Art Green likes to take his lofty position in stride. As girls track coach at Thousand Oaks High, he has molded a team that showed Friday afternoon how it plans to make a run at Hawthorne, Compton and Long Beach Poly for the Southern Section 4-A title.
During Friday's qualifying round at Gahr High in Cerritos, Green perched himself on the top row of the bleachers, content to make home movies of his performers with videotaping equipment borrowed from his father.
"I don't want anything to do with it," said the burly, bearded Green about the events down on the track. "If they are not ready now, they're just not ready."
Green had his athletes ready. The event had barely begun before Sharon Manship (45.28) and Staci Leach (45.31) posted qualifying times in the 300-meter low hurdles. Several minutes later, Christy Farrell won the third heat of the 3,200-meter run. Farrell posted the second-fastest time of the day at 10:57.63, but was seven seconds off the pace set by Marmonte League rival Melissa Sutton of Newbury Park, who ran a 10:50.31.
Later, Manship qualified in the triple jump with a 36-11 leap, second only to Ocean View's Debbie Orr, who set a Southern Section record of 38-7 1/2.
Green's only disappointment came when Leach, considered a shoo-in for a berth in the finals of the 100-meter low hurdles, was disqualified after a false start. But she rebounded in the first heat of the 1,600-meter relay when she came from five yards back during the third leg of the race and staked Manship to a 20-yard lead.
Stacia Pollock of Westlake was one of nine athletes tied at 5-4 in the high jump. Teammate Desiree Joubert qualified in the 800 and 1,600-meter runs and in the shotput.
In boys competition, Simi Valley, coached by Green's brother Doni, qualified competitors in nine events. Mike Carnes had the best qualifying mark in the long jump (23-2 1/2) and also qualified in the 100-meter dash with a clocking of 11.24.
The 4-A finals are scheduled for next Saturday at Cerritos College.