Fortenko fast at Marin County double-dual in Novato
By Tim Menicutch
NOVATO – Entering the 2012 track and field season, Terra
Linda High senior Daniel Fortenko figured to make some noise in the 200- and 400-meter races this season.
But nobody – outside of maybe Fortenko himself – expected an explosion.
In Thursday’s (March 22) Marin County Athletic League
double-dual meet featuring Terra Linda, Sir Francis Drake and host Novato, Fortenko delivered a deafening blast when he cruised to a convincing win in the 400, and
then pulled away from Novato’s
speedy sophomore Christian Corbin in the 200.
In his freshman season, Corbin earned a trip to the State
Meet in the 200.
Propelled by a stiff tailwind on a brisk and blustery day in
Novato, Fortenko clocked a fast 21.3 – 6/10ths of a second clear of runner-up Corbin.
In the 400, Fortenko, the defending MCAL champ, posted a
convincing victory and clocked a 50.6 despite running into a biting headwind
down the backstretch.
“We ran into a heavy headwind down the backstretch,” said Fortenko, who ran a 48.8 under ideal conditions the previous week in Tamalpais. “It was slowing everybody down a bit.”
Fortenko, who missed qualifying for the State Meet a year
ago, has his sights set on reaching the ultimate race this season in Fresno.
“I need to get down to the mid-47s,” Fortenko said. “I have to train hard and then go out and compete hard in every race.”
Fortenko capped his superlative afternoon by anchoring Terra Linda’s winning 4x400-meter relay team (3:36.1), which came from behind to defeat Novato
Despite his upset loss in the 200-meters, Corbin made amends with a powerful victory in the 100-meter dash. His time was a wind-aided 10.9.
“I got out decent – my start wasn’t that great, but it was
good enough,” said Corbin. “When I start good I feel strong. Today, I felt strong and I liked my time.”
In one of the more intriguing match-ups of the day, Novato’s up-and-coming Anthony Menicutch took on state cross country champion John Lawson of Drake in
the 800-meter run.
Menicutch immediately seized control of the pace, and turned back an early challenge. With about 200 meters remaining, Lawson put in his run. He advanced to Menicutch’s shoulder, but the senior transfer from New Mexico dug in and was pulling away again at the finish line. Menicutch clocked a solid 2:02.2 despite the nasty weather conditions. Lawson finished in 2:03.8.
“Anthony ran strong leading all the way into a tough wind,”
said Novato coach Steve Deschler. “And then he held off Lawson. He’s a great runner.”
In the 110-meter high hurdles, Novato’s Dexter Friedman clocked a quick wind-aided time of 16.2.
“I didn’t get a great start – I don’t think I was first to
the hurdles,” Friedman said. “But I actually ran well overall. I’m trying to increase my speed between hurdles without getting in a rhythm. My goal was to break 16 seconds. I’m getting there.”
Drake – behind its powerful tandem of distance runners – won both ends of the double-dual, edging Novato
69-60 and defeating Terra Linda 76-51.
Drake runners swept the top three spots in both the 1,600-
and 3,200 runs. Clayton Huggins scored a double, winning the 1,600 in 4:41.2 and the 3,200 in 10:21.9.
On the girls side, Novato easily defeated both Drake and Terra Linda behind Kerstin Martin’s triple triumph day. Martin won the 100 hurdles (17.0), the 300 hurdles (47.9) and the high jump (4-10).