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Recap of the Laguna Beach Trophy Invitational
LAGUNA BEACH – Between cross country and the outdoor track season, the county’s distance runners have to gauge themselves as they try to peak at the right time.
Tesoro junior Amanda Gehrich is no stranger to this concept, but she went full-tilt at the Laguna Beach Trophy Invitational on Saturday.
Gehrich delivered one of the most impressive performances of the young season, completing the 3,200 meters in 10:33.99.
Her 3,200 time is good for third in the nation and second in the state. Marissa Williams of Palisades holds California’s top mark (10:25.93).
“It’s pretty amazing. It really brings my confidence up,” Gehrich said of her accomplishments on the track. “It makes me realize what I can do and what I’m capable of.”
Gehrich also won the 1,600. Teammate Briar Brumley placed second in both events. The Titans’ duo earned All-County cross country honors in the fall, and Gehrich appreciates the opportunities that practicing against one another presents.
“I’m actually really grateful for her,” Gehrich said. "It’s healthy competition. We push each other. It’s really helpful, and it’s just really nice to have her.”
The next challenge for Gehrich will come this weekend when she competes at the adidas Meet of Champions Distance Classic at Azusa Pacific University. The winner of the boys and girls adidas "Dream Mile" qualifying run will receive an automatic bid into the prestigious adidas Grand Prix meet in New York.
The Laguna Beach Trophy Invite revealed streaks of brilliance by several county girls. Coco Putnam of Laguna Beach produced the county’s best mark of the season in the 300 hurdles with a 46.03, while also winning the 400 in 58.61 seconds.
Santa Margarita’s Kaitlyn Merritt matched her season-high and county-leading mark of 13-6 in the pole vault.
Cypress was impressive on the track. Hilary Ojinnaka controlled the sprints, taking the 100 in 12.63 and the 200 in 25.76. Nicole Covington won the 100 hurdles in 16.17, and the Centurions edged Trabuco Hills (50.17) to finish first in the 400 relay with a time of 49.63.
Quinten Pounds stood out on the boys side for Cypress. He produced a high jump of 6-6.5 to defeat the competition by more than four inches. Pounds fell short on his attempt to break the school’s record at 6-9, but he is confident he will surpass that goal by season’s end.
“Going for the school record is awesome,” Pounds said. “It’s cool having a goal to break a record and have other people walk into the gym and see that I hold the record. I’ll get it eventually this year.”
Pounds said his year-end goals are to hit 7-feet in the high jump and to get below 11 seconds in the 100.
Among the highlights in the boys distance events were Dana Hills’ Jake Ogden (1:55.73) and Mason Coppi (1:56.38) finishing first and second in the 800. Anuare Magana (4:24.77) of Costa Mesa clipped St. Margaret’s Collin Price (4:24.95) for the 1,600 title.
Landon Shank (Servite), Jett Gordon (Marina), and Chris Doerr (Trabuco Hills) bettered 15-6 in the pole vault, which is tied for third on the county leaderboard.
Valencia’s Nick Coghill swept the throwing events with marks of 56-2.25 in the shot put and 166 in the discus.