SOUTHERN SECTION MASTERS TRACK AND FIELD MEET : Thrasher's Crowning Achievement Caps a Senior Year of Improvement


In the span of several hours Friday night, Susannah Thrasher won a Southern Section track title, taking six seconds off her career-best time in the process, and was named queen of her senior prom at Villa Park High School.

A magical evening, to be sure.

Thrasher had not expected to be named prom queen, but the track title--the 3-A 1,600 meters--was a bit less surprising, considering it was something Thrasher had been working toward for the past three years.

"Just thinking about it now I'm still surprised I could even get that," Thrasher said Tuesday of her victory. "I didn't consider myself able to do that, but as the weeks went on, I started thinking, well, maybe I do have a chance."

Thrasher's chances of winning the 1,600 title in the Southern Section Masters meet Friday at Cerritos College are slim; she has the sixth-fastest time of the nine entrants. More realistically, Thrasher hopes to finish among the top five, which would qualify her for the state meet, June 1-2 at Cerritos.

Among those entered in the Masters 1,600 are Edison sophomore Shelley Taylor, who won the 4-A title in 4 minutes 59.17 seconds; Agoura's Deena Drossin, the 1-A winner in 4:58.73, and South Hills' Karen Hecox, the 2-A champ (4:52.38) and race favorite.

Thrasher--her name was listed as "Thrashed" in the Southern Section meet program--won the 3-A race in 5:02.10. Her previous best was 5:08.07.

"I went out hard in the beginning. I wanted to get a decent time to qualify for Masters," she said. "(Mater Dei's Kelly) Flathers was with me, right on my tail with a gun lap to go. . . . I started my kick (but) eventually I didn't hear her."

Even though Thrasher has not broken five minutes for the mile, she is pleased with her accomplishments during her senior year. During the previous two years, she was a good--but never a great--high school runner.

During cross-country last fall, Thrasher was undefeated in the Century League and finished a surprising sixth at the state championships.

In April, she finished fifth in the 1,600 at the prestigious Arcadia Invitational. Her time of 5:08.07--she hadn't run faster than 5:20 as a junior--was an indication of her improvement.

Next year, Thrasher will be competing for UCLA.

"I've just really enjoyed the competition this year. It's fun for me," Thrasher said. "I get nervous for the big (invitational) meets, but for something like Arcadia I wasn't. It's just an honor to be there."

Masters notes

The meet starts with the field events at 5:30 p.m. The first running event, the girls' 400-meter relay, starts at 7. The final event, the boys' 1,600 relay, is scheduled for 9:10. . . . One of the county's best showdowns will be in the boys' 100 and 200 with San Clemente's Tim Martin and Los Alamitos' Erik Mitchell. The last time the two met was in the 100 final at the Orange County Championships March 24. Mitchell beat Martin, 10.71 to 10.93 in that meet. . . . Also, in the girls' 1,600 relay, Esperanza (3:55.36), Woodbridge (3:56.34) and Mission Viejo (3:57.47) will continue their traditional county battle. . . . Edison's Shelley Taylor, who won the 4-A 800 and 1,600 last week, has dropped out of the 800 to concentrate on the 1,600. . . . Other top county boys' entrants include Magnolia's Phouphet Singbandith (long jump, triple jump), Esperanza's Roshawn Sims (400), El Modena's Mike Terry (800), Saddleback's Robby Price (3,200), El Toro's Dave Fair (300 hurdles), Esperanza's Mark Parlin (shotput), University's Af Haghighi and Loara's Albert Avila (discus), and Capistrano Valley's Tyson Jacobsen (pole vault). . . . Other top county girls include Woodbridge's Kaci Keffer (400, 300 hurdles), La Quinta freshman Elinor Tolson (both hurdles), Katella's Martha Pinto (3,200) and Donna Mills (800), Estancia's Debbie Hargrove (discus), and Mission Viejo's Allison Axtell (long jump), Lisa Fager and Tammy Graham (triple jump) and Kristin Dunn (shotput).

MASTERS MEET AT A GLANCE What: The Southern Section Masters track meet

Where: Cerritos College, Norwalk

When: Friday, 5:30 p.m. (field events); 7 p.m. (running events).

Who: Athletes who finished among the top nine in their event at last week's division finals.

Next: Athletes who finish in top five Friday advance to the CIF State Meet, June 1-2 at Cerritos College.

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