Gary Young more than showed doubters he is Orange County’s fastest high school runner. In fact, he showed he is one of the nation’s finest.

Young, a Woodbridge senior, sprinted to victory in his 100-meter heat at the Southern Section Division II track and field preliminaries Saturday afternoon at UC Riverside.

Young, the Sea View League and county champion in the 100 and 200, ran 10.52 seconds with a slight tail wind of 2.49 meters per second. The maximum allowable is 2.00.


“That was probably the best start I have had all year,” he said. “Like I said last week, my times are going to go down as we get closer to State.”

Young also won his heat in the 200 in 21.83, into a head wind of 2.05.

Moreno Valley Canyon Springs junior Bryan Howard posted the day’s fastest times in both sprints, notching legal marks of 10.43 in the 100 and 21.12 in the 200.

The Esperanza girls qualified a number of athletes into next Saturday’s section finals at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach.

Aztec junior Kristy Kierulff broke a 16-year-old Division II record while leading all qualifiers in the high jump. Kierulff jumped 5-10 1/2, a quarter inch under her best, to break the mark of 5-10 1/4 set by Upland’s Kari Gosswiller in 1978.

Kierulff also ran the fastest leg on the Aztec 1,600 relay team, 58.0. The Aztecs ran 4:01.45, fastest in the county this spring.

Distance aces Courtney Pugmire (800 and 1,600) and Carrie Caulkins (1,600 and 3,200) qualified for the finals, loading up the Aztecs for more possible team points.


Other county highlights:

--Foothill’s Tara Oettinger won the long jump in a personal-best and county-leading 19-1 3/4. The junior also qualified second in the 400 (57.83) and sixth in the 200 (25.84).

--Saddleback seniors Mel and Matt Lete helped the Roadrunners into the 1,600-relay final after a long day’s work. Mel had the leading qualifying mark in the 300 intermediate hurdles (38.46) and Matt advance to the 400 final in 48.78.

--The Woodbridge girls 400 relay team, anchored by Meisha Wilson-Duval, posted the year’s fastest time in the county, 48.56. Warrior freshman Erin Stovall posted lifetime bests in the 100 (12.46) and long jump (18-0) to qualify for the finals.

--Orange standout Jaime Martinez easily advanced in the 1,600 (4:20.02) and 3,200 (9:24.82).

--State leader Wade Tift continued to impress in the shot put, winning by over three feet with a toss of 60-5 3/4. Teammate Gina Heads was the leading qualifier in the girls’ shot put (44-8) and second in the discus (140-7).

--Foothill’s Ethan Taub managed a rough double, qualifying in the 400 and 800. He ran a season-best 48.96 in the 400, then won his 800 heat in 1:57.77. Taub joined El Modena’s Chris Clark (1:56.84) in the 800 finale.

--Six county athletes are part of the nine-girl 300 intermediate hurdle final: Newport Harbor’s Lindsey Curtis (47.78), Foothill’s Katie Mook (47.62), El Dorado’s Tasha Walker (45.91), Kristen Reyes of Los Alamitos (47.43), Heaven Yosino of Woodbridge (47.16) and Delphia Moore of Orange (46.69).

--Cypress senior Jimmy Hutsell improved his season best in the 400, winning his heat by almost a second in 48.88 and qualifying with the fourth-fastest time of the day.