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KYUSUNG GONG, KYUSUNG GONG, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Trabuco Hills sophomore Sean Lee, shown competing at last year's CIF-SS Masters Meet, has the top mark (7-1/4) in the state this year in the high jump.

Fryer: Lee, Trabuco Hills track off to strong start

STAFF COLUMNIST

Things are looking up for Trabuco Hills’ Sean Lee.

He is the state leader in the high jump at 7 feet, 1/4 inch. That’s a high mark for mid-March, with the season just a couple of weeks old.

Making the figure more impressive is that Lee is a sophomore.

Lee started “messing around,” as he put it, with high jumping when he was 7 years old. He soon began training with the Orange County Wildcats track and field club until his dad, former Cal State Los Angeles high jumper Ron Lee, created the USA High Jump Club.

He is 6-foot-6 and still growing. Lee, who has a 4.8 grade-point average, wants to major in chemical engineering, preferably at Stanford or UCLA.

As for now, Lee has high hopes for this season.

“I plan to get around 7-2 or 7-3,” he said.

The state high-jump record for a sophomore is 7-2.

Ron Lee’s best mark at Cal State L.A. was 7-2. A state high school high-jump champ in Oregon, Ron Lee now coaches high jumpers at Trabuco.

Which achievement would mean more, when Sean Lee goes higher than 7-2, getting the state sophomore record or beating his father’s best clearance?

“Probably (beating) his,” Sean Lee said, “because he’s always saying he’s jumped higher than me.”

That seems certain to change, and soon.

Taking a look around Orange County high school sports:

• Trabuco Hills is No. 2 in the county track and field top 10, behind Dana Hills. Trabuco coach JT Ayers likes his team’s versatility. “We’re an overall team that is strong at everything,” Ayers said.

• Track and field teams can be cliquish, with the groups – throwers, distance runners, sprinters, etc. – sometimes isolated. Ayers has tried to curtail that – “These kids are excited to be part of a team,” he said – and Sean Lee said it’s worked. “Everyone on this team supports each other,” Lee said.

• Sage Hill senior high jumper Chase Kuehnel last week cleared 6-8, the second-highest boys mark in the CIF-SS this season.

• Trabuco senior Cameron Hurd has the CIF-Southern Section’s second-best mark in the boys 110 high hurdles, at 14.60.

Kallie Given of Los Alamitos and Dominique Ruotolo of Mater Dei are in a group of four who have the top CIF-SS mark in the girls high jump, at 5-6.

Cassie Durgy, a senior at Huntington Beach, ran this season’s fastest time in the state in the girls 800 at 2:12.12 in last week’s Redondo Invitational. At the same meet, Los Alamitos senior Ashley Willingham ran the 400 in 55.86, the second-fastest CIF-SS time.

• Brea Olinda senior Austin Tamagno, who had established himself as one of the county’s all-time great distance runners before this season, is the CIF-SS leader in the 800 (1:52.06). Tamagno, who signed with Oregon and has won everything he has tried to win, is the state defending champion in the 1,600.

• San Clemente senior Connor Dunne is the state leader in the 1,600 at 4:10.72. An example of Dana Hills’ depth in that event: Jake Ogden is No. 2 in CIF-SS in the 1,600 (4:12.64) and teammates Mason Coppi (4:19.36) and Jack Landgraf (4:22.25) are Nos. 7 and 14, respectively.

• Santa Margarita’s Mason Mitchell has a state-leading 48.03 in the 400.

• Tesoro’s Michael Mitchell has the state-leading mark in the boys long jump, at 23-1½.

• In the girls pole vault, juniors Rachel Baxter of Canyon and McKenna Caskey of Mater Dei share the state’s top mark at 13-1. Marina senior Jett Gordon cleared a boys section-best 16-2 in the pole vault.

Emma DeSilva, a senior at Mission Viejo, owns the best CIF-SS mark in the discus at 142-0.

Bronson Osborn and Clint Meyer are continuing the tradition of throwing excellence at Esperanza. Osborn’s 70-0 in the shot put is the state’s best mark. Osborn’s discuss toss of 192-3 is No. 2 in the section, and Meyer’s 185-9 is third-best in CIF-SS track and field.

• Newport Harbor’s Cole Smith is No. 3 in the section in the shot put (58-9) and No. 4 in the discus (172-5).

• Some of the bigger upcoming dates on the track and field schedule: Trabuco Hills Inviational at Trabuco Hills, April 1-2; Arcadia Inviational at Arcadia High, April 8-9; Mt. SAC Relays at Cerritos College, April 15-16; and the Orange County Championships at Mission Viejo, April 23.

• This is the first season since 1987-88 that no O.C. teams have played in the CIF Southern California Regionals boys basketball finals.

• The Southern Calfornia Regionals Open Division final, in which Chino Hills with Lonzo Ball and his brothers play Bishop Montgomery of Torrance, will be televised live on Time Warner Cable systems Saturday at 8:30 p.m. Like all regional finals, it also will be streamed live at twccommunity.com.

• Huntington Beach’s boys volleyball team won its third consecutive Best of the West Championships title. The Oilers beat Newport Harbor in the final.

• Huntington Beach thus retained its status as the top-ranked boys volleyball team in CIF-SS Division 1 and extended its national-record winning streak to 120 matches. Newport Harbor is No. 3 this week, behind Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach. Newport Harbor was No. 6 last week.

• O.C. teams dominate the CIF-SS Division 4 boys volleyball poll. The top three teams are, in order, Saddleback Valley Christian, St. Margaret’s and Crean Lutheran.

Contact the writer: sfryer@ocregister.com


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