For a few fleeting moments, Jeremy Fischer of Camarillo High and Dolores Tuimoloau of Channel Islands were disappointed with their performances Saturday in the state track and field championships before a crowd of 9,318 at Cerritos College.
Then they realized they were champions.
Fischer slapped his hands together in frustration after missing his third attempt at 7 feet 2 inches in the high jump, but when Rich Pitchford of Charter Oak missed his third attempt, Fischer was declared the winner because he cleared 7-0 on his first attempt while it took Pitchford three tries.
"I feel like 20 pounds has been taken off my back," Fischer said. "I was hoping to go higher, but I felt like I had a lot of pressure on me coming into this meet. . . . I guess I'm starting to realize that I can't expect to (be attempting) 7-4 3/4 or 7-5 1/2 every meet."
Fischer, the yearly national outdoor leader at 7-4, cleared 6-4 on his first attempt, but he fell to third when it took him two attempts to get over 6-8.
Pitchford maintained his lead by clearing 6-9 on his first attempt, 6-10 on his second and 6-11 on his first, but after passing those three heights, the Wisconsin-bound Fischer moved into first by popping over 7-0 on his first effort.
"I think he had a little bit of a letdown when (Arthur Lloyd of Rialto Eisenhower) went out at 6-8," Camarillo Coach Dennis Riedmiller said. "I think he knew that Pitchford was close to his top height at 7 feet, so when he made that height on his first attempt, he knew he had a great chance at winning."
Fischer, second behind Jeff Nadeau of Monroe in last year's state championships, is the second Camarillo athlete to win a state title. Eric Reynolds won the 3,200 meters in 1983.
"We had two major goals at the start of the season," Riedmiller said. "The first was to earn a college scholarship, which we did, and the second was to win State. Everything else is just icing on the cake."
Tuimoloau's 46-10 effort in the shotput was well short of her personal best of 49-2, but she said becoming Channel Islands' first state champion was a "dream come true."
She also finished eighth in the discus with a throw of 137-7.
"At first, I was disappointed that I didn't hit 50 feet," said Tuimoloau, who posted a mark of 49-0 1/2 in Friday's preliminaries. "But then I said, 'Oh well. I didn't get it, but I did get first place and you can't top that in the state meet."
After fouling on her first attempt, Tuimoloau took the lead in the second round with a put of 45-10 1/4. Her efforts of 45-9 1/4, 45-1 and 46-10 in the next three rounds gave her the best four marks of the competition. Peka Laulu of Nogales placed second at 44-11 1/2.
Muir and Oakland Skyline won the boys' and girls' team titles, each with 36-point totals.
The victory was Muir's first since 1990. Skyline's was its first ever.
The Hart boys, powered by Jason Medearis and Brett Strahan, finished fifth with 16 points.
Medearis struggled to a fourth-place finish in the 110-meter high hurdles with a wind-aided time of 14.23 seconds before bouncing back with a second-place effort of 37.38 seconds in the 300 intermediates.
Strahan ran 4 minutes 9.98 seconds--the second-fastest time of his career--to place fourth in the 1,600 meters.
In other events, Antonio Arce of Palmdale, Cathy Prater of Agoura, Ramsey Jay of Ventura and Mike Wenz of Canyon each produced personal bests and region-leading marks in their events.
Arce ran 9:03.19 to finish second in the 3,200 behind San Diego's Mebrathom Keflezighi (8:58.11). It was the third meet in a row that the Falcon junior lowered his personal best, which was 9:25.68 three weeks ago.
Prater had to stutter-step at three of the eight hurdles in the 300 lows, but still finished second in 43.62 seconds with Buena sophomore Stacy Hebert sixth in 44.50.
Prater's time moved her to sixth on the all-time region list.
"It was not a great technical race for me," Prater said. "But I'm happy. It's a (personal record) and I finished second."
Jay and Wenz recorded personal bests for the second day in a row.
Jay finished fourth in the 400 in 47.49 seconds, with Andre DeSaussure of Taft--last year's runner-up--sixth in 47.70.
Wenz surged from eighth to fifth in the final straightaway of the 800 meters to record a time of 1:53.20.
Esa Sallinen of Burroughs finished fourth in the pole vault (15-10) and Danny Haag of Granada Hills did likewise in the long jump (wind-aided 23-4 3/4).
Sophomore Kim Mortensen of Thousand Oaks and senior Gabriela Rodriguez of Oxnard finished fifth and sixth in the girls' 3,200 with times of 10:55.38 and 10:55.45. Chaminade freshman Liz Giltner placed sixth in the high jump at 5-7.
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