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TRACK NOTES: SPEED IS THE THING VALENCIA IS SPRINTER-RICH.

Byline: Kirby Lee Special to the Daily News

The Foothill League has gained national recognition for its distance runners over the past decade. Now, Valencia's sprinters are starting to get noticed.

In addition to defending league 100-meter champion Manuel White, the Vikings have been bolstered by junior transfer Wes Felix. The latter ran a school-record 10.85 seconds to finish second in the 100 at the Alemany/Northridge Relays at Cal State Northridge on Saturday.

Last season, Felix, who will run in the 100 at the Pasadena Games on Saturday at Pasadena City College, finished eighth in the 200 for Overland High in the large-schools division of the Colorado state meet.

Felix moved to Canyon Country last summer when his father took a job as a language professor at The Master's College. Felix, who played on the Valencia basketball team in the winter, grew up in Los Angeles before relocating to Aurora, Colo., for three years.

Valencia coach Mike Pontius expects Felix and White to help the Vikings make a run at the school 400-meter relay record of 43.2.

With senior Peter Fernandez recovering from a pulled hamstring, Valencia has not run a relay at full strength.

Seniors Steven Stokes, Royce Minor and Rachan McConico are battling for the final position on the team.

--Raising the bar: Drake Morgan of Canyon, perhaps best known as one of the first area pole vaulters to compete with a helmet for safety, is making news with his vaulting this season.

The senior cleared 14 feet, 7 inches against Glendale last week to break his school record for the second time this season.

Morgan, the two-time defending Foothill League champion, jumped 14-6 at the L.A. Invitational in February to break his mark of 14-0 set as a junior. He also cleared 14-6 on Saturday to finish second in the Alemany/Northridge Relays.

--Mighty mite: Canyon sophomore Jameson Mora barely stands 5-foot-4, but he was easy to find at the front of the pack during the 3,000-meters race at the Alemany/Northridge Relays.

Mora, the No. 4 runner on Canyon's Southern Section Division I finalist cross country team in the fall, went on to post a runaway personal-best 9:05.12. His effort came after teaming with Mike Summe, Luke Llamas and Mike Collins on Canyon's victorious 1,600-meter relay (18:53.6) team.

--Team effort: Canyon placed first or second in each of its relay events at the Alemany/Northridge Relays.

Llamas and Collins, along with Sylvester Pusiri and Aaron Hope, won the 4 x 800 relay (8:29.90). The boys' distance medley of Hope (1,200), Lofton Gray (400), Pusiri and Llamas (1,600) finished second in 11:19.40.

The girls' team won the distance medley and was runner-up in the 4 x 800, 4 x 1,600 and 4 x 100 relays.

Brenda Stevens (1,200), Alex Gutierrez (400), Barrie Truex (800) and Jazmin Treadway (1,600) timed 13:33.10 to win the distance medley.

Treadway, Stevens and Truex also teamed with Abbie Peak on Canyon's second place 4 x 800 team. Stevens, a freshman, turned in a 5:26 leg on the Cowboys' runner-up 4 x 1,600 with Erin White, Kristin Cooper and Truex, finishing in 22:59.68.

In the 400 relay, Treadway, April Boyd, Kiersten Ricks and Peak were second in their heat at 52.6.

--Run for the roses: Canyon, which plays host to Saugus in a Foothill League meet today, will have a large contingent in the distances at the Pasadena Games at Pasadena City College.

Treadway, White and Cooper will run the girls' 3,200 meters at the 58th-annual meet. Ryan Morgan, Summe, Llamas and Mora will compete in the boys' 3,200.

Canyon will also field boys' and girls' teams in the distance medley relays.

--Injury update: Katie Pielow, Valencia's top distance runner, has been sidelined with minor foot surgery, suffered while playing soccer, and will not resume training until April.

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

(color) Thanks in part to Manuel White, Valencia's sprinters are getting noticed in track circles.

Kirby Lee/Special to the Daily News
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Mar 23, 2000
Words:689
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