Track & Field

2015: Rory Trup, Section 880 Champ in 1970

Rick : January 9, 2015 9:11 am : Track & Field

Rory Trup, the San Diego Section 880-yard run champion in 1970 at Mission Bay, passed away.

Trup, 62, of Encinitas ran 1:55.3 to win the Section title at Balboa Stadium and posted a career best 1:55.1 in the State trials at Edwards Stadium on the University of California campus in Berkeley.

Trup ranked 24th all-time among County half-milers at conclusion of his high school career.

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2014: Women Tracksters Star and Look to 2015

Rick : June 20, 2014 5:07 pm : Track & Field

The names that figure to be shouted out in 2015 are Labrie-Smith and Johnson from Cathedral, Acolatse from Mission Hills, with maybe a raised voice by Mongiovi from West Hills.

All were underclass standouts among the women, who made the most noise on what was, at best, another average season by San Diego Section athletes, at least in comparison to most of the other nine CIF sections in California.

Junior Hanna Labrie-Smith was second in the state meet and set a Section record of :41.67 in the 300 hurdles and sophomore teammate Dani Johson ran :42.13 and blitzed  wind-aided times of  :13.81 and :13.99 in the 100 hurdles in the state meet. Johnson set a Section record with a non-wind :14.16 at the finals at Mt. Carmel.

Junior Suzie Acolatse turned in the fourth (:11.59) and seventh (:23.97) all-time fastest times in the 100 and 200. Junior Melissa Mongiovi logged :55.61 in the 400 but did not approach her personal best of :54.70 from 2013.

Madison’s Doton Ogundeji led the men and won the state shot put at 65 feet, 5 1/2 (fourth) but fouled at over 200 feet in the discus trials and did not qualify.  Ogundeji’s accepted 194-5 is sixth all-time.

The edited best marks list for 2014 was compiled by Steve Brand, for more than 40 years an expert and fan of the sport.


100 (Fully Automatic)— Brandon Lucas (Poway) 10.63 (Tie No. 16 all-time),  John Kendrick III (Morse) 10.69, Dosier (Monte Vista) 10.80, Dickens (Grossmont ) 10.82, Doan (St. Augustine) 10.84, Stinson (Helix) 10.85, Beck (Tri City Christian) 10.85, LeBlanc (University City) 10.88. more »

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2014: Mac’s fleet 1,500 propels Ducks to title

Rick : June 15, 2014 11:31 am : Track & Field

Happy Father’s Day!

Oregon’s Mac Fleet defended his national collegiate 1,500-meter run championship with a time of 3:39.09 yesterday, helping the Ducks win their first men’s championship since 1984.

Nosing out Arizona’s Lawi Lalang, who was seeking a ninth NCAA individual championship, Fleet made a powerful stretch run in front of his parents, Dale and Jana Fleet, and  a crowd of more than 10,000 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

Fleet is a name that has resonated many years in San Diego track and field circles.

Dale Fleet was the 1971 state champion for Clairemont High with a time of 8:53.8 in the two-mile run at Drake Stadium on the UCLA campus in Westwood.*

Fleet is among the state's and San Diego's all-time runners.

Fleet is among the state’s and San Diego’s all-time runners.

Dale’s time, converted to meters, is 8:50.84, fourth all-time in San Diego County.

Mac ran 4:05.33 to win the state 1,600 meters as a senior at University City in the 95-degree heat at Buchanan High in Clovis in 2009.

The younger Fleet’s 1,600 meters is No. 2 all-time among area runners and his 1:50.31 for 800 meters is fourth.

Mac also is sixth in the all-time California prep rankings with a 4:02.9 mile that converted to 4:01.29 for 1,600 meters.  His 3:39.09 1,500 meters in the NCAA event converts to a 3:56.55 mile.

Fleet also won the 1,500 in 3:50.25 in 2013 at Eugene  and ran a personal best 3:38.35 last season.

