Caleb Lutalo Roberson and Reyte Rash were in lockstep in the 300 hurdles throughout the post-season leading to a dramatic finish at the State Final and a second title for Roberson. (Jeffrey Parenti photo).
Deviating from our template section in review narrative, we are approaching the Southern Section a bit differently. MileSplitCA Southern Section editor Mark Gardner breaks down the top headliners from the season by gender. This article focuses on girls (individuals and teams) in the Southern Section.
- Southern Section Girls In Review - Top Headliners
- Southern Section Boys Returning Team & Individual Rankings
- Final Southern Section Boys Season Rankings
- State Meet Race Video and Interviews
- State Meet Photos
- State Meet Results
- Southern Section Masters Coverage Page
- Southern Section Division Finals Coverage Page
- Final Southern Section Girls Rankings
Athletes of the Year
Caleb Lutalo Roberson (Upland/Sr.)
Upland's Caleb Lutalo Roberson not only qualified for this third trip to the California State Meet, but he was also the only track athlete to defend his State Meet title from the 2018 meet. In holding off multiple challenges from ML King's Reyte Rash, Roberson's 36.32 performance was a personal best and the seventh fastest in Southern Section history. That effort was the second fastest in the nation. He also qualified in the 100 meters and led off his 4x400 relay team to a surprising Division 1 title and eventual entry into the State Championships as well. Their 3:13.95 was the fourth fastest time in the state for 2019. In the 100 meters, he surprised with his victory at the divisional finals. Meanwhile, he led off their 4x100 squad (41.72) which ended up being the eighth fastest in California in 2019. Roberson qualified for the State Meet in the 110 hurdles as a junior and was a State Meet medalist in the long jump as a sophomore. All in all, he will go down as one of the most versatile athletes in section history as very few can boast that they advanced that far in three individual events to go along with two State Championships. For his cumulative accomplishments along with his stellar senior campaign, Roberson is one of the Southern Section's Athlete of the Year.
Nico Young (Newbury Park/Jr.)
Some might argue that selecting an athlete that only qualified for the State Meet in one event would be unjustified in sharing Athlete of the Year honors. But, with that, keep in mind that Newbury Park's Nico Young always had the State Meet title in the 3200 meters as his primary goal all season long and not only confidently achieved it, but that he also recorded the second fastest time in California this season for the 1600 meters (4:07.33). A precise and relatively perfect racing schedule, he went undefeated in the 3200 this season and topped the national rankings. But his 8:40.00 monster performance at the Arcadia Invitational was the third fastest ever in California state history (No. 2 in section history) and the eighth best EVER in American prep history! The way he purred along in his postseason negative-splits efforts seemed almost more like training sessions than races and his 8:47.27 State Meet victory was never in doubt. Young is a once in a generation athlete that has already ascended up to Southern Section lore! What his 2020 senior season has in store can only start when glancing at the best times ever in national history - stay tuned!
- VIDEO -- Watch Nico Young crush a deep field in the 3200 at State (race begins around -40:00)