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Diana clears hurdles

From The Sports Desk

May 13, 2011|By Steve Virgen, steve.virgen@latimes.com
(Scott Smeltzer…)

It's fitting that Diana Guido's favorite events in track and field are the hurdles.

In the Estancia High junior's life there have been many hurdles to clear. One came just two weeks before she competed in the Orange Coast League finals. Negative thoughts began to creep in, as doctors told her something was wrong with her heart, again.

Last year, she was told to cease all athletic activity because of an irregular heartbeat. She was crushed, not being able to participate in any sports this past summer.

But in the fall, she received clearance to play again. She competed in volleyball. She had to give up cheerleading because she knew it was all just too much.

Later in the spring, she went out for the track team, like she had the two previous years.

It's been fun going up against other athletes in the 300-meter hurdles, her specialty event. But she knew something was wrong two weeks ago.

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More tests were required. Diana needed to wear a heart monitor during school.

"It was scary at first because I looked like a robot," Diana said. "I tried to cover it up with the clothes I wore."

Diana wanted to get back on the track, back to hopping over hurdles. Finally there was more of a handle on what was going on with her heart.

Diana said her heart skipped a beat at times, but then would beat extra fast to catch up to the rhythm once again. The doctor said it was manageable and that competing would be OK.

"I was OK with that," said Adela Ramirez, Diana's mom. "I just always want the best for her. Of course, I am concerned, but she got cleared. I remember before, in the summer, she got so mad at me because she wasn't allowed to do anything."

Diana made the most of her new opportunity at the OCL finals May 5. She set a personal record in the 300 hurdles, finishing in 49.67 seconds. It was good for third place and landed her a qualifying spot in Saturday's CIF Southern Section Division III preliminaries at Jim Scott Stadium. Corona del Mar and Costa Mesa will also be featured in the meet, that has field events starting at 11 a.m. and track events beginning at noon. Diana will also compete in the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.

Diana was happy with her performance in the league finals, but of course she wanted to win. As a freshman, she was the OCL champ in the 300 hurdles. She finished second last year. Next year she wants to reclaim that league title.

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