Marion Jones of Thousand Oaks High loves to run the 200 meters because she uses the staggered start of the race as motivation for a fast time.
It is a tactic that often produces nation-leading marks, and Saturday before 4,350 at the Southern Section Divisional track and field championships at Cerritos College, it held true to form.
Jones, the two-time defending State 100- and 200-meter champion, made up the stagger early and won the 200 easily in 22.70 seconds. It is the second-fastest prep girls' mark ever, to her national record time of 22.67, which she established in last week's preliminaries, faster.
"I want to like the 100, but it's hard because I can't see or hear anyone," said Jones, who also won the 100 meters and ran a leg on Thousand Oaks' winning 400- and 1,600-meter relay teams. "The 200 is my favorite because I get a chance to see other runners at the start.
"Today, I felt good, but I wasn't running for times. I just wanted our team to win."
Behind Jones, who won the 100 in 11.38 seconds, fastest in the nation this year, Thousand Oaks won its first 3-A Division team title with 58 points.
Huntington Beach Edison, behind Shelly Taylor's victories in the 800 and 1,600 meters, finished second with 44 points, and Lompoc, with Twila Sims' victories in the 100- and 300-meter low hurdles, was third with 40.
Long Beach Poly ended Pasadena Muir's three-year winning streak in the girls' 4-A Division with a strong performance by freshman Andrea Anderson, who won the 100 and 200 meters and ran a leg on the Jackrabbits' winning 1,600-meter relay team.
Long Beach Poly--which also received key points from freshman Aminah Haddad, juniors Channelle Anderson and Latasha Prothro and senior Zandrea Shorts--finished with 81 points. Muir was second with 47.
"I'm real happy for the kids because they worked so hard," Long Beach Poly Coach Don Norford said. "It's great to win and to be so young. The entire day was a learning experience, and I think that they realize now what it takes to do well at this level."
In the girls' 1-A Division, Downey Pius X won the team title with 61 points behind Chandra Brooks and Sherise Sandoz's first- and third-place finishes in the 100 and 200 meters, respectively, and legs on its winning 400- and 1,600-meter relay teams. Fillmore finished second with 38 points, with Nikki Shaw's victories in the 800 and 1,600 meters.
For the third consecutive year, Inglewood Morningside ran away with the girls' 2-A Division title with an impressive display of team depth in scoring a Southern Section Divisional team record of 96 points.
Sprinters Tai-Ne Gibson and Santisha Arnold led Morningside, finishing first and second, respectively, in the 100 and 200 meters and running legs on the winning 400- and 1,600-meter relay teams. Morningside's Sanoma Nickson won the 100-meter low hurdles and finished third in the 100 meters, and Jaronda White won the 400 meters.
Morningside also won the boys' 2-A Division with 54 points, ahead of Valencia's 42.
Edwin Turner won the 400 meters and ran a leg on the Monarchs' winning 1,600-meter relay and second place 400-meter relay teams.
Loyola was led by Keith Moten's victories in the 110-meter high hurdles and 300-meter intermediate hurdles and Robert Stoll's victory in the pole vault.
In the 4-A Division, Long Beach Wilson ended Long Beach Poly's hopes of matching its girls' team title by edging the Jackrabbits, 47-42.
La Puente Nogales won the 3-A Division team title with 56 points, ahead of Santa Ana Valley's 38.
Harvard-Westlake won the 1-A Division with 60 points, with Pius X second with 50. Jesse Stern's victory in the pole vault and Dave Moran's first place in the 400 meters were enough for Harvard to outdistance Gentry Bradley's outstanding performance for Pius X.