Timing Problems Force Searcy Into 100 Runoff

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Troy Searcy of Quartz Hill High is one of 15 athletes required to take part in runoffs Thursday at Gahr High in Cerritos to determine the final qualifying berths in six events for the Southern Section track and field championships.

The runoffs became necessary when section officials discovered Monday that the Accutrack timing device malfunctioned early in last Saturday's Division I preliminaries, resulting in incorrect times and erroneous seedings for the championships at Long Beach Veterans Stadium on Saturday.

The timing system's percussion device failed before the start of the girls' 100-meter high hurdles--the fifth event of the meet--and remained inoperable for the duration of the competition.

After discovering the malfunction, Accutrack operator Joe Raya started the machine by hand at the start of each race but allowed it to record automatic times.

Raya said he informed the starter of the malfunction, but apparently other meet officials were unaware of it.

Consequently, the times, which should have been rounded up to the nearest tenth of a second, were recorded as fully automatic times in hundredths.

Searcy thought he had advanced to the Division I final with a time of 10.62 seconds in the 100 meters, when, in fact, he was one of four sprinters who should have been credited with a 10.7 clocking.

Searcy, Jamal Carr of Muir, Anthony Rudolph of West Covina and Tyson Murphy of Santa Monica will compete in the runoff. The top two finishers will advance to the Division I final.

Other runoffs will be staged in the boys' 200, 400 and 110-meter high hurdles and in the girls' 100 and 100 high hurdles.

As a result of the timing malfunction, the wind-aided marks of Redlands' Pat Johnson in the 100 (10.19) and 200 (20.61), and Hart's Jason Medearis in the 110 high hurdles (13.64) have been converted to hand times of 10.2, 20.7 and 13.7.

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