Mt. Carmel: A Showcase For Many Of SoCal's Finest

SAN DIEGO -- Sherman Oaks Notre's Christian Grubb looked forward to facing two state 100-meter dash finalists at the ASICS 40th Mt. Carmel Invitational, including San Diego Madison's Kenan Christon who had beaten him in this very same meet a year ago.

"I knew it would be a good race," said the Arizona State-bound senior who out-leaned Christon, headed to USC, to win the wind-aided race by .03 in 10.42-seconds.

"It came down to who wanted it more. Not making the state finals a year ago motivated me. This year I practiced more, I gave it more effort and it's paying off."

Although he was looking for a 10.38, his winning time was just off his state-leading 10.41 which was recorded in a dual meet.

"I admit I was nervous going into the race, but I didn't let that distract me," said Grubb.

He came back with an equally impressive victory in the 200, clocking his first sub-21 with a wind-legal 20.93.

"I love competition," said Grubb, whose time assumed the state lead. "I just attacked the first 100." 

Equally impressive in the sprints was another athlete from the CIF-Southern Section -- north of the San Diego County line -- Gardena Serra's Jazmyne Frost who scorched a winning 100-meter time of 11.60, her fastest this season and just off the 11.57 she ran in this same meet a year ago. She also returned to win the metric furlong by a half-second at 24.00.

"It's my first outdoor 200 of the season," said Frost. "That's my best time in the 200. 

"That 100 let me know where I am this season. Last year my arms and legs didn't feel coordinated but now they are. I told myself just to relax."

Frost said she's been running since she was 8 and winning helps keep her motivated.

Since the meet has been around for 40 years, meet records mean something and Long Beach Wilson's Rachel Glenn shaved a half-second off the 300-meter hurdle mark with a 42.31 to erase the previous best of 42.82 by Cathedral Catholic's Hannah Labrie-Smith in 42.82.

Glenn is the defending state high jump champion, branching out to the long hurdles.

"I didn't expect that (time)," said the 5-foot-11 junior who skipped the high jump at this meet. "I just executed my race. Something new for me was to attack the next hurdle coming off the turn."

She said she set some goals at the Vision Board Party on New Year's Eve and running well in the 300 hurdles was one of them. She has entered two invitationals and won twice.

Glenn is unique in that while she isn't ambidextrous, she hurdles easily with whatever leg comes up on the next hurdle.

Opponents have to think: 'Oh great, just what we need, another great girls' 300-meter hurdler from Wilson.' Think Lashina Demus and Ebony Collins -- only numbers 1-2 on the all-time list.

Glenn came back with a 54-second leg on the Bruins' 4x400 relay that sped to a 3:51.35, another state-leader.

Although both pole vaults were looking like super events, instead they were "just" great.

Rancho Bernardo's Jacob Rice soared over 15-8 and just missed his two attempts at 16-2. That gave him the win over Eastvale Roosevelt's Ethan Amata, La Costa Canyon soph Garrett Brown and Great Oak's Jack Wright, who all cleared 15-2.

"I know I can do 16-2 in my next meet," said Rice. "I'm on a new pole and getting faster. I want 17-feet and it is a little frustrating not PRing."

Rice went 16-4 indoors in Reno.

 For the girls, Westlake's Paige Sommers and Rancho Bernardo's Ashley Callahan, sophomores who came in as co-state leaders at 13-4, both cleared 13-2 but could not top 13-8, with Sommers winning the event on misses.

The winning marks equaled the meet record.

Meanwhile, the Armando Bryson saga just gets better and better. 

The Wilson senior, who had a best of just 1:59 last year, won the 800 in a state-best 1:54.24, beating teammate Jesus Nichol, who finished in 1:55.22.

"I'm really excited about that time," said Bryson, who started at L.A. Cathedral High. "My coaches, Shannon Fisher and Neil Nielson, have given me great workouts. I can't wait to race at Arcadia."

The final event proved a big one as Illinois Homewood Flossmore's Quinton Stringfellow bounced 49-6 to capture the triple jump with a 1.5 mps aiding wind.