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State High School Track and Field Meet : Sophomore Lifts Taft to Title

Times Staff Writer

And a child shall lead them.

Sophomore Quincy Watts, who doesn’t turn 16 for another 11 days, was one of the first boys on the Cerritos College track Saturday night and one of the last to leave three hours later.

And he wasn’t alone in either case. First, there were three other members of the Taft 400-meter relay team, which finished second, thanks to Watts’ anchor leg.

Later, when the 1986 State high school championships had concluded before a capacity crowd of 12,000, Watts had more company than ever--namely the other members of the Taft team and Coach Tom Stevenson. Oh yeah, and the plaque for the boys’ team title, the first ever such award for a Valley team.

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In breaking Hawthorne’s three-year hold on the championship, the Toreadors of Woodland Hills got 26 points to win by one point over Johnson of Sacramento, led by sprinter Curtis Rogers. Carmichael Jesuit, getting the expected double-distance win from twins Eric and Mark Mastalir, finished third with 20. Ronald McCree and Madera tied with Katella of Anaheim for fourth at 18.

“We should have won,” Stevenson said. “We had the best team. And we had the best athlete.”

The Hawthorne girls, after finishing second to Pasadena Muir last year in Sacramento, got 40 points and, as expected, won the team title. Second-place Oakland had 22, followed by Pomona and Compton with 20 points each.

Watts, whose only two losses this season came against McCree at the Arcadia Invitational in April, won the race he wanted most Saturday--the 200. The national class and age-group record holder at 20.97, Watts’ 21.03 was .11 better than McCree this time. Muir’s Corey Ealy was third in 21.19 and Rogers fourth in 21.67.

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“I knew Corey Ealy would be out to push me,” Watts said. “I got out of the blocks strong and concentrated on working my shoulders on the curve . . . and from there I took it home.”

The sprint relay wasn’t so cut and dried, as Watts got the baton in a crowd somewhere between fifth and eighth place. The Toreadors had trouble on the handoff from the second to the third leg, he said, but charged back along the straightaway to run a 41.58, second to Hawthorne’s 41.30.

Stevenson, however, wouldn’t admit to the slightest glitch in the race. On this night, he wouldn’t admit to any problems in the world.

“You ain’t gonna get nothing negative from me tonight,” he said.

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McCree (10.57) edged Watts (10.59) in the 100 to defend his State title, with Kevin Hendrix of Fresno Roosevelt third at 10.63 and Ealy fourth in 10.65.

But for great times, there was nothing quite like the girls’ 1,600, where the top five finishers also recorded the top five times in the nation this year: Darcy Arreola of La Mesa Grossmont (4:42.77), Laurie Chapman of San Jose Gunderson (4:45.13), Shannon Clark of Mountain View of the Central Section (4:48.54), Laura Chapel of San Diego University City (4:49.53) and Robbyn Bryant of Hesperia (4:49.60).

Other notables:

--Junior Janeene Vickers of Pomona won the 300 low hurdles in 44.32, the best time in the nation this year, and also the 100 low hurdles in 13.74.

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--Chapman, bound for UCLA, also won the 3,200 in 10:12.86, the second-fastest time in the nation this year.

--The 45.54 by the Hawthorne girls in the 400 relay is the No. 2 time in the country for 1986.

--Mark Mastalir won the 1,600 in 4:07.81 and his brother, Eric, took the 3,200 in 8:44.95, the latter being the best time for the year and also ties the hand-timed best ever for California.

--Princess Bennett of Compton won the 400 and then anchored the Tarbabes to a 3:42.31 in the 1,600 relay. Hawthorne finished second in 3:43.15, the two best marks in the country for the season.

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