Before the 28th Mount San Antonio College Relays, Quincy Watts of Taft was considered by many track experts to be one of the top prep sprinters in the country.
His performances Saturday proved it.
The 6-3, 185-pound sophomore won the 100- and 200-meter dashes in personal best times of 10.61 and 21.03.
The fully automatic clocking in the 100 meters is the second fastest in the state this year among high school runners while his 200 effort is the second fastest in the nation.
Defending state champion Ronald McCree of Madera is the state leader in the 100 at 10.60 while Derrick Florance of Ball High in Galveston, Texas is the national leader in the 200 at 20.90.
In both races Saturday, Watts got off to good, but not great starts, and then simply blew away his competition. Guest competitor Eduardo Nava of Mexico finished a well-beaten second in both races in 10.79 and 21.62.
In addition to his individual efforts, Watts ran a brilliant anchor leg in the 400-meter relay. Although Taft ran a season-best 42.23, the team finished sixth. Muir won the race in a nation-leading 40.93.
“I’m happy with the times but I want to run faster before the season is over,” Watts said. “In the 200 I kind of wobbled coming out of the blocks, so I think I can run faster.”
When asked how much faster, Watts said he was shooting for a 10.3 in the 100 and a 20.8 in the 200.
Taft coach Tom Stevenson was ecstatic about the performances.
“I think he’s the best sprinter in the state right now. McCree from Madera is awfully good, but he’s not improving like Quincy is.”
While Watts was the leading individual performer from the Valley, Newbury Park ran a national-leading time in the girls distance medley relay. The team of Lara Nesbitt, Leslie Weak, Amy Nesbitt and Melissa Sutton ran 12:03.80.
Sutton, who has the second fastest prep time in the country at 3200 meters (10:29.96), clocked 4:58.9 on her 1600 meter anchor leg.
Rodney Bradshaw of Saugus, the Arcadia Invitational champion, ran two superb races in the hurdles. He finished second in the 300-meter intermediates behind Eddie McElroy of Loyola in a personal best of 38.06. McElroy’s 37.99 clocking is the fastest time in the Southern Section this year.
C.J. Fisher of Notre Dame also ran well, finishing third in a personal best of 38.19.
In the 110-meter highs Bradshaw again finished second in another personal best of 14.35. Undefeated Terry Johnson of Katella was first in 14.04.
In the girls 200 meters, Rio Mesa’s Angela Burnham finished second to Hawthorne’s Tami Stiles (23.89) in a wind-aided 24.67.
The boys 1500-meter run lost some of its luster when Eric and Mark Mastalir of Jesuit High in Sacramento didn’t compete, but the event still ranked as an outstanding race.
Daren Stonerock of Saugus, the 3,000 winner Friday, seemed ready to win the 1500 also. He clocked 62.2 at the 400 and 2:04.9 at 800 meters. But he faded quickly after that.
At the 900-meter mark, Jason Lienau of Clovis High took over the lead. He led at the bell lap in 2:53.5. But he failed to hold the lead, too. With 200 meters remaining, Raul Serratos of Moreno Valley, Mike McCracken of Loyola and Jim Zimmer of Simi Valley swept past the fading Lienau.
Finishing swiftly, Serratos ran away from his pursuers in the final 200 meters. His time was 3:52.89. McCracken finished second in 3:53.93 with Zimmer third in 3:55.25.
In the 100-meter low hurdles, Kelley Peacock of Van Nuys lowered her season best to 14.19 while finishing third. Janeene Vickers of Pomona won in a state-leading 13.56.
Several other Valley athletes turned in noteworthy performances. Robert Harris of Simi Valley placed fifth in the invitational 400. His 49.06 effort was a personal best. He also ran on both Simi Valley relay teams. The Pioneers clocked a season-best 42.01 to finish fourth in the 400 relay and 3:21.08 for fifth in the 1600 relay.
In the discus, Lance Ane of Saugus placed second at 173-1, which added almost five feet to his previous best.