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Winning the waiting game

July 09, 2005

Grant Gordon

It was Andrew Steben's track and field journey that took him farther

than any other area athlete.

For that and a laundry list of other accomplishments, the St.

Francis High pole vaulter was voted the All-Area Male Track and Field

Athlete of the Year.

Despite vaulting to heights exceeding 14 feet, Steben and the pole

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vault were under the radar for most of the year.

But this year, by the time the track and field season was coming

to a close, all eyes were on Steben as he was the last athlete

standing.

For much of the year, Steben was called on to do his share of the

waiting.

When the Mission League finals were upon him, inclement weather

forced the cancellation of the pole vault event. So, it was put off

until a day later, when Steben took home the Mission League title

with a jump of 14 feet.

After that, he was one of nine area athletes to emerge from the

CIF prelims onward to the CIF finals. Once again, Steben was the last

one there, the last one waiting.

While every one else had practically left Cerritos College in

Norwalk, Steben and his pole-vaulting brethren were still going

strong.

Steben's effort of 14 feet was strong enough for a third-place

finish and another advancement to the Masters Meet -- one of just two

area athletes to do so.

A week later at the Masters, Steben needed a 14-11 to keep his

season going another week. Problem was, Steben had never vaulted that

high.

And while everybody else's track and field season had ended

already, Steben waited until the state finals before calling it a

year.

He got his personal best, an automatic qualifying mark for

Sacramento and the state meet and track spotlight all to himself as

the only area athlete left.

St. Francis High junior pole vaulter Andrew Steben went farther

than any other local track and field athlete this season

AREA'S TOP PERFORMERS

*--*

100 Meters

Eric Stephens, St. Francis 10.98

200 Meters

Eric Stephens, St. Francis 22.28

400 Meters

Eric Stephens, St. Francis 50.72

800 Meters

Rusty Whisman, Crescenta Valley 1:57.08

1,600 Meters

Rusty Whisman, Crescenta Valley 4:17.13

3,200 Meters

Rusty Whisman, Crescenta Valley 9:14.81

110 High Hurdles Ian Chessum, Crescenta Valley 16.8

300 Intermediate Hurdles

Matt Duncan, Crescenta Valley 42.62

Long Jump

Nick Peterson, Crescenta Valley 22-7

Triple Jump

A.J. Bosco, Burbank and Nick Peterson, CV 42-2

High Jump

Matt Tappin, Flintridge Prep 6-2

Pole Vault

Andrew Steben, St. Francis 14-11

Shot Put

Eben Britton, Burroughs 57-8

Discus

Eben Britton, Burroughs 166-0

*--*

*--*

Coach of the Year

Mark Evans, Crescenta Valley

*--*

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