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Bound for glory Phillip Brents | Thu, Jun 10 2010 05:01 PM

Eastlake junior Jordan Hines began the 2010 high school track and field season competing in the boys long jump and 110-meter high hurdles. He ended it with a fifth-place state medal in the triple jump.

A bang in anyone's play book.

"It's definitely been a season to remember," said Hines, who won league and division section titles with the school's football team and a league championship with the Titan roller hockey team.

Hines, however, did not start competing in the triple jump until Eastlake's final league dual meet. The May 5 match-up was against defending Mesa League champion Otay Ranch and both the Titans and Mustangs were undefeated in league competition.

But Eastlake needed another jumper in the event to try to break up Otay Ranch's overabundance of talent in the event.

"Jordan volunteered," EHS coach Rone Torres said. "He wanted to do it. It was a most unselfish act for his school."

Before the meet was over, Hines had found the field event that suited him best.

The EHS junior jumped 44 feet, 4 inches in his first-ever competition to place third. Among those he jumped against was Otay Ranch junior Marques Roberts, who earlier in the season had recorded the top mark in the event in the state at more than 47 feet.

Roberts won the event with a jump of 47-7.25 while teammate J'Vion Johnson placed second at 45-7.

As it turned out, the best was yet to come for Hines.

The league finals took place the following week, May 14 at Otay Ranch High School, and Hines was back in the event, recording a mark of 45-2 to place runner-up to Roberts (45-3.5) for the Mesa League title. Roberts also competed in the long jump, winning at 20-11.5.

Being the top two place-finishers in the triple jump, Hines and Roberts both advanced to the San Diego Section prelims, held May 22 at Mt. Carmel High School. Roberts was one of three jumpers to surpass 48 feet on the day while Hines turned in the fifth-best qualifying mark at 46-11.5.

Both qualified to compete in the state-qualifying A-flight at the section finals on May 29.

Hines finished fifth at the section finals with a jump of 46-6 to trail the section's three automatic qualifiers but advanced to the state meet by meeting the at-large qualifying mark of 46-2.

Vista junior Stefan McClure won the section championship with a triple jump of 48-9, followed by Mission Hills senior Justin Malishan (second, 48-6) and Otay Ranch's Roberts and Morse junior Travis Johnson, both tied at 48-1.

McClure, Johnson and Malishan joined Hines at the state meet but Roberts did not make the journey northward despite qualifying.

At last Friday's state prelims, Johnson and Hines both qualified for the finals while McClure and Malishan both failed to advance.

Johnson finished third overall in qualifying with a jump of 48-6 while Hines was seventh at 47-9.25. McClure and Malishan finished in a tie for 11th in qualifying at 47-3.5.

The top 10 jumpers advanced to compete in the marquee finals the following day.

Hines finished second in his flight in prelim qualifying.

The school record took a beating as Hines continued to extend his new-found mastery in the event by turning in a mark of 48-9.25 in Saturday's finals - a foot farther than his prelim mark.

His goal had been to jump 47 feet at the section finals and, while he did not match that then, he more than made up for that at the state meet with personal bests on successive days.

"I was hoping to get into the finals and see where it went from there," he said.

The school-record mark was good enough for fifth place behind Enterprise junior Jovon Cunningham (first, 50-8.25), Ridgeview junior Johnny Carter (second, 50-5.25), Summit senior Justin Lovingood (third, 50-2.5) and Morse's Johnson (fourth, 48-4). Hines finished ahead of Vista Murrieta senior Nick Taylor (sixth, 48-1.75), Santa Cruz senior Taylor Kientzel (seventh, 47-11.5), Enterprise senior James Williams (eighth, 47-11), Paramount senior Ignacio Rodriguez (ninth, 47-1) and Placer senior Brett Crider (10th, 46-0) in the field of 10 finalists. 

The San Diego Section finished with two medalists in the event, though neither finished among the top two placers at the section finals.

Hines credited his amazing success to "hard work and coaching," as he put it.

