HIGH SCHOOL TRACK AND FIELD : Keim Finds Fame Fleeting with Das Neves

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Brian Keim amended Andy Warhol's theory on fame Saturday. Keim's fame lasted only a little more than four minutes.

That's how long it took Helix's Daniel Das Neves to eclipse Keim's county-best time in the 1,600 meters.

In the first heat at Saturday's Section preliminaries at Balboa Stadium, Keim finished in 4 minutes, 14.85 seconds.

That bettered Das' Neves' previous county-best time of 4:17.1.

But Das Neves wiped away Keim's effort in the second heat with a state-best time of 4:08.63, replacing the 4:09.78 run earlier this year by San Gabriel's Angel Martinez.

Before Das Neves finished his heat, Keim was asked about next week's Section finals and whether Das Neves would be unbeatable.

"You never go into a race thinking someone is unbeatable," Keim said. "I just have to concentrate on myself and have the best race I can. And if I beat him, great. But if not, I won't be disappointed in myself."

Keim said he would shoot for a mark of 4:10, thinking that would be good enough to compete.

"And hopefully next week I'll have a good kick," Keim said. "It will come down to the kick."

Then Das Neves blew by the finish line, and suddenly 4:10 didn't sound so fast anymore.

"Yeah, sure I can go faster than this," Das Neves said after catching his breath. "I think it's realistic to say (I can go 4:06) right now. In fact, if I can work out this week, I'll probably get (4:06) next weekend."

Das Neves ran Saturday's race with a left ankle and toe injury that forced him to skip practice this past week.

Both are recurring injuries that nagged Das Neves toward the end of the last high school season.

"Every time I get to this stage of the season, it all comes back," he said. "I think it's all the intense training and lack of rest."

Das Neves trains under Luiz de Oliveira, considered one of the top distance coaches in the world. Both are from Brazil.

But now Das Neves fears training alongside world-class athletes like Joaquim Cruz, Jose Barbosa and Ocky Clark has taken a toll.

"I'm worried because last year I had the same thing, only not this bad. It hurt, but I could still run. This week, I couldn't run."

Das Neves hopes the injuries are sufficiently healed now and will allow him to train. That combined with Keim's presence in the same race should push him to an even faster time.

"He'll put pressure on me and keep me from relaxing," Das Neves explained.

While Das Neves, the defending state champion in the 1,600 meters, is trying to emerge from injury, another runner showed that he has emerged.

Southwest sprinter Riley Washington had the swiftest qualifying time in the 100 meters, 10.70 seconds.

That still isn't close to the 10.62 Washington ran at the end of March during the Sundevil Invitational. It was the fastest time in the state, but a poor barometer of what was to come as Washington's season headed south.

Washington had to deal with several jolts, the first of which came when Carl Parrick, Washington's sprints coach for the past three years, transferred to Bonita Vista. Washington was left on his own.

"Coach (Chuck) Quillan is the head coach, and he can't do everything," Washington said. "So after Coach Parrick left, whenever I needed that extra incentive or advice, Coach Quillan was too busy. He tries so hard, but there's only so much one man can do."

Washington also contracted the flu, then strep throat, then a spinal virus. He lost at least 10 pounds, and with the weight went his ranking as the county's top sprinter.

"I remember running at Arcadia," Washington said. "I had such a large lead, then all of a sudden everyone came up from behind me and I finished third."

That was all it took for Washington to realize he needed to take some time off. He just wasn't expecting a month-long recovery period.

But that's how long it took, and when Washington finally felt healthy enough to compete again, he entered the Orange Glen Invitational only to get blown away by University City's Paul Turner.

"I know Paul," Washington said. "And he's a good guy, but I disappointed myself in that race."

He made up for it Saturday. Turner was in the same heat and he finished several steps behind Washington at 10.85.

Track Notes

Lincoln sprinter Scott Hammond qualified first in the 200 with a state-best time of 21.31. . . . Josh Bailey of RBV bettered his county best in the 110 high hurdles with a leading-qualifying time of 15.06. Bailey also placed second in the pole vault at 14-0. Teammate Josh Fuller won that even at 14-6, and a another RBV vaulter, Justin Wilson, placed third at 13-0. Not bad considering all of RBV's poles were stolen less than two weeks ago and the team is using unfamiliar, borrowed poles. . . . Serra's Angela Sullivan beat her county best in the 100 with a time of 12.01, then did the same in the 200 by qualifying first at 24.56.

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