Others That Just Missed the Cut
Woodbridge junior Madison Lyon qualified in FOUR events at the Divisional Finals for the second year in a row. Moving over to Division 2 in 2019, 'Flyin Lyon' did not slow down one bit, as she earned 20 points on her own between the four events. Lyon (Jeffrey Parenti photo above) placed sixth in the 100 hurdles, fifth in the high jump, fourth in the long jump and her favorite event, she was runner-up in the triple jump! For the second year in a row, she was a State Meet finalist in the triple jump, as she bounded to a sixth place finish this season.
Corona junior Egbe Ndip-agbor finished eighth at the State Meet in the 200 meters after capturing the event at the Division 1 finals two weeks earlier. She also qualified for the State Meet for the second year in a row in the 400 meters (finishing tenth at Friday's prelims both seasons). She returns for 2020 as one of the best in the section in both events. Ranked atop her class going into her senior year, the 4.7 student also has some of the nation's top programs on their radars.
Great Oak sophomore Summer Stevenson made it the sixth year in a row that a Stevenson as advanced to the State Meet finals in the triple jump. Leaving the season with the top mark (40-05) in the Southern Section, she was unable to come close to matching that effort at the State Meet finals, where she finished ninth. Also owning a 19-05 effort in the long jump, she is the second best sophomore in the nation in the triple jump. In the event, she will be one of the favorites to capture the State title and look to add to the family's triple jump trophy case!
Aliso Niguel's Morgan Flynn was one of the two girls in the section that eclipsed the coveted 13-00 foot mark in the pole vault. As she captured the Division 1 title, she advanced to the State Meet finals and tied for eighth place. She returns for her 2020 senior campaign as the fourth best underclassmen in California.
Archer's Nia Mosby went to another great this past postseason by pulling off two upsets at the Division 4 Finals. In the 400 meters, she held off defending champ, Sydney Bentley and bounced back to beat defending champion, Jazmyne Frost in the 200. She was seventh at the California State Meet in the 200 meters while also qualifying for the State Meet in the 400 meters. She was one of the most improved sprinters in the section, leaving with 24.22 and 54.83 seasonal bests to go along with her two divisional titles.
Despite a disappointing finish in the 3200 meters at the State Meet, Oak Park's Sarah Shulze left the season as one of the top distance runners in the Southern Section. En route to the State Championships, Shulze captured the 3200 meters at the Masters Meet, one week after rolling to victories in the 1600 and 3200 meters. She also captured the 2018 title in the 3200. Her 10:18.77 from the Mt. SAC Relays was the top mark in the section while she also qualified for the Masters Meet in the 1600 (chose to focus on the 3200 though).
Quartz Hill junior Iman Babineaux captured the Division 1 title for the 400 meters before advancing to the State Meet after her 54.21 effort at the SS Masters Meet. Improving by over two seconds in the event in 2019, Babineaux earned the fourth place medal at the State Meet finals. She also led her 4x400 Relay squad to the Masters Meet and was valuable as a sophomore in 2018 where that squad placed fourth at the California State Meet.
In the shadow of her brother Matthew -- who took fourth in the 400 meters at the State Meet in 2018 -- Murrieta Mesa's Chioma Okonkwo placed third at the Division 2 finals in the 100 and 200 meters. Moving to Division 1 in 2019, she adjusted her focus to the 200/400 combo. This decision paid dividends as the senior advanced to the California State Meet in both events, despite being the last qualifier into the SS-Masters Meet. She improved by almost three seconds (54.25 best) in the 400 meters and rolled to a fifth-place finish at the State Meet finals.
Calabasas senior Tierra Crockrell was almost overlooked in the midst of everything that took place this season. But her surprising sixth place finish in the shot put at the California State Meet was also one of the most remarkable improvements over the last several weeks of anyone in the section. Also a Division 2 finalist in the 200 meters, Crockrell, who is a versatile heptathlete, went into the postseason with a 38-08.50 seasonal best in the shot. She uncorked a three-foot improvement at the divisional prelims but than kept advancing through the rounds. With two more feet of improvement in her, she measured out to a 43-08 best to cap off her senior season.
Photos by Josh Barber, Frank Bellino, Patrick Corsinita, Jeffrey Parenti, Pat Rhames, DeAnna Turner