They Took His Idea and Ran With It
Runners from Riverside King did not win any of the invitational races contested in the Meet of Champions Distance Classic on Saturday at Azusa Pacific, but it was difficult to miss the team canopy in the stands because its metal frame was covered with a slew of 4-inch-by-4-inch pieces of paper with the letters PR or SR printed on them.
The PR stood for personal record and the SR stood for school record. Every time a King runner ran one or both during the meet, an appropriate sign was taped to the canopy.
“I came up with the idea Friday night, but I didn’t tell the kids about it until Saturday morning,” King assistant Brad Peters said. “At first they were like, ‘Whatever you say.’ But once kids started running PRs, they thought it was cool. Then they started signing their names on the pieces of paper before they put them up.”
By the end of the meet, King runners had posted 45 personal records, including five school records.
“I told them I wanted [the letters] to go from one end of the tent to the other by the end of the meet,” Peters said. “But I really didn’t expect that to happen.”
Michael Haddan of Irvine Woodbridge, the defending state champion in the boys’ 800 meters, began racing again last week after being sidelined for nearly three months because of an acid reflux condition that made it difficult for him to breathe while exercising.
Haddan, a junior, ran 1:58.2 in the 800 and 4:31.9 in the 1,600 in a meet Thursday against San Ana Mater Dei and is expected to run the 1,600 Saturday in the Irvine Invitational at Irvine High.
“Even though we’re behind where we’d like to be right now, I think he’ll be ready to go by the end of the season,” Woodbridge Coach George Varvas said. “By the last week of May and the first week of June, he’ll be ready as anyone.”
The state championships will be held June 6-7 at Cerritos College in Norwalk.
-- John Ortega
Eric Lane, a 6-foot-1 point guard from St. John Bosco, has committed to Boise State. Lane, who averaged 19.7 points and eight assists, was selected the John Wooden Award winner for Division II in California.
David Brooks, a defensive back at Burbank Burroughs, has committed to Weber State.
The North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake team of Trevor Chang, Michael Rucker and Danny Sobel won the boys’ Varsity A team epee championship on Saturday at the Southern California Scholastic Fencing League’s final tournament of the season at North Hills Monroe High.
The West Hills Chaminade team of Yury Khachatryan, Jonathan Pike and Douglas Spondello won the boys’ Varsity B epee competition and the Harvard-Westlake team of Tasha Hall, Oriana Isaacon and Ellie Wen won the girls’ epee competition.