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Pendleton, Smith State Their Case at Surf City

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Surf City Invitational at Huntington Beach High usually serves as a tune-up for the major track and field meets in April and May.

Somehow that message didn’t get through to Orange County athletes, who were already in late-season form Saturday.

Tustin junior Alonso Smith and Esperanza senior Travis Pendleton turned in state-leading marks at the fourth annual event, which is a re-creation of the Southern Counties meet held from the 1920s until the early 1980s.

Smith won the 800 meters in 1 minute 55.42 seconds, more than two seconds faster than his personal-best time achieved at the Southern Section finals last season. Smith said he and Tustin Coach Tom Coffey set a goal of breaking 1:56, which no California high school runner had done this season.

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“That’s what I was going for and I got it,” said Smith, who later won the 1,600 in 4:30.09. “So I was very happy with that.”

Pendleton won the discus with a throw of 191 feet 7 inches, surpassing his own state-leading mark and personal best of 189-0. Pendleton, who finished third in the state in the event last season, also moved up to seventh on the all-time Orange County list.

“We’ve been knocking on that (190-foot) door,” said Bill Pendleton, the Aztecs’ throws coach and Travis’ father. “I think if he would have thrown in the afternoon, he would have been over 200.”

The afternoon wind was an aid to Esperanza senior Kristen Thompson, who threw a personal-best 142-2 1/2, the best discus mark by a county girl since Carrie Axton of Los Amigos threw 147-8 in 1997.

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Carolyn Pendleton, Travis’ sister, finished second with a throw of 126-1 and Jenny Brickner threw 126-0 in the freshman/sophomore competition, giving the Aztecs four of the top six discus marks in the county this season.

Edison, the host of the meet, had several noteworthy performances and was easily the dominant team, though team scoring was not used.

Edison junior Darryl Poston ran a county-leading 10.80 in the 100 meters, which is the second-fastest automatic time in the state going into the weekend. Poston then came back to win the 200 in 21.92, another personal best and county-leading mark. Allen Shumate of Tustin was second in 22.18.

Edison’s Eddie Dwelley won the 110 hurdles in a county-leading 14.74, edging Tustin’s Michael Colby (14.96). Scott Brandos won the 3,200 in 9:41.47 and the Chargers’ 400 relay team finished first in a county-leading 42.95.

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The Edison girls were equally powerful, winning six events.

Bianca Ziemann won the high jump (5-6) and was second in the 100 hurdles (16.31). Twin sister Rachael won the 100 hurdles (16.14) and was second in the high jump (5-4). Eyrie Jennings won the long jump (17-6) and triple jump (37-2 1/4), Catherine Perkins won the pole vault (9-6) and Michelle Zylstra threw a personal-best 38-4 to defeat Thompson in the shotput.

Santa Ana Valley’s Crystal Davis, the defending Orange County champion in the 100 meters, posted the top time this season, winning in 12.21. That time is also the fourth-fastest in state this season. Davis came back to win the 200 in 25.17, then anchored the Falcons’ winning 1,600 relay team (4:14.74).

Besides Smith and Shumate, Tustin was also led by sophomore Denny Casupanan, who won the long jump in a county-leading 22-4.

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