*That  meet still ranks among the best ever in California.  Competition, before a crowd of more than 12,000,  was so intense and marks so outstanding  that Lincoln’s Donald Tyler, for example, ran a  :47.3 440 and finished eighth in a field of nine.

Tyler’s :47.3, converted to :47.14, has been bettered by only three San Diego runners, led by the :46.85 of Morse’s Lydell Burston  in 1996.

Dale Fleet, a San Diego school teacher, still is involved in the sport, helping out with the cross-country program at University City.

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2014: Ogundeji, Cathedral Girls Stand Out

Rick : June 9, 2014 10:52 am : Track & Field

A couple hard-knocking hurdlers from Cathedral and a shot putter from Madison furnished the star power for the San Diego Section in the boys’ 96th and girls’ 41st State high school track and field championships over the weekend in Clovis.

Doton Ogundeji of Madison, overcoming a fouled-filled, nonqualifying 163-foot effort in Friday’s discus trials, won the shot put on Saturday with a toss of 65 feet, 5 1/2 inches, matching his career best.

Ogundeji’s victory, coming in one of the meet’s final events, kept alive a streak dating to 2002 in which the San Diego Section has produced an individual winner.

Hannah Labrie-Smith finished second in the 300 hurdles with a San Diego Section record :41.67.

Labrie-Smith’s sophomore teammate, Dani Johnson, was seventh in the 100 hurdles but her time of 13,99, which followed a :13.81 in Friday’s trials, would have  broken her section record of :14.16 but each race was contested in wind over the allowable 2.0 meters.

San Diego Section athletes scored 58 points total, including Johnson’s seventh, a seventh by Tal Braude in the boys’ 3200, and Emma Abrahamson’s eighth in  the girls’ 3200.


What kind of season was it?

The  58 points were less than the 64 scored by the Long Beach Poly girls.

San Diego athletes earned eight medals.  By comparison, Central Section athletes, perhaps more adapted to the 100-degree temperatures in Clovis and  the surrounding San Joaquin Valley, were awarded 23 medals.

The Central Section has 131 schools, San Diego Section 123.

Labrie-Smith  and Johnson will lead the class of 2015.

Other standouts returning next season:

Sprints–John  Kendrick (Morse), :10.69, :21.99.  Suzie Acolatse (Mission Hills), 11.59, :23.97.

110 Hurdles–Devon Alvarado (Rancho Buena Vista), :14.65.

400–Melissa Mongiovi (West Hills), :55.31 (:54.70 as a sophomore).

1600–Erik Armes (Coronado), 4:13.67.

Long Jump–Jordan Miller (Oceanside), 23-8w.

State Meet Medal Winners more »

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2014: Ogundeji leads Section State Qualifiers

Rick : June 1, 2014 1:14 pm : Track & Field

The San  Diego Section has 16 state top 10 performances, compared with 18 two weeks ago and 11 last week as the 96th meet championships loom this weekend at Clovis’ Buchanan High.

There are many scoring opportunities for the local group after a strong finish to the San Diego Section season Saturday at Mt. Carmel, but the field at Buchanan is as loaded as ever. Some  potential point-scorers:

–Madison’s Doton Ogundeji has to be favored in the shot put and discus, with state-leading efforts of 65 feet, 5 1/2 inches, and 194-5.

Ogundeji was the only San Diego Section athlete to qualify for Saturday’s finals in two events last year.

But the pressure will be on. Matt Katnik of Bellflower St. John Bosco trails Ogundeji by an inch in the shot put and Malik McMorris of Santa Ana Mater Dei is close in the discus at 192.

–Brandon Lucas of Poway is in three events, 100 (:10.63), 200 (:21.18), and 4×100 relay (:41.45). He would have qualified in the 400 but dropped that event in the San Diego Section finals.

Lucas’ best individual event is the 200, with a fifth-best time of :21.18.  Should he qualify in all three, the Saturday night 200 final would be Lucas’ sixth race in two days.

