By JOHN MURPHY
RIVERSIDE -- Blessed by warm weather and watched by luminaries, including 1964 Olympic hurdler Rosie Bonds (John Murphy photo above), the Raincross Tradition/Riverside City Championships went off without a hitch at Martin Luther King High.
The meet was the 10th revival of the city meet that began in 1970 and then was discontinued less than 15 years later, only to be revived in the new millennium.
Schools were separated into large and small school divisions.
King's Nickolas Beam bolted 100 meters in 11.30 to win the boys large-school race.
"I had a head wind, so I didn't (set a personal record), but it was a good race," Beam said. "I'm in a good place now but looking to improve. I'd like to get into the 10's."
Beam's personal record is 11.00.
Riverside Poly's Malia Benson showed her athletic versatility by leaping 15 feet, 10 inches to win the large-school girls long jump.
This was only Benson's third meet as she also is a slap-hitting infielder on the King softball team.
"It's a good way to start," Benson said. "I play my softball games and go to practices and do track when I can. I'm pretty sure I can go farther."
Also nabbing a first from Poly was senior Kalea Ibarra, who finished in 2:16.96 to win the girls large school 800. She finished nearly 12 seconds faster than the nearest competitor. It was her fastest time since running 2:15.85 at the CIF-SS prelims last spring.
Ibarra has a 4.1 grade point average and hopes to attend Cal next season.
Another girl who excelled was Ramona senior Nanyori Davis-Arnold (John Murphy photo above). Davis-Arnold won both the 100 hurdles (16.62) and the 300 hurdles (48.33) and took a fourth place in the 100 (13.13).
"I feel like I'm almost near my peak," said Davis-Arnold, who hopes to compete at UC-Riverside or Cal State University San Bernardino next year.
Turning in an impressive 800 in the boys large school division to cross first was Poly freshman Sam Medure who finished in 2:00.76. North's Mohammed Mohamed was second in 2:01.32 and Rubidoux's Kevin Ramos third in 2:01.53.
"I feel pretty good," Medure said. "I was upset about the mile where I went out too fast on the opening lap, so I left it all out there in the 800. I'd like to break 4:30 in the mile and 2:00.0 in the 800."
Carnegie School's Mumin Ozturk probably didn't imagine 3-4 years ago that he'd be competing for a Riverside City Championships, but there he was on top of the podium on Saturday after finishing first in the small-school 200 in 24.09. His teammate, Tyler Mosely, was second in 24.56.
Ozturk (John Murphy photo above) is a foreign-exchange student from Turkey.
Despite the thrill of winning a Riverside title, Ozturk said it was an off-track endeavor that has been his highlight in America.
"I got to go to an NBA game - Lakers vs. Timberwolves," he said. "It was so great. It's always been a dream of mine to go to an NBA game."
Picking up a win for Poly in the boys large school 300 meters was junior Noah Griffiths in 41.30, just ahead of teammate Evan Vigress (41.33).
"My (personal record) was 43.03 so I'm pretty excited," Griffiths said. Due to injury problems, this is only Griffiths' second year of high school track and field.
Here are some other highlights from the meet:
- The Woodcrest Christian A team won the small-school girls 400 relay in 53.50.
- Carnegie won the boys small-school boys 400 relay in 46.06.
- King won the girls large-school 400 relay in 49.66.
- Poly won the boys large-school 400 relay in 43.66.
- Woodcrest Christian's Steven Martinez captured the boys SS mile in 5:02.88.
- King's Kayla Mavhera won the girls LS mile in 5:17.75.
- Rubidoux's Kevin Ramos captured the boys LS mile in 4:26.16, with Ramona's Johan Sanchez second at 4:32.90 and Poly's Medure third at 4:34.35.
- Woodcrest Christian's Ella Whitehouse won the girls SS 100 hurdles in 16.48.
- Ramona's Davis-Arnold won the girls 100 LS hurdles in 16.68.
- Moreno Valley's Kia Ruth won the boys LS 110 hurdles in 16.06.
- Notre Dame's Alyssa Fletes won the girls SS 400 in 1:05.80.
- Notre Dame's Aaron Cooper captured the boys SS 400 in 53.64.
- La Sierra's Deja Allain won the girls LS 400 in 58.18.
- La Sierra's Donovan Nelson captured the boys LS 400 in 49.59.
- Woodcrest Christian's Hayden Bell won the girls SS 100 in 13.74.
- Notre Dame's Kavon Fulgham won the boys SS 100 in 11.65.
- King's Sheredyn Pfeiffer captured the girls LS 100 in 12.63.
- Notre Dame's Kurt Vanegas won the boys SS 800 in 2:19.80.
- Notre Dame's Cooper won the boys SS 300 hurdles in 44.09.
- Woodcrest Christian's Bell captured the girls SS 200 in 29.14.
- King's Mavhera won the girls LS 3,200 in 11:58.31.
- Ramona's Sanchez won the boys LS 3,200 in 10:09.88.
- The Woodcrest Christian A team won the girls SS 1,600 relay in 4:47.89, with the California School for the Deaf second at 5:06.96.
- The Notre Dame A team won the boys SS 1,600 relay in 3:43.62.
- The King A team won the boys LS 1,600 relay in 3:29.47.
- Woodcrest Christian captured the girls SS long jump with a leap of 16-4 ½.
- Notre Dame's Justus Robinson won the boys SS long jump with a leap of 18-2.
- North's Jamille Hicks won the boys LS long jump with a leap of 20-6.
- California School for the Deaf's Dennis Greene captured the boys SS triple jump with a mark of 35-7.
- Poly's Lakertic Mendel won the boys LS triple jump with a mark of 44-5 ½.
- CSD's Robert Navarette won the boys SS high jump with a leap of 5-0.
- Poly's Abigail Burke captured the girls LS high jump with a leap of 5-6. Burke is a two-time CIF-Southern Section Division 1 and defending CIF-State champion in the high jump.
- North's Elijah Huber won the boys LS high jump with a leap of 5-8.
- Poly's Madalyn Behney won the girls LS pole vault with an effort of 10-3.
- Carnegie's Mia Tuiasosopo captured the girls SS shot put with a heave of 31-1.
- Carnegie's Tim Marinos won the boys SS shot put with a heave of 43-2 ½.
- Ramona's Prentice Burris won the girls LS shot put with a heave of 37-9 ½.
- Patriot's John Ober captured the boys LS shot put with a heave of 52-10.
- Carnegie's Bryan Burroughs won the boys SS discus with a heave of 114-5.
- Sherman Indian's Courtney Lozeau captured the girls SS discus with a heave of 92-11.
- King's Kimberly Garza won the girls LS discus with a heave of 111-10.