Ramsey Jay of Ventura High has qualified for today's Southern Section Masters Meet at Cerritos College in the 200 and 400 meters, but the Cougar junior is the first to admit that the 400 is his race.
"All my training is geared to the 400, not the 200," Jay said. "I'm a 400 man first and foremost. I come back in the 200 with whatever I have left after the 400."
Jay ran a personal best of 48.05 seconds in the 400 to win the Division II title in last week's Southern Section championships at Long Beach Veterans Stadium before clocking another personal best of 21.63 for third in the 200.
Those times make Jay the fifth-fastest entry in each event in the Masters Meet, in which the top five advance to next week's state championships. But don't expect Jay to qualify as easily as possible in the 400 so he can conserve energy for the 200, which is 40 minutes later.
That's not his style. Also, he probably can't afford that luxury. "I think the 400 is a strong enough field that you could have five or six guys break 48 seconds," he said. "I'm going to run the 400 all out and then I'll come back for the 200 with whatever is left."
Jay improved by sixth-tenths of a second in the 200 and by nearly a second in the 400 this year.
"My goal at the beginning of the year was to make it to the state meet and to run 47.90 in the 400 and 21.60 in the 200," Jay said. "So I'm almost there."
Seven other athletes from the region are entered in two events.
Jeremy Fischer of Camarillo (high jump, long jump), Jason Medearis of Hart (110 high hurdles, 300 intermediates), and Jamaal Chase of Quartz Hill (long jump, triple jump) are the others in the boys' meet. Dolores Tuimoloau of Channel Islands (shotput, discus), Kim Mortensen of Thousand Oaks (1,600, 3,200), Michelle Perry of Quartz Hill (100, 200) and Liz Giltner of Chaminade (100 high hurdles, high jump) are double entries in the girls' meet.