"He's the best athlete at our school," Torres said succinctly.

That will work, too.

Hines was among three Metro Conference athletes to qualify for this year's state championship meet. Besides Roberts, Otay Ranch freshman Carina Gillespie advanced in the girls 800 run.

Gillespie competed in last Friday's state prelims, placing sixth in her 11-person heat in 2:15.53. The time wasn't good enough to rank her among the top nine qualifiers out of the field of 32 entrants.

Long Beach Poly junior Dynasty Gammage timed 1:12.54 to earn the final qualifying berth for the finals. Gammage finished third in Gillespie's heat. Harvard Westlake sophomore Amy Weissenbach won the state title the following day in 2:07.52 (the third-fastest time in the United States this year). Beverly Hills senior Raquel Hefflin earned the sixth-place state medal in 2:11.12 to set goals for Gillespie to strive for in the future.

The reigning Mesa League champion in the event, Gillespie had qualified for the state meet with a third-place finish at the section finals in a then personal record time of 2:14.89.

The section's other two state qualifiers in the event - Torrey Pines sophomore Ashlyn Dadkah (2:13.10) and Cathedral Catholic senior Amanda Post (2:13.41) - also did not advance from the state prelim round.

Overall, there were 14 section medalists at last weekend's state finals. The two-day event attracted more than 17,000 fans, with 9,756 fans attending the second day.

Temperatures both days averaged 90-plus degrees as summer began to descend in earnest into California's Central Valley.  

Section athletes snared three gold medals this year, with Rancho Bernardo junior Molly Grabill (girls 3,200 run) and Westview senior Kortney Ross (girls pole vault) both setting section records in the process. Ramona senior Tyler Jordan captured the state title in the boys high jump by winning a dramatic jump-off at 6-11.

Jordan, who stands seven feet tall, and Jesuit senior Nick Ridge both cleared 6-9 but failed on all their attempts at 6-11, forcing a jump-off.

Jordan cleared the height on his first attempt while Ridge missed. After realizing he had won the gold medal, the Ramona jumper turned his face skyward and gave the two thumbs up sign.

"I knew I had to make the height on my first jump if I was going to win," said Jordan, who claimed the section title at 6-10 a week earlier.

A total of five section jumpers competed in Clovis, with three advancing to the finals. Serra junior Deante Kemper finished eighth at 6-5, winning a jump-off from Mt. Carmel junior Brandon Ford, who finished ninth, also at 6-5.

Ford, who lost a jump-off against Kemper for second place at the section finals, led all qualifiers the previous day at 6-7.

Mt. Miguel senior Bryant Mitchell (6-5) and Scripps Ranch junior Alex Campbell (6-5) both failed to advance from their qualifying flights.  

All five jumpers had qualified for the state meet by clearing 6-6 at the section meet.

Ross, who stands six feet tall, eclipsed her state-winning mark of 13-4 last year by clearing 13-6 this year. She failed in her three ensuing attempts at 13-9, barely missing on one attempt.

"I know I am going to make 13-9 some time in the future," she said with resolve.
Ross won this year's section title by clearing 13-3. The 13-6 ranks fourth best in the nation this year and fifth all-time in California.

Grabill won the section championship with a time of 10:37.28. Joining Grabill in the state prelims were Torrey Pines senior Megan Morgan (second section, 10:44.52) and Mt. Carmel senior Erin Menefee (third section, 11:03.48). All three advanced to the second day of competition. 

Grabill took the lead from Simi Valley senior Liberty Miller in the final 200 meters and sped to a gold medal-winning time of 10:20.25. Miller (10:23.00) had challenged Grabill by taking the lead on the next-to-last lap. Morgan finished third in 10:29.70. Menefee, perhaps feeling fatigued from competing in the 1,600 finals earlier in the meet, finished well back in 22nd place in 11:09.07.