Rumors abounded at the San Diego finals that Poway would make a state meet personnel change, Ryan Morgan replacing one of the foursome that included Will James, Tyjon Lindsey, Lance Mudd, and Lucas in the league and section meets.

–Suzie Acolatse of Mission Hills has come out of the weeds and inserted herself into the conversation  with an :11.59 100 and :23.97 200, both times representing significant improvements in the last month.

–Melissa Mongiovi of West Hills ran :54.70 as sophomore last year and finished fifth in the 400.  Her best this season is :55.61  and Mongiovi  seems to have too much left at the end of her races, but she is a technically sound and fast enough  to hang with the favorites.

–Adrian Mangoba of Vista (who?)  was laboring in 1:57.74 obscurity 30 days before the section final, but took the lead Saturday early in the second lap and no one could run him down.

Mangoba held on to win in 1:52.33, beating back the challenge of Bannon Greer of Valley Center, who ran 1:52.96.

–Hannah Labrie-Smith, Cathedral’s section record-holding 300 hurdler, was among the state leaders since April with a :42.24, but she fell to No. 8 when Southern Section hurdlers blew out some low :42s and mid :41s.

–Stephen Fahy of La Costa Canyon hopes to make a run at Bakersfield Stockdale’s Blake Haney in the 3200.

Fahy’s 8:53.5 is third best going in and Haney, undefeated in 23 races this year,  has not run close to his state-leading 8:46.80 since early April. But Haney tripled in  the Central Section finals, running 1:52.86 in the 800, 4:13.07 in the 1600, and 9:18.1 in the 3200.

San Diegans in State Top 10 more »

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2014: San Diego Leaders Eye Section Finals

Rick : May 25, 2014 1:04 pm : Track & Field

Were the San Diego Section trials yesterday the “proof of the pudding” for area qualifiers who now enter the two most important weeks of the season?

Section finals will be Saturday at Mt. Carmel High, followed  by the state meet in Clovis June 6-7.

While the ancient proverb may not apply, San Diego athletes did  not come close to season standards in almost every event yesterday.

Meanwhile, 12 season bests were recorded as the rest of the state competed in divisional meets.  The Central Section held its finals.

Eastlake’s Shane Martin traversed the 110 hurdles in a fully electronic :14.48 for a 2014 best.  Dalish Dozier of Mount Miguel took the lead in the girls’ long jump at 18-11.

Two significant casualties from league meets were Helix’ 4×100 relay squad, which had a hand-timed :41.8, and Scripps Ranch’s Brian Thomas, the section leader for most of the year with a :48.18 400.

The Highlanders were guilty of a lane violation in the Grossmont Hills finals and Thomas pulled a muscle in the Eastern finals.

If healthy this week, Thomas possibly could run a leg for the Falcons’ 4×400 relay squad, which qualified.


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2014: League Finals Produce State Contenders

Rick : May 21, 2014 10:10 am : Track & Field

It’s that time of year.

Fire-delayed league finals didn’t slow San Diego Section track and field athletes in their pursuit of May-June honors. Seven new state top 10 performances were recorded (see table below).

Poway’s Brandon Lucas turned a wind-assisted :10.64 100 meters and hustled to a :21.18 200 (County No. 13 all-time) in the Palomar League finals. Mission Hills Suzie Acolatse ran :11.83 in the Valley League 100.

Oceanside’s Kevin Dodds moved up in the triple jump at 48-1, with wind, while teammate Jordan Miller proffered a wind-aided 23-8 long jump.

Poway’s Charlie Bush cleared 15-9 in the pole vault  and Mt. Carmel’s Tobe Ezeokoli logged :48.16 in the Valley League 400.

Lucas and other members of  Poway’s  fine short and long relay teams sat out those events but will be action this week. Brian Thomas, the Section 400-meter leader from Scripps Ranch, scratched from the 200 after struggling to :53.87 and seventh place in the Eastern League 400.

