While a gusting head wind was about the only challenge faced by Costa Mesa High boys' sprinter Quinton Bell on Thursday, Estancia girls' sprint star Persis Williams-Mensah received a rare Orange Coast League challenge in the boys' and girls' league dual track and field meet between the crosstown rivals at Jim Scott Stadium.
Williams-Mensah, a senior three-time league champion in the 100 and 200 meters who has never lost a race in league competition, held off Costa Mesa sophomore Paige LaBare by a step in the 200 on Thursday. Williams-Mensah, with UC Irvine coaches in attendance to observe her, topped LaBare by .44 seconds (about five feet) in the 100 to keep her unbeaten streak intact.
"I was more nervous than usual," Williams-Mensah said after the 100, the first of the two races, in which she posted a time of 12.56 seconds. "I was expecting competition today and it just pushes you to train harder. And when the actual race comes up, it's crazy."
Williams-Mensah's winning time in the 200 was 27.19, just ahead of LaBare at 27.30.
"I was hoping I was going to get her today," LaBare said. "But I'm going to bring the heat next week [league preliminaries and finals at Laguna Beach High]."
Williams-Mensah said she is also looking forward to defending her league titles next week.
"I'm going to start training a lot harder, but I'm ready for this," Williams-Mensah said.
Bell led Costa Mesa sweeps in the 100 and 200 and anchored victorious 400 and 1,600 relays to help the Mustangs record a 105-12 triumph.
The Costa Mesa girls prevailed, 81-25, behind three individual event victories by Daysi Vasquez (800, 1,600 and 3,200) as well as wins by Arisa Joi in both hurdles races.
In addition to Bell, the Mustangs boys' squad received a pair of individual wins by Corbin Pritchard (5 feet, 2 inches in the high jump and 20.44 in the 110 high hurdles). Pritchard was also third in the long jump
Estancia junior Tyler Thomas won the shotput with a mark of 41-1, while junior teammate Luigi Gonzalez won the discus throw (124-5) to represent the only victories, and nearly the only points, for the Eagles.
Bell's time in the 100 was 11.22, well ahead of teammates Xavier Bell (12.09) and Michael Dias (12.32). In the 200, Quinton Bell topped the field in 22.69 seconds, nearly two seconds better than runner-up Jamil Douglas from Costa Mesa (24.63).
"The dual meets in league are practice meets for the invitationals," said Quinton Bell, an All-CIF Southern Section division honoree in football who will play football and run track at Texas Southern next year. "Even if I know that I should win the race, I'm still pushing myself 100% to get good work in. I'm trying to PR. This was pretty much training to prepare myself for CIF, the Masters and state. I'm looking to make the CIF finals and the state meet. I want to get as far as I can."
Vasquez's winning times were 2:45 in the 800, 6:09 in the 1,600 and 15:02 in the 3,200, while Joi crossed the finish line in 19.35 in the 100 hurdles and 57.0 in the 300 hurdles.
Additional boys' winners for the Mustangs included John Hernandez (54.47 in the 400), Anuare Magana (2:02 in the 800), Francisco Ruiz (5:09 in the 1,600), Brett Bermudez (10:39 in the 3,200), Douglas (17-4 in the long jump), Francisco Ruiz in the triple jump (32-9), and Trevor Davis in the 300 intermediate hurdles (46.59).
Douglas was second in the 400 in 55.0, Bermudez was second in the 800 in 2:05, Magana was second in the 3,200 in 10:41, and Davis was second in the triple jump (32-10).
Additional Mesa points were collected by Daniel Lawrence, who was second in the high jump (5-0) and the long jump (17-2), and Marco Zalpa, who was second in the shotput (40-1 1/2) and the discus (109-11).
Senior Rebekah Lewis was a double winner for the Eagles' girls, capturing the shotput (34-7 1/2) and the discus (104-0).
Mesa girls' winners included Jocelyn Gutierrez (1:09 in the 400), Samantha Schwerman (4-2 in the high jump) and Emily Olvera (13-7 in the long jump).
For the Mustangs' girls, Cathy Pimental was second in the 400 in 1:11 and the 800 in 2:55, while Gaby Perez was second in the 1,600 in 6:10 and the 3,200 in 15:03.
Olvera was third in the 400 and 800, while teammate Danielle Obong was third in the 200 and the long jump.
Joi was runner-up in the long jump (13-0) and Schwerman was third in the 100, while Costa Mesa's Alexis Lomeli was second in the shotput (28-0) and third in the discus.
In the boys' meet, Dias was also third in 200, while Andres Avelar was third in the 1,600 and the 3,200 for the Mustangs.