Section medalists included:

In the girls 1,600 run, Torrey Pines' Alli Billmeyer finished second in 4:47.79. She had entered the state finals with the second-fastest time in the nation.

In the boys 1,600 run, Patrick Henry's Ryan Urie was a surprise second-place finisher in 4:21.44.

La Costa Canyon senior Dillon Fox placed in a tie for third place in the boys pole vault at 15-9 behind event winner Scott Cook, a senior from Mater Dei Santa Ana. Cook cleared 16-3.

Granite Hills senior Kevin Finley was a double medalist with a third in the boys 110 high hurdles (13.86) and a fourth in the 300 intermediate hurdles (37.51). The 13.86 mark ranks seventh all-time in the section.

West Hills junior Alexa Evans placed fifth in the girls discus throw at 142-7. Her prelim mark of 148-4 ranks fourth all-time in the section.

Santa Fe Christian senior Jenna Puterbaugh finished sixth in the girls 200 dash (23.99) and eighth in the 100 dash (11.79).

El Camino sophomore Jasmine Gibbs recorded a sixth-place medal in the girls long jump at 18-11.

San Diego Section State Medalists

First Place
Girls 3,200 Run
Molly Grabill (Rancho Bernardo) 10:20.25 (section record)

Girls Pole Vault
Kortney Ross (Westview) 13-6 (section record)

Boys High Jump
Tyler Jordan (Ramona) 6-11

Second Place
Girls 1,600 Run
Alli Billmeyer (Torrey Pines) 4:47.79

Boys 1,600 Run
Ryan Urie (Patrick Henry) 4:21.84

Third Place
Boys 110 High Hurdles
Kevin Finley (Granite Hills) 13.86

Boys Pole Vault
Dillon Fox (La Costa Canyon) 15-9

Girls 3,200 Run
Megan Morgan (Torrey Pines) 10:29.70

Fourth Place

Boys 300 Intermediate Hurdles
Kevin Finley (Granite Hills) 37.51

Boys Triple Jump
Travis Johnson (Morse) 48-4

Fifth Place
Boys Triple Jump
Jordan Hines (Eastlake) 48-2.75

Girls Discus Throw
Alexa Evans (West Hills) 142-7

Sixth Place
Girls 200 Run
Jenna Puterbaugh (Santa Fe Christian) 23.99

Girls Pole Vault
Mimi Lian (Rancho Bernardo) 11-9

Girls Long Jump
Jasmine Gibbs (El Camino) 18-11

San Diego Section Finalists/Non-Medalists

Seventh Place

Boys 110 High Hurdles
Devin Hickey (Vista) 14.38

Boys Discus Throw
Thomas Hart (St. Augustine) 173-8

Girls Triple Jump
Tamika Smith (El Camino) 37-4.25

Eighth Place

Girls 100 Dash
Jenna Puterbaugh (Santa Fe Christian) 11.79

Boys 200 Dash
Jared Pickering (Rancho Bernardo) 21.37

Girls 1,600 Run
Kelly Lawson (La Costa Canyon) 5:01.79

Girls 100 Hurdles
Danielle Littleton (Vista) 14.22

Boys 3,200 Run
Darren Fahy (LCC) 8:59.88

Boys High Jump
Deante Kemper (Serra) 6-5

Boys Pole Vault
¥Jeremy McGrath (La Jolla) 14-9

Ninth Place
Boys High Jump
Brandon Ford (Mt. Carmel) 6-5

Girls Triple Jump
Iesha Iwobi (Oceanside) 37-3

Distance Events
11th Place

Boys 1600 Run
Chris Brewer (Rancho Buena Vista) 4:25.80

Girls 1600 Run
Erin Menefee (Mt. Carmel) 5:08.82

22nd Place
Girls 3200 Run
Erin Menefee (Mt. Carmel) 11:09.07

27th Place
Boys 3200 Run
Mike Goodger (Carlsbad) 9:39.56

28th Place

Boys 3200 Run
Jacob Wood (Mt. Carmel) 9:43.22

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