LA City Section TF Season Preview

As a freshman, Sophia Abrego took home three distance titles at the LAC Championships. (Jeffrey Parenti)


Granada Hills Charter sophomore Sofia Abrego, one of the top distance runners in the state, took the Los Angeles City Section Championships by storm last May, winning section titles in the 800 meter, 1600 meter and 3200 meter events.

Abrego went on to qualify for the State Meet final in the 1600 and placed 10th in a field where only five are expected to return this spring (2019 champion Jacqueline Duarte is injured and not expected to compete this season).

Abrego doubled back later on championship Saturday at Clovis Buchanan High to run 12th in the 3200. She was the No. 2 freshman finisher in that field behind Del Oro's Riley Chamberlain, already a two-time CIF-State divisional champion in cross country. 

The other returner in the LAC who made a mark at the State Meet last May is Dorsey senior Christian Rodriguez, who followed up his section title in the 800 with a 1:53.80 PR that ranked as the fifth fastest qualifying time at the State Prelims. A day later, Rodriguez (No. 2 at right) was not able to match that same effort, falling just over two seconds short, but he is one of six returners from the 13-runner field that took the line in the 800 final. 


Topping the list of returning LAC boys champions after Rodriguez is Eagle Rock senior James Corrigan in the 3200. Corrigan also ran at State and is among 11 non-seniors from that race. Palisades senior Nnamdi Onwaoze took both hurdles at the LAC finals with Hamilton sophomore Jaylen Durham running second in the 110s and fourth in the 300s. The other returning section champ is Marshall junior Liam Carthy in the pole vault. 

The list of other LAC boys to watch includes Narbonne senior Macen Williams, Crenshaw senior James Jenkins, Westchester senior Jordan Smith and Cleveland junior Roberto 'Bobby' Felix in the sprints; Granada Hills seniors Cai Duran and Quinn Garity, and Verdgo Hills senior James Coomber in the distances; Palisades senior Kenny Davis in the 300 hurdles and long jump, and Birmingham sophomore Arli Boardingham in the triple jump.


A pair of Carson senior sprinters lead the list of returning LAC girls champions. Ryan Lacefield won championship medals in the 200 (for the second year in a row), 400 and 400 relay and ran all three in the State prelims. Kaitlyn Williams won the 100, placed third in the 200, third in the long jump, and also ran on the 400 relay that competed at State.

Another Carson senior, Justina Graham won the 300 hurdles at the section final (beating Verdugo Hills then-sophomore Shaylyn Rodriguez-Rucker by .01), placed third in the 100 hurdles and placed fourth as part of a 1-4 Carson sweep in the triple jump. Seniors Arrieya Harper and Tirah Timms also return for Carson from that quartet.

Other returning champions are Canoga Park senior Samantha Hernandez in the high jump, Narbonne junior Angel Nwuso in the long jump, Taft senior Mia White in the shot put, and Palisades senior Erica Bagby in the pole vault. 

Other returners to watch include University junior Olivia Adams and University junior Skye Harris in the sprints, and distance standouts to include Palisades junior Miranda Schriver, Palisades senior Sarah Bentley, El Camon Real junior Shana Mendelsohn, Santee junior Norma Alvarez and Kennedy sophomore Frieda Cedillo. Alvarez ran second to Abrego in the 1600 and fourth in the 3200. Schriver ran second in the 3200 and placed 16th at State.