Calabasas senior De'Anna Nowling (far right) had the top qualifying time in the 100m and 200m at the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 Preliminary meet at Moorpark High School. (Lizette Adams photo)
After losing both relay teams and two multiple-event hurdlers to disqualification earlier in the week, the girls from Calabasas did all they could to move ahead during Saturday's CIF-Southern Section Division 2 Preliminaries at Moorpark HS.
A participation violation forced the Coyotes to lose the state-leading 4x100 relay team, top-ranked hurdlers Kyla Robinson-Hubbard and Bella Witt, and the team's 4x400 relay team, a painful penalty for a team projected to dominate all the way through the State Meet.
While Calabasas had all of its remaining qualifiers advance to this Saturday's CIF-SS all-division championships at El Camino College in Torrance, the Division 2 girls team to beat now is Mission Viejo.
With senior Kelli Hines leading the way in the distances, the Diablos advanced athletes in nine events, including four field events and both relays. Those still on board for a run toward a division title (to match the Diablos' Orange County Championships title) include distance standouts Emma Hicken, Morgan Calcagnie and Ashley Johnson.
Calabasas was led by senior De'Anna Nowling, the top qualifier in both the 100 (11.79) and 200 (24.04), senior Tierra Crockrell, who advanced in the 200 (24.94) and shot put (41-07.75), and sophomore Jade McDonald, who advanced in four events -- second in the 100 hurdles (14.50), seventh in the 300 hurdles (45.46), and first in both the long jump (17-08.50) and triple jump (37-04). Senior Kennedy Waite, with the fourth-fastest time in the 100 (12.02) was the other qualifier for the Coyotes.
McDonald, competing last year as a freshman at Santa Ana Mater Dei, placed third in the 100 hurdles, second in the long jump and triple jump. And she went to the State Meet in the triple jump and earned a sixth-place medal. She currently ranks fourth in the state in the long jump (19-08.25) and 11th in the triple jump (39-03.25). Her 100 hurdles time at Saturday's prelims is a .20 PR and elevates her into the state's top 10.
Without Robinson-Hubbard and Witt, two who figured for big points and medals all the way through the State Final, points now need to come from Crockrell, Waite and McDonald if the formerly-favorite Coyotes are to compete with Mission Viejo's depth. Of the eight division team title races, this one moves to the top in terms of intrigue.
The Calabasas boys team got a boost from freshman Nicholas Gates, who had the day's fifth-fastest time in the 100 (10.75), second-fastest in the 200 (21.57) and led the meet's fastest 4x100 relay team (42.18) and 4x400 relay team (3:20.40).
Gates wasn't the day's only accomplished sprinter. Mater Dei senior Chad Lemmons had the fastest time in the 100 (10.60) and 200 (21.51).
At all of the four CIF-SS division qualifiers, only nine advance in each event. On the track, qualifiers to move on were heat winners plus the next fastest to total nine. In the field events, only the top nine marks moved on. In the pole vault and high jump, once the field was narrowed to nine, the competition ended.
The remainder of this article highlights mostly multiple-event qualifiers in Divisions 2-4. It does not necessarily highlight the top qualifier in every event for each of the three divisions.
There is a separate recap article for Division 1 that is linked here.
Other multiple event qualifiers from the D2 prelims included:
- Derek Pekar (Ventura, Sr.) -- Second in the 110 hurdles (14.40), first in the 300 hurdles (38.71) and qualified in both the pole vault (13-06), and long jump (21-06). (Pictured above)
- Aiden Lieb (Peninsula, Jr.) -- Third in the 110 hurdles (14.51), second in the 300 hurdles (39.14) and third in the long jump (22-01).
- Aidan Elbettar (Newport Harbor, Jr.) -- First in the shot put (61-02.25) and second in the discus throw (178-06).
- Carlos Aviles (Ventura, Sr.) -- Third in the shot put (57-10.50) and first in the discus throw (188-04).
- Jacob Lopez (Canyon Country Canyon, Sr.) -- Second in the shot put (60-03) and third in the discus throw (167-04).
Notes: Victor Trejo (Citrus Valley, Jr.) had the top qualifying mark in the triple jump (45-04) but just missed advancing in the long jump with the No. 10 best mark (21-02.50). None of the boys in this division qualified in both the long and triple jump. ... One of the state's top distance runners, Noah Hibbard (Arroyo, Sr.) qualified sixth in the 1600 (4:19.19) and fourth in the 3200 (9:21.50). ... Sophomore Antonio Abrego (Golden Valley) rolled in the 800 (1:54.96). ... Mekhi Evans-Bey (Culver City, Jr.) had the third-fastest time in both the 200 (21.75) and 400 (49.23).
Among the D2 girls:
- Kayla Barnes (Culver City, Sr.) -- Third in the 100 (12.00) and second in the 200 (24.81).
- Emma Hadley (Anaheim Canyon/Fr.) -- Second in the 1600 (5:04.74), fourth in the 800 (2:16.49).
- Taylor Shorter (Norco/Jr.) -- First in the 100 hurdles (13.92) and second in the 300 hurdles (44.07).
- Madison Lyon (Woodbridge, Jr.) -- Fourth in the 100 hurdles (14.96), qualified in the high jump (5-1), second in the long jump (17-07) and third in the triple jump (36-06).
- Shyann Franklin (Golden Valley, Sr.) -- First in the shot put (46-03.50) and tied for third in the discus throw (127-00).
- Paige Sommers (Westlake, So.) -- Qualified in the high jump (5-03) and pole vault (10-06).