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Track & Field: CdM boys take fifth at OC Championships

Hurst, Hardy set school records at OC Championships, highlighting strong individual performances by Sea Kings.

April 20, 2013|By Matt Szabo

MISSION VIEJO — When everything comes together, Corona del Mar High track and field coach Bill Sumner said this could be the best boys' team he's had in decades.

"Everybody has to show up and all the cylinders have to be firing," Sumner said. "We've got about 12 boys, and they all do more than one event. If all 12 boys show up and all the pistons are firing, this is the best team I've had in about 20 years."

Keeping with the car analogy, CdM did sputter at times on Saturday at the Orange County Track & Field Championships. But the Sea Kings still showed they have several athletes who deserve to be considered among the county's elite.

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CdM's boys placed fifth in the meet, which was won by Mission Viejo. Mater Dei won the varsity girls' meet for the third straight year.

The Sea Kings are in the midst of a big season. They are undefeated in the Pacific Coast League, with their last dual meet coming Wednesday against Beckman. League finals follow on May 3.

"Oh my God, it was a long day," Sumner said after the Orange County Championships ended in the late-afternoon heat at Mission Viejo High. "We got a little banged up along the way, and some things didn't fall the right way. All in all, we got fifth, it's Orange County and there's a lot of schools here. We're in the hunt."

A big reason for the success is junior Matt Hurst, who finished top-two in both of his individual races Saturday. He won the 400 meters in 49.20 seconds, about a half-second off the school record. Hurst did set the school record in the 200, which he ran in a personal-best 21.88 seconds. That was good for second place, as Hurst was edged by JSerra junior Dante Pettis (21.84).

After Hurst's 400 win, Sumner approached Hurst.

"Remember what I told you your event was?" Sumner said to Hurst. "Do you believe me now?"

Hurst, clutching a backpack given to the winner of each race, just smiled.

"I always did," he responded. "I just wanted to run the [100] also."

Hurst said he tried to start strong and hold onto the lead. That strategy also worked for his senior teammate, Troy Hardy, who broke his own school record in the 300 intermediate hurdles to win in 38.35 seconds. Hardy held off Orange Lutheran senior Cullen Riser (38.46) at the end. Hardy's time was the eighth-fastest in OC Championships history.

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