CIF-STATE TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Five Boys Storylines to Follow at the 102nd CIF-State Track and Field Championship
How Fast is Fast
Gardena Serra (SS) junior Rodrick Pleasant altered that perspective greatly at Saturday's Southern Section Masters Meet, obliterating the CA record in the 100 meters by running 10.14 (1.7), breaking the old mark of 10.25 that had stood for decades until it was equaled last June. In the past two weeks, Pleasant has gone 20.40 and 20.41 in the 200m, and just might be able to challenge Michael Norman's 20.30 state record. Challenges on the track will come from the likes of Servite (SS) senior Max Thomas, Los Alamitos (SS) freshman Devin Bragg, Clovis (CS) senior Nathan Johnson, Simi Valley (SS) junior Jaelon Barbarin, and Long Beach Jordan (SS) sophomore Jordan Washington who have all run sub-10.36 for 100m. The 200m field pushing the pace should include Long Beach Poly (SS) senior Jaelen Knox, Central (CS) senior Jeremiah Walker, and the aforementioned Washington, who have all run sub-21 in the deuce.
Newbury Park Not Done Yet
Newbury Park senior Colin Sahlman, and juniors Leo Young and Lex Young checked out of CIF competition at the end of April, but Sahlman's younger brother Aaron is one to watch in the 800 meters, and Panthers senior Daniel Appleford (pictured) heads to State as the Saturday night event's top overall qualifier. Two members of the national championship cross country team running after some CIF-State outdoor gold. Aaron has the state's No. 2 time of 1:48.91 (behind only his brother's 1:48.84) but won't have an easy road to a State Meet title in a deep field that will almost certainly require a sub-1:50 to win. Thacher (SS) senior Ellis Delvecchio, Dana Hills (SS) senior Jai Dawson, El Camino (CC) senior Yutaka Roberts, and San Marcos (SD) senior Quinn Harder have all run under 1:52. The 3200m field has been thinned out for various reasons and Appleford is certainly one to watch late Saturday night competing for a medal. He, along with Clovis (CS) junior Christopher Caudillo, Sage Creek (SD) senior Bryce Gilmore, and Millikan (SS) sophomore Jason Parra all come in with sub-8:55 credentials.
Four boys dating to 2000 have swept the throws at State and Murrieta Mesa (SS) senior Cade Moran (pictured) could join that group. Moran, who is headed to Michigan for college, leads the state in both the discus throw (207.4) and the shot put (66-10) and his combined total of 274-2 is greater than the State Meet efforts of any of the previous double-winners this century. Moran is a strong favorite but far from a lock. His Southwestern League rival, Aiden Pastorian went 66-7 in the shot to take the Southern Section Division 1 title two weeks ago, and Golden Valley senior Terraine Wiggins went 196-10 to claim the top discus throw qualifying spot for State at last Saturday's Masters. Others entered in both throws among the state's combo leaders include Redondo Union (SS) junior Kai Deines (2. 253-5.25), Shafter (CS) senior Nick Godbehere (3. 252-9.25), and South Pasadena (SS) senior Nikolas Iwankiw (t4. 252-1).
Hurdles Key To Team Title
A hamstring injury shelved St. Mary's (SJ) senior Jadyn Marshall, who had been the state leader in both hurdles for most of the season. With him out of the mix, a talented quartet of hurdlers from Upland will be looking to pick up even bigger points in both events with a State team title within reach. Junior Kai Graves-Blanks (pictured), the Southern Section champion in the 110s, senior Delaney Crawford, the Southern Section champion in the 300s, and junior Davis Davis-Lyric in both, and senior DeQuan January in the 110s give Upland unmatched depth in these events. In addition to hurdles, Upland has senior Christopher Coats in the long sprints, but any chance "The U" has for a team title depends on just how dominant they can be over the barriers.
Sunrise, Sunset and a Stevenson in the Triple Jump
Great Oak (SS) senior JC Stevenson is among the qualifiers in the long jump and the triple jump. It's the latter event where the focus will be much greater. Stevenson is the younger brother of CJ Stevenson, who won the Southern Section Division 1 and State Meet titles in 2017 and 2018. JC's sister Summer won the Southern Section Division 1 and Masters triple jump title in 2019 and made the State final as a sophomore. And his older sister Ciynamon won the Southern Section Division 1 triple jump title in 2014 and 2016 and medaled at State in '14, '15, and '16 when she placed second. JC, who has CJ in the coaching mix this spring, is the state leader in both the long jump (24-9.50 to win at Arcadia in April) and the triple jump (48-6 to win at Redondo in March). While Stevenson is the state's leader in combined horizontal jump total at 73-3.50, it's not by much. Golden Valley senior Elijha Ellis has gone 24-2.50 and 48-3.50, St. John Bosco senior Camryn O'Bannon has gone 24-4/48-0, and Elsinore senior Elijah Yoshinaga has bests of 23-10.50/47.5.75.
Jeffrey Parenti is the California State Editor or MileSplit
Photos by Daniel Hernandez and Raymond Tran