While it is a common default to think first of Arcadia and the Mt. SAC Relays when looking for a mid-season view of future State champions. The IE Championships, over the past decade, perhaps deserves equal billing.
Heading into Saturday's Inland Empire Championships, we wanted to take a look at the best marks from that meet over the last decade and try to add perspective as to just how much talent has graced the track at Vista Murrieta High School in mid-April over the years.
Boys 100m record holder Michael Norman (Kirby Lee/Image of Sport photo above) only ran that race six times in his four-year high school career. He is a two-time State champion in both the 200m and 400m and State Meet record holder who led Vista Murrieta to consecutive boys team titles.
Norman also has the fastest 200m over the last decade (20.74) but it was wind-aided by quite a lot (5.3!!) leaving Isaiah Cunningham's 20.98 from last spring as the official record (marks that are wind-aided or do not have a wind readings cannot be considered for record purposes), who went on to win the State title at that distance last June while also helping Rancho Verde to the boys team title, a third consecutive team title for a school from the IE.
Boys 800m champion Jeremiah Bias was a CIF-Southern Section Divisional and CIF-SS Masters champion in the two-lap race in 2013 and was second in both championships in 2014 while also reaching the State finals each year.
Boys 3,200 record-holder Spencer Dodds was 5th at State in the 1,600 in 2016.
Cameron Samuel owns the record in the 300 hurdles and also has the fastest legal time in the 110 hurdles (14.46). (Torrey Atkins' 14.13 in 2014 was recorded without a wind reading, making it ineligible for record purposes.) Samuel was second in both the 110s and 300s at State last June. Samuel also anchored the Rancho Verde 4x400 relay team that is both the record holder here and was the 2017 State champion.
Nick Ross owns three meet jumps records: High, Long and Triple. In 2009, Ross won the State title in the high jump (7-1), placed 6th in the triple jump and 9th in the long jump.
Discus RH Seth Knowlton was 2nd at State in 2016 (195-3).
The girls list is equally impressive:
100m record holder Eboni Sutherland was 4th at State in 2013 in the 100m (11.78) and 6th in the 200m (24.03). She also has the fastest all-conditions time in the 200m at the IE Championships (24.33) but at 2.3 meters per second aiding wind kept that mark from the records.
400m RH Jade Miller was actually the State champion in the 300 hurdles (41.02) in 2013. She only ran the quarter six times in her career at Great Oak and only once after her PR 55.06 at the IE Champs.
Another Great Oak star, Destiny Collins, owns both the 1,600m and 3,200m records here and is a six-time State meet medalist equally divided across those two distances. She won the State 3,200 title in 2015 and was second twice in the 1,600 and also runner-up once in the 3,200.
Current Roosevelt senior Breanna Bernard-Joseph is the 300m record holder. At State, BBJ was 2nd in 2016 and 4th last year. She currently ranks #2 in CA and #5 in the nation.
Long jump record holder Alycia Herring was 5th at State in 2009 (19-0.25). Shot put RH Tanya Sapa was 2nd at State in 2013 (50-0.25; and was also 2nd in the DT at Clovis that year).
Finally, discus throw record holder Ashley Anumba also won the State title last June with a PR of 177-08.
So, don't be surprised if the great athletes you see Saturday at Vista Murrieta are names you are hearing more and more about as the track season winds toward the CIF-State Championships June 1-2 at Clovis Buchanan HS.
Sortable leaderboards await your perusal on the following pages.