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Apr 15, 2007

Busy Los Angeles Weekend Reaps Season Best Marks

Long Beach, CA — The Wingfoot Finish track team traveled to the Los Angeles area to take part in three separate track meets; Azusa Pacific Invitational, Mt. SAC Relays, and Long Beach Invitational.

Leading the weekend off for the team at the campus of Azusa Pacific University were Joel Hartman and AJ Jimenez in the 1500m. AJ started off strong but his efforts weaned in the final 600m as Joel surpassed his teammate to finish in 4:32.99. AJ followed close behind in 4:42.01.

In the women’s 1500m was run in four sections. Brianna, seeded in the third section, darted to the front as soon as the gun went off. She quickly settled into her pace and allowed two other competitors to lead the race.

When Brianna decided to take the lead for good only one other competitor would be able to respond to the blistering pace she was setting. She was able to put nearly 9 seconds in the final 300 meters of the race to win her section in a season best 4:55.98.

The next and final section contained plenty of drama as provided by Amaree Wright. Unlike Brianna, Amaree settled into the middle of the pack from the start. She maintained a steady pace through the race but the drama was building as she was in fourth place with 400 meters to go. She quickly passed one of her competitors to position herself into third.

It looked as if that was where she was to finish but with 250 meters to go Amaree kept the pressure on. With her furious kick she was able to close the 30 meter gap that was between her and second place. Amaree’s time of 5:20.75 was 17 seconds better than her previous best. This was made all the more impressive because she had been battling a virus that was causing her much fatigue for two weeks prior.

The team headed south about 10 miles to Mount San Antonio College where Michelle Resendez tackled the 5000m. Michelle had to battle a blister on her right foot in the final mile of the race. In a field of 28, she ran a season best of 17:32.47 to finish in 7th place.

After the race the team settled in to take in the rest of the Mt SAC Relays Distance Carnival and was treated to an American record performance by Shalane Flanagan in the 5000m.

The next day the squad headed to the campus of California State University at Long Beach where Brianna and Amaree would run their second 1500m of the weekend with Joel competing in the 800m.

Brianna crossed the line in another sub-5 minute effort in 4:59.64, while Amaree cruised in at 5:48.18.

Joel was poised and ready for his race, coming around the first lap in 62 seconds. He remained strong in the second lap and held on to run a season best and new club record 2:09.20.

As the team headed home, Au went south to Tucson to take part in the Race for the Cure Southern Arizona 5k at Reid Park. He had a successful outing with a 16:12.0 for fourth place.

Next up on the docket for the team is the Flames Invitational on Saturday, April 21 at Mesa Community College. The first event is scheduled for 5:00 PM.