Ill or injured, Thomas would have to get a favorable nod to be byed into the San Diego Section trials.

Although she did not break into the state’s top 10, Cathedral’s Dani White raced over the 100 hurdles in :14.28, Section No. 3 all-time, in Western finals.

White’s teammate, Hannah Labrie-Smith, No. 2 in the state 300 hurdles at :42.24,  was cut a break when Long Beach Poly’s Ebony Crear, the leader at :41.46, stumbled and fell in a Southern Section divisional meet.

Unless Crear is politicked into the Southern Section final this week, Labrie-Smith will have one less formidable  rival in the upcoming meets.

Section trials will be at Mt. Carmel Saturday.  Girls competition starts at 9 a.m., followed by the boys at 2 p.m.

State Finishers more »

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2014: 48 Years After, Danielson’s Marks Still Best

Rick : May 18, 2014 12:32 pm : Track & Field

Tim Danielson was convicted last week in El Cajon Superior Court of murdering his ex-wife in 2011.  His expected sentence of 50 years to life is pending.

I’d like to remember Danielson as the billiant runner who competed  for coach Harry Taylor at Chula Vista High and set San Diego Section standards in 1965-66 that still are unequaled, 48 years later.

Danielson became the second high school runner (after Jim Ryun)  to better 4 minutes in the mile in 1966 when he finished fourth in 3:59.4 behind Jim Grelle, Neil Duggan, and Dave Bailey in the San Diego Invitational of internationally-ranked runners in Balboa Stadium.

Danielson was congratulated by Spoken prep Rick Reilly, who ran 4:04.7 in same race.

Danielson was congratulated by Spoken prep Rick Reilly, who ran 4:04.7 in same race.

The 4-minute mile has been reached by high schoolers three times  since, by New Jersey’s Martin Liquori, who ran 3:59.7 in 1967; by Virginian Alan Webb, who ran 3:53.43 in 2001, and by Illinois’ Lucas Verbickas, who ran 3:59.71 in 2011.

The mile,  the most famous event in the sport’s history, is seldom run.  Its currency faded when the United States went to the metric system 35 years ago.

Danielson competed in the era of  yards and hand-timed races, but we’ve attempted to measure  Danielson’s marks as if he were competing in meters and with electronic timing.

The table below shows Danielson’s best converted efforts in his final two years at Chula Vista, including  dominance of California distance aces.  He  won back-to-back state championships,  by 10 yards in Bakersfield in 1965 and by 12 yards in Berkeley in 1966.

Today’s runners, with several evolutionary advantages, would have to hustle to keep up with him.

Event                    Mark Meet Site Date
400 49.95 vs. Escondido Escondido 04/01/66
800 1:52.50 Metropolitan League Escondido 05/13/66
1600 3:57.50n Invitational Balboa Stadium 06/11/66
4:01.70n National AAU New York 06/25/66
4:02.30n Police Games Toronto 07/23/66
4:04.60 San Diego Section Balboa Stadium 05/27/66
4:05.40 State Berkeley 06/04/.66
Golden West Sacramento 06/18/66
4:05.80n National AAU (h) New York 06/25/66
4:06.40 State Bakersfield 06/05/65
4:06.60 San Diego Section (h) Balboa Stadium 05/21/66
4:07.10 San Diego Section (h) Balboa Stadium 05/22/65
4:08.30 San Diego Section Balboa Stadium 05/28/65
3200 8:52.0 Golden West Sacramento 06/18/66
9:01.40 vs. Mar Vista Chula Vista 05/06/66

 n–nonwinning.  h–heat.


2014: Titans Run Very Fast 4×100

Rick : May 3, 2014 2:12 pm : Track & Field

Poway’s 400-meter relay team was as hot as the 100-degree  weather at the Escondido Invitational last night.

