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Track & Field: Speedy record Breakers

Barton, Clemons, Lancaster, Martinez, Anderson part of new school records in 400-meter relay event.

March 14, 2013|By Mike Sciacca
(SCOTT SMELTZER )

It had been etched in the books for 48 years, but within a span of three days last week, the seconds had been wiped away — twice.

School annals show that back during the 1965 track and field season at Laguna Beach High, the boys' 400-meter relay team of Buddy Abrams, Jim Murray, David Collen and Chris Paulsrud made their way into the school's record book. The foursome did so by racing to a record time of 45 seconds in the event.

The group's near-half century run in the top, has come to an end.

In its season opener March 6, a tri-meet against Riverside La Sierra and El Dorado, the Laguna 4x100 team of Reece Barton, Robert Clemons, Nate Lancaster and Drake Martinez erased that '65 record time, by setting the new school record with a time of 44.67 seconds. An outstanding effort, indeed, but before their names could be inked in as replacements in the record book, that time also was eclipsed two days later.

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On March 8, at the Irvine/Asics Invitational, the 4x100 team of Barton, Spencer Anderson, Lancaster and Martinez turned in a time of 44.65 to set yet another school record for the relay.

After the record had been set March 6, Laguna boys' coach Scott Wittkop said he wasn't surprised Barton, Clemons, Lancaster and Martinez had topped the previous record.

"Most played football together, so they have a unity about them," he said, referring to Clemons, Lancaster and Martinez.

Wittkop also figured the new mark would be toppled again during the course of the season. But two days later?

Barton, Lancaster and Martinez ran on both record-setting days. Clemons was part of the March 6 team, but Anderson took a turn on the track for the March 8 Irvine event.

"They all have earned a spot on the team, therefore we rotate them," Wittkop said of the lineup change. There was no run-off held before the start of the season. They are very competitive and want to leave their mark.

"It is nice to have five guys who can compete in this event. That way, if anyone is sick, there is someone that can step right in and feel comfortable in the race."

Anderson said the quintet was confident of its potential.

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