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SOUTHERN SECTION 4-A TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS : Martin Gains in 100, 200; Taylor and Fager Advance

San Clemente High School’s Tim Martin was the top Orange County boys’ performer and Edison’s Shelly Taylor and Mission Viejo’s Lisa Fager led the girls in the Southern Section 4-A track and field preliminaries Saturday at Gahr High School.

Martin qualified for next Saturday’s finals at Cerritos College by winning his heats in the 100-meter race (11.04 seconds) and the 200 (22.12); neither time was the day’s best. Long Beach Poly’s Andre Green ran an 11.01 in the 100 and a 21.59 (as did San Bernardino’s John Thomas) in the 200 for the top times.

Taylor finished first in the girls’ 1,600-meter run with a time of 5 minutes 4.91 seconds. She came back to win her 800-meter heat in 2:18.20--the second-best qualifying time to Muir’s Rhonda Robinson (2:17.04). El Toro’s Julie Focht and San Clemente’s Tabi Bahu also qualified in the 800. The top nine finishers in each event advance to the finals.

Ocean View’s Christie Engesser came into Saturday’s prelims with the best time (2:14.83) in the 800, but finished a disappointing fourth at 2:21.28 and failed to qualify.

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Dana Hills’ Dan Niednagel had the second-best qualifying time of 1:55.64 in the boys’ 800, and Marina’s Alan Grant qualified at 1:56.31. Marina’s Brian McCaffery won his 1,600-meter heat in 4:19.24, after Newberry Park’s Jeff Wilson was disqualified for stepping into another lane.

Mission Viejo’s Fager was among the six girls who qualified in the high jump at the day’s top mark of 5 feet 2 inches and had the best triple jump at 37-9 3/4.

Capistrano Valley long jumper Sarah Toomey, who came into the meet with a second-best mark of 17-11, did not compete after a medical exam Thursday revealed a stress fracture in her right leg.

Orange County performers fared best in the field events. Top qualifying marks were turned in by Dana Hills’ Andy Marrone in the discus (173-10 1/2), Mission Viejo’s Mark Slymen in the shot put (52-9), Capistrano Valley’s Tyson Jacobsen in the pole vault (13-6), and Marina’s Fridoon Abawi in the long jump (22-9).

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