AFTERTHOUGHT, NOT ALSO-RAN; ANDERSON RACES IN FOOTBALL 50.
Jason Anderson has more to prove than his counterparts in the football 50-meter dash at the L.A. Invitational track meet tonight at the Sports Arena.
The Palmdale High senior is the only entry without a firm college football scholarship offer, despite running for 1,321 yards and 11 touchdowns last season and 3,000 yards for his career.
In fact, Anderson wasn't even invited until Notre Dame's Justin Fargas dropped out.
But Anderson isn't taking an ``honor-to-be-involved'' attitude for the sprint showcase featuring Muir's Sultan McCullough, Alemany's Miguel Fletcher, and Tustin's DeShaun Foster - all of whom signed with Pacific-10 football programs.
``This is my chance to show my stuff,'' said Anderson. ``I'm looking forward to it. Too bad Justin's not in the race because that's who I really want to run against. I'm tired of him getting all the fame.''
In such a short race, a quick start would give Anderson an advantage. He is the Golden League's 100 champion with a best of 10.6. Anderson, who broke several long touchdown runs as the Falcons advanced to the Southern Section Division II football quarterfinals, says he runs a 4.38 40-yard dash.
``I'm a quick starter,'' he said. ``If I can get out of the blocks first, I think I can hold my lead. That's why I've been working on my starts, practicing a lot. I've been working hard.''
Anderson narrowly lost two 100 races to Miguel Fletcher last track season.
Another local who will be running at the L.A. Invitational open competition will be UCLA's Michelle Perry, a multi-event state qualifier for Quartz Hill High last year.
Perry will run in the open division women's 500.
``I've never run the 500 before, but I'm hoping for the best,'' Perry said.
Meanwhile, Joe Manning of Antelope Valley High is slotted for the 50. Palmdale's Justin Patananan competes in the rated mile.
Palmdale - including Anderson - also competes in the 8 x 160 relay.
In field events, three Palmdale High athletes are involved. Jarrett Holmes is in the high jump, Jamil Smith tests his mettle in the long jump, and Summer Hoban is entered in the girls' shot put.
Field for the 50-meter dash featuring Southern California high school football stars at today's L.A. Invitational track meet.
Jason Anderson, Palmdale
Miguel Fletcher, Alemany
DeShaun Foster, Tustin
Sultan McCullough, Muir
Darryl Rideaux, Long Beach Poly
Josh Levi, Chino
PHOTO UCLA's Michelle Perry, formerly of Quartz Hill High, is entered in the open division 500 in the L.A. Invitational at the Sports Arena tonight.
Kirby Lee/Special to the Daily News
BOX: FOOTBALL 50 (see text)