Best of the Valley Are Running in Fast Lane


They are the fastest group of high school sprinters ever to come out of the San Fernando Valley.

Seniors Justin Fargas of Notre Dame, Miguel Fletcher of Alemany, Quincy Wright of El Camino Real and Demetrus Patterson of Birmingham will run in qualifying heats of the state track and field championships today at Cerritos College.

Field events start at 2 p.m. with qualifying in the girls’ pole vault. Running events begin at 5 with heats of the girls’ 400-meter relay.

Finals will be held Saturday, with field events starting at 2 and running events beginning at 4.


Fargas, defending state champion in the 100 meters, will run in that event and in the 1,600 relay today, with Fletcher, Wright and Patterson competing in the 100 and 200.

Fargas, Fletcher and Darrell Rideaux of Long Beach Poly placed 1-2-3 in the 100 in the state championships in Sacramento last year, but Rideaux is favored this year.

The junior, who is expected to lead Long Beach Poly to its second consecutive team title, is 2-0 against Fargas this season and 1-1 against Fletcher and defeated both in the Southern Section Masters Meet at Cerritos last week.

Rideaux and Fletcher have each run a state-leading 10.36 seconds this year, with Fargas at 10.37.


Fargas used Moye brand standing starting blocks for the past four weeks because they allowed him to start in a three-point stance similar to that of a football player. The stance put less strain on his tender right hamstring, but state rules will require Fargas to use the standard starting blocks today.

“I think he’ll be fine,” Notre Dame Coach Joe McNab said. “He did some starts [Tuesday] and he looked good.”

While Fargas will try to become the first sprinter to win consecutive state titles in the boys’ 100 since Ronald McCree of Madera in 1985-86, Fletcher will try to improve upon his runner-up finish in the 100 and his third-place effort in the 200 from last year.

Patterson tied for sixth in the 100 in last year’s state meet and ran a wind-aided 10.59 in the 100 and a school-record 21.33 in the 200 to finish third in both events last week in the City Section championships.

Wright won the 100 in 10.54 and placed second in the 200 in a school-record 21.26 in the City meet and is looking for his first berth in a state final.

They aren’t the only contenders from the region.

Blaine Bussey, a Taft junior, won the 400 in a career-best of 47.52 in the City championships and ran on Taft teams that won the 400 relay in 41.70 and the 1,600 relay in a school-record 3:14.49.

Senior Ryan Meuse of Simi Valley ran a season-best 1:54.58 to win the 800 in the Masters Meet.


Senior Aaron Sharp of Santa Clara clocked a school-record 9:12.06 to place second in the 3,200.

Junior Tim Adrian of Moorpark threw a school record of 183 feet to place second in the discus.

Taft’s girls scored a record 112 points in winning their first City title last week and the Toreadors are tabbed to finish third behind Long Beach Wilson and defending champion Long Beach Poly this weekend.

Senior Eboni Grayson, who won the 100 in a wind-aided 11.62, the 200 in a wind-aided 24.12, the triple jump with a school-record 39-6 and anchored the victorious 400 relay team to a school-record 46.29 clocking in the City meet, is expected to lead Taft.

Senior Frances Santin, City champion in the 300 low hurdles at 43.27, and sophomore Jayda Bailey, City titlist in the 400 in a school-record 54.20, will play major roles for the Toreadors.

Freshman Schquay Brignac of Cleveland is undefeated in the high jump with a best of 5-9, but had to clear 5-6 in a jump-off to win the City title after twisting her ankle playing basketball.

Freshman Sierra Hauser-Price of Notre Dame will try to improve upon her school records of 12.04 in the 100 and 24.17 in the 200 that she set in the Masters Meet and will run on a team that set a school mark of 3:51.00 in the 1,600 relay last week.

Junior Bridget Pearson of Hoover will be hard pressed to win her second consecutive title in the pole vault because of a lower-back injury.


Junior Lauren Fleshman of Canyon should contend for the 3,200 title after winning in the Masters Meet.

Senior Elaine Canchola of Nordhoff, sixth in the 1,600 last year, will run in that event and the 3,200.

Senior Tara Gregory of Crescenta Valley ran a school-record 2:13.82 in the 800 to finish third in the Masters Meet.