Waiting Game Pays Off for Taft's Grayson


When you're planning to compete in four events on consecutive days in one of the top high school track and field meets in the nation, you've got to get your rest.

That's why Eboni Grayson of Taft High spent a lot more time Friday laying on the infield at Cerritos College than competing in front of 6,220 on the first day of the state championships.

Grayson, who won the 100 and 200 meters and triple jump, and ran the anchor leg on the victorious 400 relay team in the City Section championships last week, waited nearly 2 1/2 hours Friday to compete in the triple jump.

She was scheduled to compete in the third of three flights of nine girls each, but Grayson got to the pit 15 minutes before the event started at 6:30 p.m., hoping that another competitor would switch flights with her.

It didn't happen and Grayson was forced to take her three qualifying jumps after running in the 400 relay, 100 and 200.

Grayson bounded 37 feet, 10 3/4 inches on her second attempt to place seventh and advance to today's final.

"This better not happen tomorrow because I can't do it again," Grayson said.

Grayson and teammate Frances Santin each will compete in four events today.

In addition to qualifying in the triple jump, Grayson anchored Taft to a first-place time of 46.35 in the Toreadors' heat of the 400 relay, placed second in her heat of the 100 with a school record of 11.95 and placed second in her heat of the 200 with a time of 24.67.

Santin ran the first leg on Taft's 400 relay and the second leg on a team that finished second in its heat of the 1,600 relay with a season best of 3:50.82.

She also placed fourth in her heat of the 100 high hurdles with a school record of 14.73 and second in her heat of the 300 low hurdles with a school best of 42.63.

Taft sophomore Jayda Bailey will compete in three events today after placing second in her heat of the 400 with a time of 55.31 and running legs on both of the Toreadors' relay teams.

Seniors Justin Fargas of Notre Dame, Miguel Fletcher of Alemany and Quincy Wright of El Camino Real advanced to the finals in two events.

Fargas, the defending state champion in the 100, won his heat in 10.68 while running into a 2.1 meter-per-second head wind and ran a 47.6-second anchor leg in the 1,600 relay to help Notre Dame to a heat-winning time of 3:16.66.

Fletcher, runner-up in the state championships last year, won his 100-meter heat in 10.61 with City champion Wright third in a school-record of 10.75. They ran with a 1.4 meter-per-second tail wind.

Fletcher and Wright also qualified for the final of the 200.

Fletcher won his heat in 21.00 to post the second-fastest time of the day behind the 20.99 of Long Beach Poly junior Kareem Kelly.

Wright placed third in his heat in 21.63 to grab the ninth and final qualifying spot.

Freshman Sierra Hauser-Price of Notre Dame advanced to the finals in three events. She ran a school record of 11.98 in the 100 to place third in her heat, tied her school record in the 200 with a time of 24.17 to finish second in her heat and she anchored the Knights to a second-place time of 3:53.90 in their 1,600 heat.

Schquay Brignac of Cleveland tied for first in the girls' high jump by clearing 5-6 and Bridget Pearson of Hoover, the defending state champion, tied for second in the girls' pole vault by clearing 10-10.

Tara Gregory of Crescenta Valley posted her second consecutive school record in the 800 with a second-place effort of 2:13.57 in her heat and Ryan Meuse of Simi Valley won his heat of the 800 in a season best of 1:54.47.

Jessica Cosby of Granada Hills qualified in the girls' shotput with a mark of 43-9 and Tim Adrian of Moorpark qualified in the boys' discus with a throw of 182-10.

Senior Elaine Canchola of Nordhoff, who placed sixth in the state championships last year, finished sixthin her 1,600 heat and did not qualify..

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