CIF-STATE MEET RECAP Upland, San Diego Dominate Hurdles



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CLOVIS -- For the boys, it was the Green Wave of Upland. For the girls, it was the San Diego Section sweep.

That's the way it went in the hurdles at the 102nd California State Track and Field Championships at Veterans Stadium on Saturday night.



First, it was Upland (SS) junior Kai Graves-Blanks leading a 1-2 sweep in the 110-meter hurdles that could easily have been a 1-2-3 sweep. Then it was senior Delaney Crawford coming back to lead another 1-2 for the Highlanders in the 300-meter hurdles.

Graves-Blanks won the short hurdles in 13.75 and right behind was junior teammate Davis Davis-Lyric who was clocked in 14.13 as a 4.5 meter-per-second wind appeared to cause more problems than help the runners.

The third Upland runner, senior DeQuan January, was leading when he went down at the seventh hurdle, eliminating the 1-2-3 sweep.

"We would have had that sweep," said Graves-Blank. "We practice every day like it's the State Meet, so we were ready. This is a great team and we showed it. That time (13.75) was fine with me as long as I was able to win."

Crawford's win in the 300s at 37.11, leading Graves-Blanks, who ran 37.33, produced the second 1-2 sweep.

"Upland High is a special place to be for a hurdler," said Crawford, a senior who is headed to the University of Virginia where he'll play quarterback on the football team as he did at Corona High this past fall before transferring back to Upland.

"We call it Hurdle U. and we wanted to maintain the legacy."    

The Highlanders even scored an 8th with Davis-Lyric posting a 39.19.



110HH (wind: 4.5 mps)                                              

1.      Kai Graves-Blanks, Upland (SS), 13.75

2.      Davis Davis-Lyric, Upland (SS),  14.13

3.      Adam Wright, Monte Vista (NC), 14.17

4.      Miles Roberts, Leland (CC),  14.18

5.      Logan Lyght, Mater Dei (SS),     14.22

6.      Ben Kin Ho Tsang, Independence (CC),  14.24


1.      Delaney Crawford, Upland (SS), 37.11

2.      Kai Graves-Blanks, Upland (SS), 37.33

3.      Shawn Toney, Los Altos (CC), 37.42

4.      Isaac Lewis, LB Wilson (SS), 37.44

5.      Ben Kin Ho Tsang, Independence (CC),   38.07

6.      Daryll Stevens, LB Jordan (SS), 38.10



San Diego High's Charlize James kept improving her times and finding herself losing key races. But she was golden in the state meet after running the second-fastest 100-meter hurdle time in section history in the prelims at 13.67 to send a message that she was ready.

Sure enough, the San Diego State signee took control midway through the finals and broke the 14-second barrier again to win in 13.95 to runner-up Y'Vette Harris of Stockton Lincoln's 14.12. That's a decisive win.

It was also her last high school race as she hit the next-to-last hurdle hard, injuring her ankle and needing assistance just to get off the infield.

"I was hoping to get under 14 (seconds) again," said James. "I'm happy with the time as long as it was near that 13.92 I ran early in the season. I was very sad that they disqualified (State leader) Aaliyah McCormick (13.61). We've pushed each other all year."

Third in the race was Cathedral Catholic (SD) junior Kapiolani Coleman (14.14) who would come back to win the 300-hurdles in 42.23, just off her state-best 42.19 run at the Arcadia Invitational.

That was good enough to top Arroyo Grande (CS) senior Daniela Ruelas who clocked a 42.37 and Torrey Pines (SD) junior Karina Janik who got up for the bronze in 42.67.

"I'm really excited," said the Dons' junior. "The key was the last 50 meters. I saw Daniela coming up but I knew I could win it. I wanted a PR but it was close enough to make me happy."

Kapiolani, an outstanding volleyball player who dropped the sport to focus on track, said she plans to return to the courts in the fall.




1.      Charlize James, San Diego (SD), 13.95

2.      Yvette Harris, Stockton Lincoln (SJ), 14.12

3.      Kapiolani Coleman, Cathedral Catholic (SD), 14.14

4.      Giselle Kirchner, Rocklin (SJ), 14.15

5.      Daniela Ruelas, Arroyo Grande (CS), 14.33

6.      Kailah McKenzie, Orange Vista (SS), 14.54



1.      Kapiolani Coleman, Cathedral Catholic (SD), 42.23

2.      Daniela Ruelas, Arroyo Grande (CS), 42.37

3.      Karina Janik, Torrey Pines (SD), 42.67

4.      Kaylin Edwards, LB Wilson  (SS), 43.16

5.      Yvette Harris, Stockton Lincoln (SJ), 43.19

6.      Keilee Hall, Christian Brothers (SJ),  43.57

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Steve Brand is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to MileSplit

Photos by DeAnna Turner and Daniel Hernandez