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Eastlake takes Central Relays

March 16, 2002|By RICHARD MYERS

Sports Editor

The final standings show Eastlake High of Chula Vista was the big winner at Saturday's Central Relays in El Centro.

A strong case also could be made for host Central Union High boys track and field team, or just about anyone else for that matter.

As one parent in the stands observed late in the day, "that wind is a force to be reckoned with." Somehow the athletes managed to cope with gusting winds and swirling dust.

Eastlake won both the boys and girls divisions. The Eastlake Titans garnered 83 points to runner-up Yuma's 61. Cibola was third (46). A close fourth was Brawley Union High's "A" team (43) while Southwest was fifth (37).


Eastlake barely won the boys division, holding off Central. The Titans posted 68 points to Central's 64. The Spartans had a chance in the meet's final event, the 4x200-meter relay, to overtake Eastlake but Central came up short, failing to place.

Yuma placed third in the boys division (52), Brawley "A" was fourth (41) and Cibola rounded out the top five (40).

Central coach Ron Shane was ecstatic over his Spartans' finish. "This is the second week in a row we've won a trophy," he said, noting Central took second at the Yuma meet last week.

Shane attributed Central's success to a good work ethic, a good turnout for the track program and the fact the Spartans are a senior-dominated squad.

Southwest High went into the meet with high hopes, but the Eagles were grounded by factors out of their control.

"We had a lot of athletes missing today," Southwest coach Mike Becker said.

Southwest brought just 18 athletes as more than a dozen others had other commitments, including participating in an SAT preparation course and going to a national drill team competition.

"I can't really fault them for not being here," Becker said. "After all they are student-athletes."

Those athletes who did compete had to battle both the competition and the elements.

The wind blew hard all day and had an effect on a number of events.

"I could feel the win every time I went over a hurdle," said Southwest's Jennifer Black, who won the girls' 100-meter hurdles with a time of 16.33. That mark broke her own school record.

Despite the wind, Black said she felt good during her race.

"I took just three steps between each hurdle," she said, noting she just seemed to float down the track.

"The wind definitely was a factor," Brawley's Richard Encinas said after he won the boys' 110-meter high hurdles by a slight margin.

Encinas was unsure of his winning time. "They said I ran a 15.57, but they had the second-place guy timed in 14.9."

Encinas noted a crosswind blowing from his right bothered him during the race. He also was a little exhausted, having run an earlier heat race in the hurdles. And he still had a couple of races to run later in the day.

Southwest's Rashauna Amos was named the meet's outstanding female athlete. Besides running on relays she also won the girls 100-meter dash, timing 12.2.

"The wind bothered me," she said. "I could feel it pushing and pulling me."

She still won her race rather handily.

Athletes who competed in the field events also had to deal with the wind.

"It took a couple of inches off my jump," said Central's Andrea Betancourt, after having to deal with a crosswind in the triple jump.

"You could feel little gusts of wind right when you were about to jump," she added.

Calexico's Chris Ramsey admitted the crosswind played havoc with his normal routine in the long jump. "It caused me to make some miscalculations with my jump," he said. "I stutter-stepped a lot."

Ramsey also competed in the high jump but he admitted it did not bother him as much as it might have others.

Ramsey approached the pit from the right side with the wind at his back. Those jumpers who came at the bar from the other side were not as fortunate as they had to jump into the win.

La Quinta's Jared Morgan was named the meet's top male athlete. He competed in both the shot put and discus and wowed spectators, coaches and fans alike with his performance.

Morgan threw more than 200 feet in the discus during practice and also hit 60 feet in the shot put.

For more results, see Scoreboard, B4.

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