Morgan Finishes on High Note

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Chris Morgan of Taft High got his 13.5-second clocking in the boys' 110-meter high hurdles on Saturday in the state track and field championships at Hughes Stadium.

But more importantly, he won, no make that romped, to his second consecutive title.

Morgan was one of four seniors from the region to win titles in the boys' meet.

Seth Amoo of Highland won the 200, Jason Lovell of Cleveland took the 400 and Jamil Smith of Palmdale won the triple jump for the second year in a row.

Morgan, the fastest high hurdler in the state all season, ran a wind-aided 13.59 to defeat runner-up Jeffrey Hunter of El Cajon Granite Hills by .23 seconds and third-place Jeff Garrison of Riverside North by .41.

Garrison led Morgan for the first two flights of hurdles, but Morgan surged past him at the third and wasn't seriously challenged after that.

"That's what did it," said the Arizona-State bound Morgan. "That's what I've been saying all year.

"Give me a race, get someone out ahead of me, and I'm going to run fast."

Morgan ran a region record of 13.75 in qualifying on Friday, but a tail wind of 2.7 meters per second in Saturday's race was over the allowable of 2.0 for record purposes.

Amoo, the state leader in the 200 at 20.82, got a closer race than expected but was able to hold off Rodney Langingham of Sonora and 100 champion Phillip Francis of Fairfax.

Amoo trailed Francis coming off the turn before taking the lead with 60 meters left.

He held off a hard-charging Langingham to record a 21.05 to 21.08 victory.

Francis was third in 21.10.

Amoo equaled his career best of 10.63 in the 100 earlier in the meet to finish fourth.

Lovell took control of the 400 with a strong second curve and held off Damaine Reed of Carson in the homestretch to record a 47.51-47.82 victory.

"I was just trying to stay strong, even though I felt terrible," said Lovell, who strained his left hamstring in the West Valley League finals on May 11.

"That [head] wind was really bad on the backstretch, but I knew that everyone else had to deal with it too."

Lovell ended the meet with a 46.4-second anchor leg on a team that finished second in the 1,600 relay in 3:16.10.

Smith, the region record-holder in the triple jump at 50-10 3/4, won his second consecutive title in that event, despite the fact that he had only one fair jump.

He fouled his first two jumps before bounding a winning 49-8 in the third round.

Smith passed his fourth attempt before fouling in the fifth and sixth rounds.

Senior Makisi Haleck of Thousand Oaks tied for second in the pole vault with a career-best and Ventura County record of 15-8.

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