Trophy invite to feature some of county's finest

A year ago, the Laguna Beach Trophy Invitational was brought back to life.

On Saturday, the fabled track and field competition will resume bigger than ever.

About 1,000 athletes from 20 schools will be at Guyer Field on the Laguna Beach High campus Saturday for the event, which is being run for the 43rd time. Competition will be held for both boys' and girls' varsity and frosh/soph teams. Last year, Servite won the boys' division and Trabuco Hills took the girls' crown and Laguna Beach had eight athletes medal, Breakers Coach Scott Wittkop said.

Both the Friars and Mustangs are among the teams competing this year.

This year's field includes: Laguna Beach, Servite, Trabuco Hills, Corona del Mar, La Sierra, ML King, Godinez, Oxford Academy, Calvary Chapel/Santa Ana, Santa Margarita, Costa Mesa, La Quinta/Westminster, Santa Ana Valley, Estancia, St. Margaret's, Sage Hill, JSerra, Edison, El Dorado and Northgate.

"We have some of the top schools in the Southern Section," Wittkop said. "La Sierra is coming off a state championship in 2009 and Trabuco (Hills) has some of the top distance kids in the state."

The origin of the Trophy Invitational begins in the 1930s, when Laguna and legendary coach Red Guyer hosted the first "minor" division track meet in 1937 for schools in Orange County with small student body enrollments. The meet was held nearly every year, with a few exceptions, through 1983. Girls' events were added in 1974 and in the late-70s, more than 60 schools participated over two days.

The invitational was brought back last year and no limits were put on school enrollment size. The 2010 event drew 13 schools and 300 athletes, Wittkop said.

Field Events begin at 8:41 a.m. Saturday and running events at 10 a.m. Also part of the big day is the Eric Hulst Memorial 3,200 Meter Run, which starts at 4:20 p.m.

The run is held in memory of one of Laguna Beach High's all-time great athletes, the late-Eric Hulst who died of brain cancer in 1992 at age 34. In last year's Hulst 3,200, Makenna Smith (11:42.40) of Trabuco Hills won the girls' 3,200 and Natasha Strickland, then a sophomore, was Laguna's Beach's top finisher in third place with an 11:49.14.

The Breakers' Carly Savage, then a junior, rounded out the top 10 with a time of 12:19.99. Laguna's Matt Neev (9:31.38), now a senior, finished second in the boys' 3,200 to Anaheim senior Jose Madera (9:25.11). Two other Breakers, seniors Tommy Newton (9:38.57, fifth) and Andrew Shapiro (9:58.44, 10th), also had top-10 finishes.

For more information on Saturday's event, visit


Laguna Beach competed Saturday at the Irvine/Asics Invitational. Some of the key finishes for Laguna included:

Alex Kempler (varsity girls' 400 meters, second place); Natasha Strickland (girls' varsity 1,600 meters, second place); Christianne Kinder (girls' varsity high jump, second place); Tyler Nichols (boys' varsity 800 meters, second place); Devin Kent (boys' varsity high jump, third place); boys' varsity 4 x 400 meter team (Tyler Nichols, Mike Lee, Kevin Tovar, Joe Rousseau, first place); Monica White (girls' frosh/soph 300-meter hurdles, first place); Darby Winson (girls' frosh/soph 100-meter hurdles, third place); Kevin Tovar (boys' frosh/soph 400 meters, second place); Spencer Anderson (boys' frosh/soph 110 hurdles, second place); Bryce Williams (boys' frosh/soph long jump, third place).

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