Redondo Nike Invitational Preview


While Friday is an evening full of distance races, Saturday is a full day jammed to the brim with track and field. If you think the standard invitational flies by far too quickly, then be sure to find yourself at Redondo from the first 1600m at 8:30 a.m., all the way until the last 4x400 begins, sometime after 7:10 p.m. If you want to print out the full meet program, you may have to buy a few new ink cartridges. To save you the trouble of all that, here's a highlight of some of the major things to watch for. Basically, don't go to the bathroom during any of the following events:

Continuing with the quality distance competition from Friday night, both the boys and girls 1600m races should be thrilling affairs. On the girls side, the Great Oak duo of Kiyena Beatty and Sydney Belus have both already run under 4:39 for the 1500 (4:37.6 and 4:38.2 respectively). As usual, they aren't the only Great Oak contenders, as Nicole Rice, Evelyn Mandel, and Sandra Pflughoft could insert themselves into the title conversation. If a winner is going to be wearing anything other than a red singlet, Mariah Castillo of Saugus has a great shot, having already run 5:04 this season.

On the boys side, Claremont's Ryan Renken is coming back off the Friday night 3200, but that doesn't make him any less of a contender, having run 4:17 last season. That said, he'll have to get by Scripps Ranch's Alex Barr, who boasts 2016 PRs of 1:54.9 and 4:16.2. One runner who has been hot as anyone since November is Solomon Fountain of Great Oak. After finishing 6th at the cross country state meet, he's taken that momentum straight into track season, kicking off the year with an impressive 4:01 1500m.

Perhaps the most exciting race of the day could be the girls 100m hurdles. The race will feature three of the four best times on the year so far, led by Vacaville's Jurnee Woodward. The LSU-bound hurdler has already dropped a 14.18 this season, though that nearly seems pedestrian compared to her PR of 13.52. With credentials like that, you'd think this should be an easy run for her, but both Norco's Shae Anderson (14.52 this season) and Roosevelt's Breanna Bernard-Joseph (14.22 PR) should be right on her tail.

On the topic of Anderson, be sure to catch everything she's running throughout the day. In addition to the high hurdles, she'll be competing in the 300m hurdles, the 100m, and the 400m. She's already dropped a ridiculous 53.1 in the 400 this season, and should have a chance to do something special just about every time she steps on the track. Heck, it'd be great to see what she can do in a 3200m at this point. She'll be duking it out with Woodward and again in the 300m hurdles, so this meet should be a can't-miss meet for any hurdle fans.

Another standout individual at the meet is Yucaipa's Asani Hampton. He's run a 10.47 100m this year, and that's enough to make him a significant favorite in that event. He has a chance to run away from the field, but that doesn't mean it won't be enjoyable to watch. The boys 400m is going to be another hot race. The Dorsey duo of Mark Nunez (48.42) and Tyler Rambo (49.6) will be hard to beat, but Josh Cruz of Bishop Amat has broken 50 before and is primed to do it again after a solid winter season.

It's always fun when the host school has a superstar, and that's the case in the boys pole vault, as favorite Tate Curran will seek to continue to improve on his already-impressive season. He hasn't had a meet where he's gone out under 16' yet, and while he's not quite there yet, 17' can't be far off. When Curran isn't vaulting, one of the best field event duels of the day will be happening on the same runway. Brooke Tjerrild of Clovis North and Peninsula's Jacqueline Ahrens are both ranked in the top five so far this season in the event, and should compete well over 12'.