You don't fire up the good ones.
Those were the words Pasadena Muir High track and field Coach Clyde Turner kept repeating after Justin Fargas of Notre Dame won the 100-meter dash in a personal-best 10.55 seconds in the Pasadena Games at Occidental College on Saturday night.
Fargas' time, which came two weeks after he finished third in the Northridge-Alemany Relays, was the fastest in the state this year and lowered his previous best by .03 seconds. It gave Fargas, the defending state champion, a healthy margin of victory over Muir's Sultan McCullough (10.63) and Alemany's Miguel Fletcher (10.79).
McCullough, favored to win the state title last year before an injury slowed him to ninth, had talked plenty of trash to Fargas at Northridge after outrunning him on the second leg on the 400 relay. But Fargas let his running do the talking Saturday.
"I wasn't really trying to redeem myself," the soft-spoken Fargas said. "I was just trying to run the best race I could. I didn't run the best race I could at Northridge. I did today."
Fargas' start, sluggish at Northridge when he lost to Fletcher and Darrell Rideaux of Long Beach Poly, was razor sharp Saturday and forced McCullough and Fletcher to play catch-up.
"I tried to get a good start," Fargas said. "My coach told me that if I got out of the blocks well, I'd run a good race and I was able to do that. I ran a technically good race."
McCullough apologized before the race for his remarks to Fargas at Northridge.
"He basically said that we're both competitors," Fargas said. "And that track might be the most competitive of any sport because you're just out there by yourself. But that we can just leave it on the track. There's no need for any conflict between us."
In addition to winning the 100, Fargas also ran the second leg on Notre Dame's 400 relay that finished third in 42.19 and a 50.6-second anchor leg on the Knights' 1,600 relay team that placed sixth in 3:25.49. He was selected boys' athlete of the meet.
Frances Santin and Blaine Bussey of Taft, Angela Foster of Ventura, Philip Young of La Canada and Lauren Fleshman of Canyon were among the other winners from the region.
Santin, a senior, defended her title in the 300 low hurdles with a season best of 43.43 and also ran legs on Taft foursomes that placed second in the 1,600 relay with a season best of 3:54.35 and third in the 400 relay with a season best of 48.31.
Bussey, a junior previously known as the third-best 400 runner at Taft, went from fourth to first in the final 80 meters to clock a personal best of 48.67. In the process, he defeated Notre Dame's Rod Arzu (48.70) and the Taft twins Larry (48.71) and Lawrence Jones (48.87).
Bussey also teamed up with the Jones' and Sedric Hurns in the 1,600 relay as Taft finished second in a season best of 3:16.64. Compton Dominguez, the defending state champion, won in 3:16.53.
Foster, a senior, won the girls' shotput with a personal best of 40-11 3/4 and took the discus at 125-1.
Young, another senior, led wire to wire to win the boys' 1,600 in 4:22.41 and junior Fleshman won the girls' 3,200 in 11:12.27 after coming through the first 1,600 in a pedestrian 5:47.9.
Fletcher came back from his third-place finish in the 100 to win the 200 in 21.40, but he was disqualified for running out of his lane on the turn.
Sophomores Jerrick Holmes of Palmdale and Sarah Foster of Valencia won the boys' and girls' high jump, respectively.
Holmes cleared 6-4 and Foster cleared 5-4.