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Foothill athletes advance to state at Friday's Masters meet

Posted: May 24, 2013 8:35 p.m.
Updated: May 24, 2013 8:35 p.m.

From left, Saugus' Sabrina Janes dashes ahead of Capistrano Valley's Natalie Herberg and Redondo Union's Amber Gore to win the 800m run in the CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet on Friday at Cerritos College in Norwalk.

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NORWALK — The exact move Sabrina Janes was trying to make a week ago worked perfectly the second time around.

The Saugus sophomore used a huge kick to win the 800-meter race at the CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet, which serves as a state championship qualifier, on Friday at Cerritos College.

Janes, with her winning time of 2 minutes, 12.35 seconds, will move on to the CIF State Track and Field Championships next weekend in Clovis. She is one of five Foothill League athletes to move on from the Masters Meet to the state finals on Friday.

A total of eight athletes from the Foothill competed.

After spending most of the race in the middle of the pack, Janes made her move with about 200 meters to go and managed to pass every runner in front of her for the victory.

"When I passed them, I couldn't even believe what was happening," Janes said. "I was like, 'Am I alive right now?' It was crazy."

Six days prior at the CIF-Southern Section divisional finals, Janes tried to make a similar move around the final corner of the 800, but she tripped and fell when her feet got tangled up with the runner in front of her. She wound up in fifth.

Initially, Janes didn’t qualify for the Masters Meet, but she was later reinstated after Saugus protested the result based on the tripping.

Now, she’s headed to the state meet as the Southern Section’s top qualifier.

Athletes had to either finish top six in their events or reach a predetermined at-large qualifying mark to move on to state.

In another dramatic finish, Janes' teammate, senior Rodrigo Ornelas, crossed the finish line just under the state at-large qualifying time in the 3,200. Ornelas spent most of the race toward back, but turned on the jets late and shot up to seventh place in the race.

Though he didn't finish in the top six, his time of 9:08.58 beat the at-large mark of 9:09.03 by less than a second. 

"To be honest when I was in that last, final stretch in seventh place, I thought I had lost," Ornelas said. "I thought I didn't qualify. But then the announcer said, 'We have seven qualifiers,' and I just screamed. I was so happy."

To make it a perfect 3-for-3 day for Saugus, Samantha Ortega continued her remarkable sophomore year by qualifying in the 3,200 after finishing in a lifetime best 10:30.68 to take fifth place. The time was 12 seconds faster than her previous best in the event.

In just her second year of competitive running, Ortega is backing up her impressive varsity debut season in cross country with an equally successful campaign on the track.

Finishing behind Janes in the same 800 race was Valencia senior Olivia Pear, who qualified with a fifth-place time of 2:13.69.

Pear and Janes were neck-and-neck in the 800 during Foothill League season, and Friday was no different.

"She was definitely one person that I was watching during the race," Janes said of Pear. "I knew that if I could stay with her, I could stay with the rest of the girls."

The final local state qualifier on the day was Canyon junior Jeremy Kimmer, who cleared 6 feet, 7 inches in the high jump on his sixth attempt of the day to take fourth place among the Southern Section’s best.

Kimmer leapt 6-9 the previous weekend at the CIF finals.

“I’m happy I’m going to state,” Kimmer said. “I’m happy about that. I know I can get better, but I’m still happy.”

All five locals to qualify are first timers at the state meet.

Other Foothill athletes competed on Friday, but didn’t qualify.

Valencia junior Briana Pica reached 10-9 in the pole vault to put her in a tie for ninth place.

Golden Valley senior Courtney Maduike came up short of becoming the second athlete in school history to advance to the state track and field finals.

Maduike took 10th in the discus with a throw of 127-05.

In the boys 800, West Ranch senior Pierce Miller finished 11th in 1:56.52, which was a little less than four seconds slower than the at-large qualifying mark.




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