in the field events. Kendall Mader of Newbury Park was first in the girls shot (40 feet, 10 inches) and discus (129-0).


Eric Beilke won the boys discus (169-05½) and shot put (54.0½).


Connor Stark of Oak Park won the boys pole vault in 16-0, tying his own meet record set a year ago.


Oak Park senior Sydney Ashley Lewis bettered her personal best in the girls 100 "by a lot" in winning the race in 11.63. Her previous best this season was 11.83.


"I'm happy," she said. "I wanted to run fast, but I didn't think I would go this fast. It's a great feeling."


Lewis later lost by a hair in the girls 200 to Oaks Christian double-winner Danni Alakija. The Lion finished in 24.33. Lewis was a wink back in 24.35.


Alakija, a sophomore, also won the girls 400 in 55.72.


"It means a lot to do well here because it's close to home and the competition is so good," she said. "It gives me more confidence heading into CIF."


An emotional double champion was Blake Selig of Rio Mesa.


As a junior, Selig suffered a broken fibula to his left leg on the same track in the CIF-SS prelims a year ago.


Selig won the boys 200 in 21.74, the long jump in 24-11/4 ran the second leg for Rio Mesa's winning 4x100 relay team and anchored the 4x400 relay team that won in 3:22.28.


In the 4x100, the Spartans, composed of Jordan Nunnery, Selig, Darion Zimmerman and Cameron Roach, won a virtual match race against Oaks Christian.


Rio Mesa crossed the finish line in 41.69. Oaks Christian, missing standout Vinnie Sauer, who was out with a tweaked hamstring, finished in 42.16.


Caitlin Turner of Thousand Oaks also topped her personal record by winning the girls 1,600 in 4:55.81.


"First time I've gone sub-5 minutes," she said. "There was such good competition that everybody pushed me. I went after it today. I wanted my PR."


Among other winners, Tommy Lopez of Thousand Oaks took first in the boys 1,600 in 4:19.87; Kyle Medina of Ventura won the boys 800 in 1:55.55; and Collin Gordon of Royal won the 300 hurdles in 39.21.


Kelly Reinke of La Reina was the girls 800 champion in 2:18.59 and Amanda Hamilton of Simi Valley was first in the girls 300 hurdles in 44.34. 

Read the full article at: www.vcstar.com
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