Hilltop High School distance runner Ellis del Sol was expecting to run in the slower of two heats for the boys high school mile at the Sunkist Indoor Invitational track meet last Friday night at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
But he was switched to the seeded run, which included some of the country's best prep milers.
"There were too many in the slow race," del Sol said. "I was scared. All those guys have run sub-4:11 miles. I've never run under 4:16. I wasn't in their league."
However, del Sol surprised himself when he finished second, losing only to John Quade of Seattle.
"I thought I was going to get smoked," del Sol said. "But the pace was slow. People in the audience were yelling at us to pick it up. It turned out to be a race of tactics."
Del Sol, who started in last place, passed one runner each lap, and mover into in second place with a quarter mile to the end. Quade finished in 4:22.0, del Sol 4:26.4.
Saturday's performance was a comeback of sorts for del Sol, who finished a disappointing 50th in the Kinney regional high school cross-country championships at Fresno last month. Four of del Sol's Sunkist opponents had advanced from the Kinney regionals to the national championships.
Add Sunkist: Mount Carmel's Lesley Noll finished second in the girls seeded 880 with a time of 2:13.9, and Monte Vista's Tracy Baker finished fifth in 2:24. El Camino 1984 boys sprint champion Darron Norris was disqualified in the boys 60-yard dash because of a false start. Henry Thomas of Hawthorne High won the event in 6.0.
Basketball business: The No. 9 Point Loma boys basketball team will decide much of its fate this week as it plays No. 2 Patrick Henry on Wednesday and No. 5 Morse on Friday in City Eastern League games. Patrick Henry (3-0, 16-0) enters the week leading the City East. Point Loma (2-1, 13-3), Morse (2-1, 8-4) and Madison (2-1, 8-6) are tied for second. Morse has the schedule in its favor, however, in its battle for the second playoff spot. The Tigers already have played Patrick Henry once.
No. 3 Sweetwater apparently is on its way to another Metro Mesa League title, but Bonita Vista (4-1, 8-6) and Castle Park (3-2, 6-7) are fighting for the second playoff spot. Castle Park plays host to the Barons on Wednesday. If Bonita Vista wins, it will open a two-game lead over the Trojans. If the Barons lose, Castle Park has a good chance of moving into second place by the week's end. Bonita Vista entertains Sweetwater (6-0, 17-2) on Friday and Castle Park plays at Mar Vista (1-5, 3-11).
Other games to watch this week: No. 4 Monte Vista (9-0, 15-1) hosts Helix (6-2, 10-5) in a Grossmont League game on Friday. Helix is in third place, one game behind El Capitan (8-1, 12-4). Top-rated Poway (5-0, 15-0) entertains Mount Carmel (4-1, 8-9) in a Palomar League game on Wednesday. The Sundevils are in second place, one game ahead of Torrey Pines (3-2, 7-9).
Battle of the beatens: The University City and Clairemont boys basketball teams have combined for an 0-27 record this season. Something must give, however, when University City (0-3, 0-13) plays host to Clairemont (0-3, 0-14) in a City Western League game on Wednesday.
Winning streaks: The Point Loma girls basketball team (3-0, 15-0) tied a San Diego Section record of 44 straight wins when it beat Mira Mesa, 73-18, on Friday at Point Loma High. The Pointers, who were 29-0 and State Division II champions last season, will attempt to win their 45th straight against the Patriots (3-0, 9-2) at Patrick Henry on Wednesday at 3 p.m. Fallbrook (1977-79) currently shares the record with Point Loma.
The Sweetwater boys basketball team won its 45th consecutive Metro League game with its, 86-66, win against Montgomery on Friday.
Colbourne will return: All-County center John Colbourne of Poway said he expects to be ready to play Mount Carmel on Wednesday. Colbourne sprained an ankle against Torrey Pines on Jan. 16 and missed Poway's 80-65 win against Orange Glen on Friday.
"I should be ready for Mount Carmel," Colbourne said on Saturday. "I've been able to walk around a little bit."
In Colbourne's absence, forward Dominick Johnson scored 28 points and had 18 rebounds against Orange Glen to lead the No. 1 Titans. Colbourne, a 6-foot 8-inch senior, is averaging 17.3 points per game.
The count is over: El Camino girls basketball standout Sharon Turner became the San Diego Section all-time leading scorer when she scored 60 points, raising her career total to 2,036, in El Camino's 121-16 win against Ramona. The 60-point game also tied the girls single game scoring record set by Linda Nelson of Hilltop in 1976.
Turner added 38 points on Thursday in a 93-29 win against San Pasqual to raise her county-leading scoring average to 33.9 points per game. Turner is followed by Point Loma's Terri Mann (25.7) and Santana's Chris Sherman (22.9).