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Strutzel’s Best Effort Can’t Beat Granville in the Preliminaries

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Huntington Beach distance runner Jess Strutzel had the best view of the performance of the evening in the preliminaries of the state track meet Friday at Cerritos College.

The senior ran his second-best time of the season, 1 minute 53.20 seconds, to finish second in his heat of the 800 meters, but could only watch in awe as Bell Gardens senior Michael Granville broke the 15-year-old national record some 50 meters ahead of him.

“I was in the best spot,” Strutzel said. “I was glad to be in the same heat as him so that I had that push.”

Granville ran in 1:46.41, breaking the old prep standard of 1:47.31 by Pete Richardson of Berkeley in 1981.

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Strutzel and Granville, both of whom will attend UCLA next fall, will compete in the finals today, when the top nine athletes in each event meet.

Today’s finals begin with the girls’ pole vault at 2 p.m. Running events start at 4 p.m.

Huntington Beach junior Scott Moser posted the lead qualifying mark in the discus.

Moser, the Sunset League and Orange County champion, threw 179 feet 9 inches on his second of three throws.

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The Villa Park boys’ 1,600-meter relay team of Lyndon Covington, Steve Moffat, Shane Vickers and Chuck Reid qualified for the final with a 3:18.12 clocking, a three-second improvement over their previous county best time.

Garden Grove senior Kevin Griswold ran in 21.39 to win his heat of the 200 meters and advance to the final. More importantly, he edged Mission Hills Alemany sophomore Miguel Fletcher for the first time.

“I was fresh today and that was probably the best I’ve felt before a race in a long time,” said Griswold, the county champion in the 100, 200 and 400 meters.

Edison’s two senior throwers advance. Brodie Reiderich grabbed the final qualifying spot in the boys’ shotput with an effort of 55-6 1/2. Marie Philman advanced in the girls’ discus with a toss of 140-5.

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Charger teammate Kerry O’Bric was the sixth-leading qualifier in the long jump with a mark of 18-4 1/4. The senior also qualified in the same position in the triple jump with a leap of 37-11 1/4.

Kelly O’Connor of Esperanza, the defending champion in the triple jump, posted the top qualifying jump of 39-4.

Tustin junior Dominique DeGrammont was also a heat winner in the high hurdles, as the Masters meet winner edged the competition in the first heat of the boys’ 110 meter race in 13.95.

DeGrammont and Matt Blasdel of Santa Margarita also qualified in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles, running 37.80 and 38.25.

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Pat Swanson of Esperanza will join DeGrammont in the high hurdle final, running in 14.40 to take the ninth qualifying spot.

Notes

El Toro junior Elliott Parks and Laguna Hills junior Tayyiba Haneef advanced to the boys’ and girls’ high jump finals, clearing 6-8 and 5-6, respectively. Ashley Bethel of Mission Viejo advanced as well, running 14.45 to win her heat of the 100-meter high hurdles. Erica Hoernig of Foothill, the national outdoor leader in the pole vault, failed to negotiate 10 feet, the opening height in the event. Marina standout Katie Rorem, however, did advance with a 10-6 clearance. Christa Fitzgerald of Dana Hills failed to advance in the 800 meters, running 2:16.37 for fourth in the second heat. Dan Noll of El Toro (53-1 1/4) and Rich Nichols of Corona del Mar (51-8 1/4) also ended their seasons in the shot put. Los Amigos standout Carrie Axton (126-3) and Marina senior Sonya Bryant (122-5) failed to advance in the girls’ discus.


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