TRACK AND FIELD: Muir’s Cooper wins 100

Mustang junior Lindsay Cooper leads area athletes into Masters

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Above: Muir’s Lindsay Cooper won the 100 meter race during the CIF Track and Field Finals at Mt. SAC in Walnut. (SGVN/Staff Photo Keith Birmingham/SVSports)

By Keith Lair, Staff Writer
WALNUT – Lindsay Cooper knows where she needs to start her work Monday.
The Muir High School junior got off to a slow start, but made up for it at the end. She won the CIF-Southern Section Division III 100 meters title in Saturday’s CIF-SS Toyota Divisional Track and Field Championships at Mt. SAC.
Cooper was fourth at about 60 meters, but burst past the rest of the field for the victory in oppressive heat. She won in 12.04 seconds.
“It was a slow start,” Cooper said. “I was definitely determined to win, especially after not winning in the (100) hurdles.”
Cooper, who did not take up track and field until her freshman year at Muir, at the urging of her cousin Jalisa Williams, had the top qualifying time in the division going into the meet.
“I was hoping to catch those others,” she said. “I just happened to catch her.”
She also advanced to Friday’s Masters meet at Cerritos College, taking the ninth and final spot. The top 12 in the field events and distance events and the top nine in the other running events qualified for Friday’s meet.
“We need to work on those starts,” Muir coach Mike Knowles said. “But wow, did she come on. We still think she has her best times ahead of her.”
Cooper was mad, she said, because she finished third in the 100 low hurdles. Diamond Ranch’s Karynn Dunn, who won three events Saturday, won in 14.53 with Molly Collins of Santa Margarita at 14.64 and Cooper at 14.90. Muir teammate Taylar Mills was fifth in 15.27.
Dunn finished fourth in the same 100 race as Cooper.
“I’m going to come back harder next year,” she said of the hurdles.
The two Mustangs scored 26 points and finished in fifth place.
Only one other area athlete in Division III qualified for Masters. Monrovia’s Katrina Graves-Johnson finished second in the high jump at 5-4, edging Cara Vernacchia of San Luis Obispo, who also went 5-4.
Taylor Johnson of Oak Park won at 5-6.
Muir’s Marcus Thompson is an alternate for the Masters in both the 110 high and 300 intermediate hurdles. He was third in the 110 highs in 14.66 and is the second alternate. He missed making the 300 hurdles by 0.05 seconds, finishing third in 38.97. Teammate Eddie Tripp was eighth in 40.59.
The Mustang boys finished sixth in the meet with 26 points.
Also getting an alternate berth is Temple City pole vaulter Koko Huang, who finished third at 10-6. Teammate Jessica Dang was ninth at 9-6.
Otherwise, it was a relatively frustrating day for area Division III athletes.
South Pasadena’s Chloe Fata was leading the 1,600 with 200 meters to go, but finished fourth in a strategic race.
“I was not expecting that (pace),” she said. “I think the heat had a lot to do with it. When you’re leading the race, it changes everything. I really did not want to lead the race. I wasn’t sure if I could hold it.”
She went to the lead at 1,000 meters and tried giving it up, too. But no one would take it. She finished fourth in 5:08.15.
Muir’s Richard Zarazua finished fourth in the 800 in 1:57.24, Chris Dunlap was sixth in the 100 in 10.77 and ninth in the 200 in 23.24 and Christian Kooshian was seventh in the 3,200 in 9:39.36. The Mustangs boys 400 relay team had two bad handoffs and finished well off the pace in sixth in 42.96.