Vista Mur­ri­eta’s Nor­man sets the pace

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Steve Gal­luzzo

Any no­tion of Michael Nor­man wilt­ing un­der the pres­sure of the big stage dis­ap­peared min­utes into Fri­day night’s CIF state track and field pre­lim­i­nar­ies.

Af­ter an im­pres­sive show­ing seven days ear­lier at the South­ern Sec­tion Masters Meet, the ju­nior sprinter from Vista Mur­ri­eta showed he is still the one to beat, post­ing the fastest qual­i­fy­ing times in the 200- and 400-me­ter races and lead­ing a vic­to­ri­ous re­lay at Buchanan High in Clo­vis.

Thanks in large part to Nor­man’s ef­forts, the Bron­cos are the fa­vorites to take home the team ti­tle at to­day’s fi­nals. Nor­man of­fered a glimpse of what was to come in the first event, build­ing a big lead for Mur­ri­eta on the first leg of the 100-me­ter re­lay. The Bron­cos won their heat in 41.07, the sec­ond­fastest qual­i­fy­ing time. Nor­man sat out the 400-me­ter re­lay, but the Bron­cos still fin­ished sec­ond in their heat and earned the ninth and last qual­i­fy­ing spot.

In the 400 me­ters, Nor­man cruised to first place in his heat at 47.05 sec­onds, far off his per­sonal best but still the top qual­i­fy­ing time. Half an hour later, he was the top qual­i­fier in the 200 in 20.98.

West­lake Vil­lage Oaks Chris­tian sopho­more Lau­ren Rain Wil­liams, who won the 100-me­ter and 200-me­ter races and both re­lays at the Masters Meet, wasn’t the top qual­i­fier in ei­ther event Fri­day.

She won her heat in the 100 in 11.70 (third over­all) and won her 200 heat in 23.51, the sec­ond-fastest qual­i­fy­ing mark, one thou­sandth of a sec­ond be­hind Zaria Fran­cis of Ox­nard Rio Mesa. Wil­liams also an­chored the Li­ons’ win­ning 100-me­ter re­lay, which qual­i­fied first in 45.79 sec­onds.

West Hills Cham­i­nade ju­nior T.J. Brock, who was sec­ond to Nor­man in the 200 at the Masters Meet, was Fri­day’s sec­ond-fastest qual­i­fier in 21.16, set­ting up a re­match in to­day’s fi­nals. He an­chored the Ea­gles’ top qual­i­fy­ing 100-me­ter re­lay (40.87). Af­ter be­ing sig­naled for a false start in the 100-me­ter dash, Brock qual­i­fied first in 10.47 sec­onds.

Masters Meet cham­pion Des­tiny Collins of Te­mec­ula Great Oak won her 1,600-me­ter heat in 4:47.26, edg­ing City Sec­tion cham­pion Marissa Wil­liams by one tenth of a sec­ond. The two will go head to head again in to­day’s fi­nal, joined by Amanda Gehrich of Ran­cho Santa Mar­garita Te­soro, who won the sec­ond heat in 4:50.18.

State leader Court­ney Cor­rin of Stu­dio City Har­vard-West­lake was the top qual­i­fier in the long jump (20 feet 9 inches). USCbound se­nior Matt Kat­nik of St. John Bosco, the na­tional leader in the shot­put, was the top qual­i­fier at 71 feet 53⁄ inches and qual­i­fied ninth in the dis­cus.

Sopho­more Jac­que­lyn Hill of Eti­wanda was the top qual­i­fier in the 800 me­ters in a state-lead­ing 2:08.06.

Steve Gal­luzzo For The Times

OAKS CHRIS­TIAN’S Lau­ren Rain Wil­liams runs last leg of 100-me­ter re­lay at CIF state pre­lim­i­nar­ies in Clo­vis; Li­ons had best qual­i­fy­ing time at 45.79 sec­onds.

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