By STEVE BRAND
SAN DIEGO -- Every invitational track meet likes to think it offers something that others don't.
Arcadia gives athletes a chance to run against the best in the nation. Mt. Carmel usually has a nice mix of local and state standouts.
Then there are the meets like the 2nd Jim Cerveny Invitational at Mission Bay High which offers mostly San Diego-area athletes a chance to shine as league championship meets are looming on the horizon.
Oh, there were front-runners. Madison High's Kenan Christon and Gompers' Jazmine Scott have made the circuit of the big-name meets but looked at this as a chance to be more a part of their teams in a less-stressful atmosphere.
Then there were athletes like Olympian's Kolumbia Page who needed a chance to break out and took full advantage.
CHRISTON IN SPOTLIGHT
Having already run marks like 10.59 in the 100 and 21.42 in the 200, the Madison High junior, who is just as sensational in a football uniform, had nothing to prove except to show he had a base on which to build for the late-season push.
A sudden change in weather that produced winds clocked at 5 mps or better ruined any chance for faster times since both sprints were run into the breeze.
Christon clocked a 10.79 in the 100 and 22.03 in the 200 to win both dashes. That was after he finished second in the long jump, his newest event, and anchored the 4x100 relay team to victory in 43.36 seconds despite less than perfect baton passes.
"This is one of those tune-up meets to see if I'm consistent," said Christon, who sports a 4.0 GPA. "I'm competing at a faster gauge and I know I need to work harder. It was good running into a strong head-wind; now I know how that feels. I'm looking for a 10.4 and 21.3 at the state meet and if I can do that, I'll be in the mix."
About the long jump.
Madison needed every point it could get in a dual meet a few weeks back and Christon agreed to long jump. He hit 22-9.50. Then last week he reached 23-9.50. Could a 24-9 ½ be in the offing?
No, getting just three attempts he hit 21-6.75 on his first try jumping off his opposite foot and then fouled the next two.
"I'd like to try to catch Jalyn," said Christon referring to Eastlake's Jalyn Jackson, who has jumped 24-5 ½ and was close to 25-feet with a one-inch foul last week. "That would be fun."
WATCH PAGE FLY
Another sprinter unfazed by the wind was the senior, Page, who swept the 100 in a personal-best 12.34 and the 200 in her best wind-legal mark of 25.51. She has a wind-aided 25.21 (2.4 mps).
"The wind wasn't as bad as I thought it would be," said Page, a senior who is named after her dad, Columbus. "The 200 is my best race."
She has also clocked a 57.43 in the 400 and admits her goals are to school records in all three events before the season ends. On the talent-rich Olympian girls team, however, that's a tough task.
Page has only been running track since she was a freshman is young-turning 18 in July. The real event she thinks Olympian will make a mark is in the 4x400 relay since Adaezee Noble ran 56.52 last year and Alyssa Meeks is a 25.66 200-meter runner with limitless potential.
SCOTT'S JUMP DOUBLE
Gompers Prep's Jazmine Scott long jumped 19-1.50 and triple jumped 39-3 in this meet a year ago. After hitting 39-1 in a league cluster meet last week, many thought she'd go off on what seemed to be her favorite jumping facility.
She couldn't hit those marks but there's nothing wrong with the 18-3 and 38-1 she posted.
"I've learned just to compete to the best of my ability wherever you are," said the positive-thinking junior. "My goals are still 21 feet in the long jump and 41 in the triple jump and I'm just a junior. I'm hungry for those big jumps and you can always do better.
"The key to the big jumps is the run and I fouled my first try. I didn't let it get me down-you have to believe in yourself. I just want to get back to state to prove myself."
SAN DIEGO NOTES
- That girls 400 got even deeper when San Diego High Tech junior Tiona Jones won the Jim Cerveny quarter in 58.41-seconds. "I feel I can get to 57 seconds and then 56," said Jones, who as a freshman finished fourth in the section meet, missing the state by one spot. "That's my goal, I want to run at state."
- Although the girls are getting most of the 400 attention, remember the boys' 400 is led by 2017 State runner-up Karson Lippert of La Costa Canyon. He didn't compete at Mission Bay but Olympian's Huge Soberanes moved into the No. 2 spot at 49.54 despite finishing into the stiff wind.