Kai Graves-Blanks, Davis Davis-Lyric, DeQuan January, and Delaney Crawford set state and meet records in the 110-meter shuttle hurdle relay on Friday night at Arcadia. (Jeffrey Parenti photo)
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When they took the line, it was just them. Alone. Barries and the clock their only opponents.
Four non-seniors from Upland High (SS) had a goal to break the state record in the 110-meter shuttle hurdle relay and Friday night on the first night of the Arcadia Invitational, they did just that in a race where they were the only team competing.
Kai Graves-Blanks, Davis Davis-Lyric, DeQuan January, and Delaney Crawford alternated turns in clearing the barries in a collective time of 57.75, shattering the former meet record of 59.28 set in 2007 by Brophy College Prep (Phoenix, AZ), and the former state fully-automatic-timing standard of 59.17 set by Long Beach Millikan in 1983.
That time slots Upland as No. 12 on the all-time high school list, according to Track & Field News.
- INTERVIEW: Upland SHR Team
Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (SS) was the only other team originally entered in the boys' SHR but scratched. Upland also was the only school to field a 100m SHR team on the girls' side where the team of Jordyn Grady, Ajah Anderson, London Davis, and Cienna Norman-Thomas finished in 1:00.24, CA No. 9 all-time.
With one exception -- seeded 3200-meter races -- Friday night at Arcadia is reserved for off-standard relays, aptly dubbed Burning Batons. Saturday's event will be held in two sessions, a full "Open" section during the day, and an "Invitational" section starting in the late afternoon.
The lone none-relay races on the track Friday night did not disappoint. In the girls 3200, Morgan Hutchison, a senior at Buchanan (CS) did all the work for seven-plus laps before Amber Rios, a senior at Colony (SS), sprinted away on the homestretch. Rios crossed in 10:50.73 with Hutchison nxt in 10:51.99 and Quinn Walker, a sophomore at Oak Ridge (SJ), challenging in 10:52.30. Alexis Fernandez (West Ranch/SS), Abigail Fletcher (Oak Ridge/SJ), and Dani Barrett (Wildwood/SS) all dipped under 11 minutes.
In the boys 3200, Mateo Bianchi, a senior at Laguna Beach, rolled in at 9:11.49, an 8-plus second PR, followed by Fabian Del Villar, a senior at Fillmore (SS), in 9:12.10, Levi Taylor, a junior at San Marcos (SD), in 9:13.80, Jake Richardson, a senior at Point Loma (SD), in 9:13.94, and Francisco Zavaleta, a senior at King (SS), in 9:14.65.
Friday's session began with 4x200 relays with the Carson team of seniors Kyla Blockett and Jailah Collins, and sophomores Reign Redmond and Samira Stevenson winning the girls race in 1:39.80, holding off Riverside North (SS) 1:40.01.
The Cathedral (SS) team of juniors Matthias Allison, Ekene Onwaeze, William Mullins, and senior Steven Marks won the boys in 1:27.92, in a tight race with runner-up Cathedral Catholic (SD) 1:28.21. Both are state-best times for 2021.
The 4x800s were on fire, where both winning teams slotted among the nation's fastest this spring. The JSerra (SS) team of junior Ashlee Gallegos, sophomore Anastasia Snodgrass and freshmen Brooke O'Brien and Georgia Jeanneret rolled to an impressive 9:15.12 in the girls' race (U.S. No. 3), and Buchanan (CS) barely held off Great Oak (SS) to win the boys race in 7:52.75 (U.S. No. 11). Great Oak senior Mateo Joseph made up a huge gap on the anchor but junior Brenton Maddox held him off at the end. Maddox is the only non-senior on the winning foursome of Bo Olsen, Sebastian McGehee-Adams, and Austin Gillen.
There were two versions of the sprint medley relay, one that covered 800 meters and another that covered 1600 meters. In the shorter version, the Long Beach Wilson (SS) team of senior Tyler Nettles, freshman Tarynn Maroney and sophomores Sadia Green and Aujane Luckey won the girls race in 1:45.35 (No. 8 in meet history) and host Arcadia (SS), with an all-senior team of Alan Zhao, William Chen, Gregory Taylor, and Quinn Hetich won the boys race in 1:34.33.
- INTERVIEW: Long Beach Wilson Girls Team
In the longer SMR, the Harvard Westlake (SS) team of juniors Adrienne Usher and Daniela Quintero, sophomore Alyssa Thompson and freshman Gisele Thompson won the girls race in 4:04.29, and the Long Beach Wilson (SS) team of juniors Saadite Green and Leroy Crook, and sophomore Johnell Gray and Marcell Mitchell-Francis was the boys' winner in 3:33.77.
- INTERVIEW: Harvard Westlake Girls Team
The all-senior foursome from Bellarmine College Prep (CC) of Daniel Vaca, Galen Topper, Nolan Topper, and Colin Peattie won the boys 4x1600 in 17:28.37 with Simi Valley Royal (SS) second in 17:47.17 and the team from Torrey Pines (SD) of freshman Scarlett Taylor, juniors Anni Salz and Kiana Bourgeois, and sophomore Marissa Gaut won the girls race in 20:58.47, with the St. Francis (SJ) team of juniors Tatiana Cornejo and Claire Silva, senior Hanna Hekkanen and freshman Kayla Towne second in 21:08.08.