Runners, leapers and throwers of heavy objects will make tracks for Camarillo High's Ackerman Stadium on Friday for the Ventura County high school track and field championships.
"There are strong entries this year, especially in the running events," Rio Mesa track Coach Brian FitzGerald said.
The most elite feet to pitter-patter down the latex, all-weather track will belong to Angela Burnham of Rio Mesa. The junior has the fastest time among high school girls in the nation this year in the 200-meter dash (22.94) and has the second-fastest time in the 100 (11.65).
Burnham's freshman sister, Alecia, is the county's top long jumper but she will need a long rehabilitation after seriously injuring her right knee during a dual meet at San Marcos last week. Rio Mesa, a team with balance as well as Burnhams, will counter the loss by entering the county's second-best longest jumper, Mary Bittner. Lisa Noller of Thousand Oaks, another team with a wealth of talent, should challenge Bittner.
In fact, Spartans and Lancers dominate several events. Scott Atkins of Thousand Oaks is the favorite in both the boys' 200- and 400-meters and Travis Cooksey of Rio Mesa should win the 800. Paul McCarter of Thousand Oaks has stepped down to the 800 from his specialty, the 1,600, to see if Cooksey crumbles.
Thousand Oaks should take the 1,600 anyway behind Mike Williamson, who has run 4:22.95.
State cross-country champion Bryan Dameworth of Agoura must outrun Mike Esparza of Newbury Park in the 3,200. Royal's Chad Sourbeer is a slight favorite to sprint to victory in the 100 meters and he may also push Atkins in the 200.
Charles Brown of Channel Islands may breeze to victory in the 300 intermediate hurdles. The junior has run 38.71. However, Brown should be challenged in the 110 high hurdles by Westlake's Jerry Edwards, Rio Mesa's Matt Pizza and Ventura's Jason Matheny.
Nathan Cotten of Nordhoff is favored to post a double victory in the long jump and triple jump. Tim Loomer of Buena is the leading high jumper and the Ventura tandem of Won Lee and Tran Sanders could place 1-2 in the shot put.
Simone Cain of Hueneme is nearly as heavy a favorite in the 400 as Burnham is in the shorter sprints. The senior has run 56.13.
The 800 should come down to Andrea Dellamonica of Calabasas and Westlake's Desiree Joubert, who is healthy for the first time this year.
State cross-country champion Deena Drossin of Agoura and Jennifer Feller of Westlake have both run 5:11 in the 1,600. Drossin and Jessica Craven of Camarillo should battle in the 3,200.
Loni Larson of Fillmore is the top hurdler and Carol Myszkowski of Royal is favored in the triple jump. The shot put should be won by Agoura's Jennifer Whelchel, last year's state champion.
Field events begin at 4 p.m. and running events begin at 4:30. The best 27 athletes in each event have been invited to the meet, which has three levels of competition: Athletes with the top nine marks in each event this year compete in the invitational division; the second nine are in the seeded division and the third nine in the rated division.