A Titans foursome of Will James, Jarod Turnage, Brandon Lucas, and Lance Mudd flawlessly passed the baton and covered the toasty, all-weather layout  in :41.62, fourth fastest time in California this year.

It is rarefied air for the Titans, whose previous best was :42.02, and for San Diego Section squads.

No County teams  have gotten under 42 seconds since a Reggie Bush-anchored Helix quartet blazed :41 flat in 2003.  At that time there had been 18 teams which had run at least :41.44.

The Section’s all-time best is :40.66 by sprinters from University City in 1998.

High schools dropped the 880-yard relay in 1968 and went to the 440 and mile races, followed by the move to 400 and 1,600 meters with the U.S. switch from yards to meters  in 1980.

The best 880-yard relay team still is the 1963 San Diego team of Walter (Budda) Blackledge, Gordon Baker, Raymond Dixon, and Charles Sanford. That group ran a perfect half mile in 1:26.3 and won the state championship at Berkeley by almost five yards.

San Diego-area teams seldom run the now metric 800 relay.

It would have been interesting to see what the U. City and Helix squads could have negotiated in the mid-distance sprint and what that group of Cavers could have achieved in the 400.

The Highlanders, in  2003 with Bush, ran a leisurely 1:28.7 at Mt. San Antonio in an infrequent attempt at the distance.


Poway is expected to get a challenge from Helix in the upcoming section meets.  The Highlanders have a hand time of :41.8 and a :41.97 fully automatic.

According to, the state leader is Temecula Great Oak at :41.33.

Mission Bay is reported second in the state with  a  :41.44.  That mark seems very  shaky, although the Buccaneers, with no history of great speed, allegedly ran ran that hand-converted time in a dual meet with Kearny at Clairemont on April 18.

Other state leaders include Upland, :41.57; Los Angeles Loyola, :41.58; Gardena Serra, :41.64; Fresno Edison, :41.64, and  Long Beach Poly, :41.76.


Poway’s Lucas improved the section lead in the 200 meters to :21.56, tenth fastest in the state, and threw a shot across the bow at Scripps Ranch’s Brian Thomas and Mt. Carmel’s Tobe Ezeokoli with a :48.39 in the 400.

Scripps Ranch’s Brian Thomas is the section leader at :48.18.  Ezeokoli has run :48.26.


2014: Escondido Meet Next Up

Rick : May 1, 2014 12:53 pm : Track & Field

Madison’s Doton Ogundeji continues to lead state and national shot putters and Mt. Carmel’s Derek Morton has moved in front of California 800-meter runners.

Both are expected to take on some of the nation’s best in the annual Arcadia Invitational Friday and Saturday.

Ogundeji leads the nation with a throw of 65-4 1/2 and is 10th in the U.S. and fourth in California with a 180-foot waft in the discus.

Morton took the state lead with a  1:53.60 last week in a dual meet at Westview and is fifth in the country.

The Sundevils senior showed promise last year with bests of 1:57.80 and 4:18.16 in the 1,600 meters and cranked a 1:55.65 month ago in the Mt. Carmel Field and Distances invite.

Other San Diego Section athletes who have moved into respective state Top 10’s:

Event Rank Name School Mark
300 HurdlesG 4 Hannah Labrie-Smith Cathedral :43.4
1600 MetersG 5 Emma Abrahamson La Costa Canyon 4:55.81
1600 MetersB 7 Erik Armes Coronado 4:16.32
Pole VaultG 8T Augusta Thomason Rancho Bernardo 12-0
800 MetersB 9 Bryan Alvarado Sweetwater 1:55.30
800 MetersG 9 Kelly Bernd Canyon Crest 2:15.09
200 MetersG 9T Melissa Mongiovi West Hills :24.79
Pole VaultB 9T Charlie Bush Poway 15-7
Shot PutG 10 Kiely Osby Escondido 42-10 1/2
400 MetersB 10 Brian Thomas Scripps Ranch :48.41
1600 RelayB 10 Scripps Ranch 3:20.75
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