MEETS ON TAP Records Could Fall at Don Jones Bronco Invite

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This article has been updated to correct the girls 3200 meet record.

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SAN DIEGO -- When an invitational has been around for almost three decades, there are bound to be some pretty fair records.

Even though the Bronco Invitational -- now the Don Jones Bronco Invitational named after retired long-time track coach Don Jones -- is the first major meet on the schedule in San Diego, it still has some records that don't figure to get much of a challenge.

If anyone runs faster in the girls' 100-meter dash than the 11.66 seconds by Mission Hills' Suzie Acolatse in 2016, 54.83 in the girls 400 like Morse's Monique Henderson did in 2001 or someone tosses the discus farther than the 185-3 by Newport Harbor's Bo Taylor in 2006, it will be more than notable.

But there are at least four events whose records will be seriously challenged and probably a few others that could fall in the meet which features every event but the 200m on Saturday at Rancho Bernardo High.

In 2002, RB's Deun White debuted with a 48.09-second time in the 400-meter dash. Good mark, for sure, but La Mesa Helix High junior Adren Parker has already run faster -- technically.

Parker scorched a personal best 47.65 at a USATF all-comers meet at Patrick Henry on Feb. 12. The asterisk comes because although he won the race, it could still include college and open runners, being an all-comers meet.

So, Parker ran unchallenged in the Meb Keflezighi Invitational at San Diego High a week ago, posting a 48.79 after clocking a 21.97 for 200 meters in a dual meet two days earlier.

Helix is also entered in the 4x100 relay at Bronco where the record is 41.87 by Great Oak in 2014. With Parker running the second leg, Helix clocked an early season-best 41.96 in the same dual meet where Parker ran 21.97.

That team of Laurence Burston, Parker, Xavier Van, and Christian Washington should get a bigger push from the likes of Lincoln which has 10.90 speedster Jalil Tucker ready to roll.

The third possible record would seem to be a no-brainer except this will be San Diego Section 100-meter hurdle record-holder Aaliyah McCormick of Scripps Ranch's first meet of the season.

A year ago, McCormick roared to a time of 13.85 in the Division II championships and will be taking dead aim at the 15.06 standard set by Granite Hills' Laiah Blue in 2004.

A showdown between McCormick, San Diego's Charlize James and Cathedral Catholic's Kapiolani Coleman in a hastily put together Masters meet a year ago never materialized as McCormick had aimed all year for the section finals and the family planned a vacation in Texas, immediately after.

She is definitely ready to roll.

"It was a family gathering, and I'd planned on finishing my season in the Division II championships," McCormick told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "This year there will be a state meet and my goal is to be No. 1."

Not just No. 1.

"I want to break 13 seconds," said McCormick.

So, a time at Bronco breaking 15 seconds to start the season would not only be a good debut, it would leave Blue's record in her wake.

Oh, just for reference, the all-time state record is 12.95 by Agoura's Tara Davis in 2017. The national record is 12.84 by Georgia's Tia Jones in 2016.

Moving to the field events, the girls' pole vault meet standard of 12-7 by RB's Emily Mattoon in 2008 is clearly vulnerable with not one nor two but five girls who have done better either this year or last, led by returning state leader Allison Leigh of Del Norte who soared 14-feet a year ago.

Add to the mix Scripps Ranch's Lexi Evans (13-2), Fallbrook's Rose Wagner (13-0), Poway's Avery Hilliard (13-0), and Leigh's teammate, Nicole Loy (13-0).  

Comparing the entries to the meet records, events where the new standards could be set are:

--The girls' 3200 where Torrey Pines' Annika Salz' best of 10:35.93 and a 10:38.63 by Poway's Mackenzie Rogers a year ago could challenge the 10:35.31 meet standard established by La Costa Canyon's Kristin Fahy in 2019.

--The boys' high jump where Eastlake's Justin Cardoza soared 6-8 a year ago, the same as the meet record set by La Jolla's Nathan Gwozdz in 2003.

--The girls' 4x100 where the Helix girls, led by sophomore Laraigh Allen, have run 48.74, just a slick baton pass away from the 48.41 by Great Oak in 2014.

--The girls' 800 where cross country standout Madeline Cramer of The Bishop's School, who has already clocked a 2:11.97, will try to get under the 2:12.45 standard by La Jolla's Whitney Schmucker in 2002.

 --The girls high jump where Westview's Cheyenne Roberts cleared 5-9 a year ago looking to topple the meet best of 5-6 set by four different jumpers.

Steve Brand is a freelance writer and regular contributor to MileSplit with a focus on the San Diego Section.
Photos by Angel Pena (McCormick) and Raymond Tran (Parker).