Put the spotlight on Kevin Griswold and he will outshine it.
That’s the kind of senior season the Garden Grove track and field standout had, racking up victory after victory en route to the state meet finals.
Entering the season as Orange County’s preeminent athlete in the 100 and 200, Griswold added the 400 to his repertoire and earned The Times Orange County male track and field athlete of the year honors.
Griswold, who will attend the Air Force Academy this fall, began to show his prowess at the Orange County Championships, where he won all three individual sprint races and came from behind on the final leg to win the 400-meter relay.
The county meet showcased the 100 and 200, races which he won in 10.6 and 21.49, but also featured his expanding talents in the 400.
He outran defending champion Jess Strutzel of Huntington Beach and finished in 48.09, which stood as the county’s fastest time this season.
“That’s where his future is,” Garden Grove Coach Mark Mariola said later in the season.
“This has been my goal since the start of the season,” Griswold said at the time. “I wanted to go four-for-four.”
Almost as impressive was the fact that the Argonauts tied for third in the team competition at the Orange County Championships.
The next time the senior completed the quadruple feat, at the Garden Grove League finals, his team won the league title.
He won the 100 (10.9), 200 (22.7), 400 (50.1) and anchored the winning 400-meter relay (43.0).
At the Southern Section Division III finals at Long Beach Veterans Stadium, Griswold dropped the open 400 meters, opting to anchor the Argonauts 1,600-meter relay.
After running 10.83 and 21.34 for second place in the 100 and 200, and anchoring the 400-meter relay in a county-best 42.04 for third place, Griswold anchored the 1,600-meter relay to a third-place finish in a season-best 3:23.18.
A week later, at the Masters meet at Cerritos College, Griswold used his anger after finishing a non-qualifying sixth in 10.63 in the 100 meters to his advantage in the 200.
Gunning for a top-five finish, which guaranteed a spot in the next week’s state meet prelims, Griswold ran a 21.25, for fourth place. Not only was it a personal-best, it was the third-fastest time ever by a county athlete.
A third-place finish at the state meet (21.21) only served to secure his place among the all-time great county sprinters.