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Erik BoalAs the high school track and...

Erik Boal

As the high school track and field season continued to wind down

Friday night, and some of Southern California’s premier athletes saw

their campaigns come to an end, it appears as if Kyle Ivie is just

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beginning to hit his stride.

Although the Burbank senior didn’t earn himself an automatic berth

to the CIF State Track and Field prelims in the boys’ 1,600 meters,

he easily surpassed the at-large standard to qualify at the

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Master’s Meet at Cerritos College’s Falcon Stadium.

Relying on an unbelievable kick in the final 75 meters of the

race, Ivie moved from eighth to sixth place and just missed out on a

top-five finish -- the automatic qualifiers -- clocking a

personal-best 4 minutes 13.63 seconds, well below the at-large mark

of 4:17.02 and 0.44 ahead of his time at the Division II final May

24.

In doing so, Ivie -- who finished just behind Anaheim Esperanza’s

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Mike Chavez (fourth, 4:13.51) and L.A. Loyola’s Mark Matusak

(fifth, 4:13.58) -- became the first male athlete from Burbank to

qualify for the state meet since Issac Turner advanced in the 800 in

1993 with a mark of 1:53.86.

He is scheduled to run in one of two heats at either 5:38 or 5:44

p.m. Friday, also at Cerritos College. Should he finish in the top

three in his heat or post one of three fastest times among

non-automatic qualifiers, he’ll return for the state final at 4:28

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p.m. Saturday.

“I’m just glad I’m going. It feels good,” said Ivie, who became

the first local male athlete to compete in the state meet since

Burroughs’ Brian Anderson qualified in the 800 in 2000.

“I’ve run with [these guys] so many times and I know what I can

do. And I’m getting closer [to my goal of 4:12].”

And Burbank distance Coach Sasha Vujic says as long as Oxnard Rio

Mesa’s Phillip Reid -- the top qualifier in 4:09.6 -- is in Ivie’s

heat, things should continue to progress according to Vujic’s master

plan.

“It’s been a blessing having Reid in [Kyle’s] races, because you

always know what you’re going to get,” said Vujic, who watched as

eight of the nine individuals in the 1,600 field qualified for the

state prelims.

“The pace [Friday] was unbelievable and I was wondering when he

was going to kick, but then I looked at how fast they were running

[and realized his time was OK].

“This is what we were gearing toward all season. I told him the

lowest I’ll accept is [qualifying for] the Master’s Meet, even though

I always knew he could make the state meet. He ran what he needed to

and as long as he keeps hitting his times, he’ll be fine.”

Ivie admitted he had to extend a little more energy than he would

have liked through the first 800, as he was forced to fight for

position with a trio of athletes in preparation to make his move at

the 1,200 mark.

“That took something out of me,” said the Chico State-bound

talent, who came through the first 400 in eighth at 1:03, the 800 in seventh at 2:07 and maintained that position at the 1,200 mark in

3:12.

“I knew I had to try to get into position to make that kick. But

even when you feel tired, you still have to make that run. You always

have something left.”

And that’s exactly what Ivie demonstrated, clocking a 61-second

final 400 to pass Etiwanda’s Michael Poe (seventh, 4:14.07) and

Loyola’s David Torrence (eighth, 4:15.6).

“I keeping telling Kyle ‘If you’re with them, you can outkick

them, so just relax and go,’” Vujic said.

But as exciting a day as it was for Ivie, it was an equally

disappointing one for Burroughs senior Carolyn Brown.

The former Division II champion and two-time state participant in

the 800 just missed qualifying for the Master’s by 0.08 at the May 24

division final.

But when North Hollywood Oakwood’s Treani Swain was unable to

compete because of an undisclosed illness, the door opened for Brown.

However, the Leader’s two-time Female Athlete of the Year wasn’t

in attendance at Cerritos College and missed out on a chance to

extend her season.


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