(22-foot mark), so it's gratifying to get to the original goal," Newport
Harbor jumping coach Nowell Kay said Friday night at Mt. San Antonio
College, where Sprenger leaped a personal-best 22 feet, 3 inches to
qualify fifth in the CIF Southern Section Division II Preliminaries.
Not knowing what to expect and how his ankle would hold up, Sprenger
soared on his first attempt to advance to next Saturday's CIF Division II
Finals at Cerritos College.
"I felt good today, and luckily I jumped far on my first jump, because
I don't know what (my ankle) would've been like after that," said
Sprenger, the only Newport Harbor boy to qualify for the postseason's
Sprenger, who intends to be a walk-on jumper at the University of
Montana next year, said he was nervous before the competition, but felt
an incredible sense of relief following his first jump.
"I was real pumped up about it," said Sprenger, the first Newport
Harbor long jumper to qualify for the CIF Finals since Dan Gerlach four
years ago. "I really thought I'd be doing this well earlier in the
season. Luckily, I hit a big jump on a big day."
Kay believes Sprenger can go farther. "He gets another week to try and
get that high 22-foot mark," Kay said. "We knew he could reach 22 feet,
but we just didn't know if his ankle would be sound enough."
Sprenger was a lone bright spot in terms of qualifying, although the
Newport Harbor 1,600 relay of Matt Tracy, Zach Zarnow, Peter Bas and Adam
Kerns ran a season-best 3:28.5, finishing fourth in a heat.
In the 3,200, Harbor's Alec Urtu went 9:52 and teammate Nick Miller
10:22, but neither advanced. Urtu, who went 10:01 at this year's Pasadena
Games, was clocked in 9:48 last year in the CIF Prelims, when he was a
Tracy, a sophomore, was 25th overall in the 400, finishing seventh in
the fourth and final heat in 52.26.
The Tars' 400 relay of Kerns, Sprenger, Joel Walker and Pete Bas was
timed in 44.02 and did not qualify. Newport's Dartangan Johnson, the
anchor of both relays, was ruled academically ineligible and could not
compete, Newport Harbor boys coach Bim Barry said.
In the 800, Newport's Noe Perez struggled with muscle spasms in his
hips over the last 200 yards and finished 10th in his heat in 2:06.43.
Newport Rion McKinney came up short in the shot put (48-3), while
teammates Jeff Marshall (132-0) and David Marshall (129-0) did not
advance, but reach their personal best in the discus.