Track & Field: A memorable opener

Opening day of the 2013 track and field season at Laguna Beach High turned out to be memorable for a 400-meter relay team.

Laguna's boys' 4x100 squad of Reece Barton, Robert Clemons, Nathan Lancaster and Drake Martinez raced to a new school record time in the event with a mark of 44.67 seconds. The performance came in a tri-meet against Riverside La Sierra and El Dorado.

The Breakers scored 42 points in the meet. El Dorado had 41 points and La Sierra scored 40.

In addition to the relay record, Martinez won the 100, Lancaster the 200 run, and Kyler Pike won the high jump.

Laguna boys' coach Scott Wittkop said prior to the start of the season, that Martinez and Clemons, along with Paul McCade, would "make a difference" on this year's squad.

Barton, Clemons, Lancaster and Martinez, broke a school record that had stood since the 1965 season. The previous best mark in the boys' 4x100 was 45.00 (Abrams, Collen, Murry, Paulsrud).

"They are a very talented group of runners that are having a lot of fun, so it was no surprise when they broke the record during the first meet," Wittkop said. "They will continue to improve throughout the season and they should break the record numerous times this season."

The Breakers are coming off what Wittkop said was a "solid season" in 2012, with 23 athletes qualifying for the CIF Southern Section meet last spring. That season also included an Orange Coast League title.

Among the key performers returning are distance runners Veda Rebollar (CIF, 3,200 meters), Jack Crawford, Grant Barton, Casey Kowpowski, Cameron Zuziak; jumps athletes Kyler Pike (CIF, high jump), Avery Crowl (CIF, long jump); sprinters Nathan Lancaster (returning league MVP, CIF, 100, 200, 4x100 relay), Reece Barton (all-league, hurdles, 4x100 relay), and Spencer Anderson (all-league, CIF, 110 and 300 hurdles, 100, 4x100 relay).



In Wednesday's non-scored meet with La Sierra and El Dorado, Pearl Shoemaker won the 1,600 in 5:32, Janie Crawford won both the 800 (2:25) and triple jump (33-feet, 5-inches), and Darby Winson took the long jump.

Laguna will compete Friday at the Irvine/Asics Invitational starting at 3 p.m. at Irvine High. On March 16, the Breakers play host to the Trophy Invitational starting at 8:44 a.m.

Twitter: @MikeSciacca

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