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By Kirby Lee
By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Blake Haney, a rising senior at Stockdale, will race for a world 1,500-meter championship after he won his qualifying heat Thursday in Donetsk, Ukraine, at the IAAF World Youth Championships.
Haney clocked a 3:51.95 to win his heat by about half a second over Spain's Jesus Ramos. The top three in each of three heats, plus the next three best times from any heat, qualified for Sunday's final.
"It was a lot of relief," Haney said in a USA Track & Field release. "I felt good with about 400 (meters) to go, so I decided to go. I was feeling good, and I had a few gears left if I needed them. Fortunately I didn't need them."
Haney was the first American youth to win a heat in the 1,500 meters at the worlds, though his feat was quickly repeated by Michigan prep Grant Fisher, who won the next heat in 3:50.30.
"Watching Blake coming up the line was inspiring," Fisher said in the release. "We can do this, and it gave me confidence being part of the USA."
The world final will be run at 6:45 a.m. Sunday (4:45 p.m. in Ukraine). Haney will attempt to become the first local athlete to earn a world youth medal since Stockdale's Alex Collatz won silver in the girls discus in 2009.
Blaze falls to Storm
Lake Elsinore scored three runs in the eighth inning to tie it, then added the game-winner with the help of three successive wild pitches in the ninth inning by Blaze reliever Pat Doyle for a 5-4 victory in a California League baseball game.
With the game tied 4-4, Austin Hedges singled to lead off the Storm's ninth, and made his way around the bases on Doyle's three consecutive wild pitches.
The rough finish for Bakersfield wasted a solid start by John Moscot, who allowed only one run in six innings, with seven strikeouts and no walks. He allowed five hits.
Jake Johnson, who relieved Moscot in the seventh, allowed two earned runs in 1-2/3 innings, and Doyle allowed two runs in a third of an inning.
Juan Silverio hit a two-run home run and Ryan Wright and David Vidal had two hits apiece for the Blaze, which will face the Storm again tonight.
Storm starter James Needy worked six scoreless innings.