In the sprints, five of the state's top six in the 100 are entered in the invitational race, led by Sherman Oaks Notre Dame senior Christian Grubb (10.41). He got the best of Madison senior Kenan Christon when the two meet a couple weeks ago at Mt. Carmel. Christon, a football recruit to USC, is the only returning sprinter to medal in both the 100 and 200 last year at State. He ranks second in the 100 (10.45) and fourth in the 200 (21.45). Grubb's 20.93 from Mt. Carmel leads the state. Benson's (OR) Micah Williams is arriving for his outdoor debut at 100m, and he should be the favorite in this race following his win at New Balance Nationals Indoor in the 60m. He returns with a top time of 10.37 seconds from the 2018 season.
They went 1-2 in the 100 meters at the State Final last June, so you know it's going to be a show when Calabasas senior De'Anna Nowling (Louis Amestoy photo above) and Serra senior Jazmyne Frost take the line. That field is expected to include Amador Valley senior Chinyere Okoro, Madison sophomore Aysha Shaheed and Coronado senior Alysah Hickey. Nowling (11.40/4.2), Frost (11.60/1.6), Okoro (11.69/1.1) and Shaheed (11.87/1.6) rank 1-4 in CA. Hickey, is the defending state champion in the long jump who is scheduled to long jump, high jump and run the 100m on Saturday. Beyond California athletes, Greater Atlanta Christian's Jasmine Jones should be a threat, as well as Bullis School's (MD) Lauryn Harris. Valor Christian's (CO) Anna Hall, the national record holder in the outdoor heptathlon and indoor pentathlon, is also entered.
Where Nowling holds the upper hand on Frost in the 100, the reverse is true in the 200 (Frost was third, Nowling fourth at state). Frost, headed to USC, has a state-leading best of 24.00 (3.2). Nowling's best is 24.73 (-0.1). The other CA entry here is Okoro, whose 24.52 (-1.3) ranks CA No. 3. This might not be a guarantee for either, though, as Denver East's (CO) Arria Minor returns for biggest race of 2019 yet. The Georgia recruit entered the season with the third-best time returning following her 22.89 (+1.9) at the Colorado State Track and Field Championships. Tahoma's (WA) Aliya Wilson and South Lakes' (VA) Hannah Waller shouldn't be overlooked, either.
The field in the boys quarter includes five of the state's top seven so far this season, led by West Ranch junior Solomon Strader (47.27/CA No. 1), Monterey Trail senior Zachary Larrier (48.06/CA No. 3) and West Valley senior Ismail Turner (48.16/CA No. 4). Among athletes to watch in the seeded 400: Christopher Cooper of Woodbridge, last week's winner at Trabuco Hills; Rancho Cucamonga senior Christopher Hill, and La Costa Canyon sophomore Aidan Lippert, brother of injured senior Karson Lippert. This race, however, will belong to Hazelwood West's (MO) Justin Robinson, who's making his outdoor debut at the distance. the nation's fourth-fastest returner went 46.20 last year, though he's coming off a title at New Balance Nationals Indoor and gained vital experience at the IAAF U20 Championships, where he ran with the USA Juniors on its second-place 4x400 team in Finland. Robinson will go head-to-head with Christopher Columbus' (NY) Anthony Brodie.