RECAP Champions Abound At CA Winter Track and Field Finale


ARCADIA - By the numbers. 

There were 1,200 qualified entrants into the seventh CA Winter Track and Field Championship meet on Saturday at Arcadia HS.

There were 10 meet records that fell and another 12 athletes or relay teams also eclipsed the previous standard. 

There were five individuals who left with two championship medals and one relay team that also doubled. 

While we will cover the record-setters as well as the distance standouts in other articles to be posted soon, this is a recap of everyone else. 

(Athletes compete in winter meets unattached or as part of a club but we list high schools for identification purposes.)

We begin with Alyssa Hope, a USC-committed senior at ML King (SS) in Riverside, who swept the horizontal jumps, winning the long jump with a best of 19-9 and the triple jump at 39-10. Last May, Hope won the CIF-State title in the triple jump and placed second in the long jump.

Double CIF-State hurdle medalist Y'Vette Harris of Lincoln HS in Stockton was a double winner here but need to compete in six events to win her two golden CA-shaped medals. Harris won the girls 60-meter hurdles in 8.57 and then gritted through the day-long five-event multis pentathlon competition to avenge a loss last season to Giovana Pelascini of tiny Trinty Pacific Christian. Harris won by 11 points after the 60m hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and 800m run, the same number of points Pescelini won by here a year ago.

Brendon See, an Oklahoma-bound senior at JSerra (SS), the CIF-State defending champion in the discus throw, won the weight throw with a best of 68-10. Although he came in with a 60-foot mark in the shot put, best in the state this winter, it was Brendan Cho of Heritage Christian (SS) who captured that event with a gold medal-winning mark of 58-08.75. See was second at 56-04.25.

Another JSerra boy took home gold as Josh Jornadal won the long jump in 23-05.50.

The meet was obviously Southern Section-heavy but also drew athletes from seven other sections across the state. And bordering Los Angeles and San Diego Sections represented. 

Carson's Reign Redmond was a double-gold medal winner and record-setter in the sprints and Dijon Stanley of Granada Hills Charter won an epic battle in the boys 300-meter dash (33.09) leading representation from the LA City Section. 

Athletes from the state's southern most section also took home their share of Winter Champs gold. 

La Costa Canyon (SD) junior Iliana Downing came in with the state's best outdoor winter mark in the pole vault and, although she didn't quite match that 13-0 effort, her clearance of 12-4 here was good enough for gold. Downing, who trains with the North County Pole Vault Club, led a parade of six girls from that club on the leaderboard. 

Brandon Cheeks II of Mission Bay (SD), a double horizontal jumps State Meet finalist last May, won the triple jump with a winter best of 46-0. 

Another San Diegan, Jacob Emerson of Sage Creek (SD), won the boys pole vault with a best of 16-00.25.

The boys distance medley relay team from Patrick Henry ran 10:51.84 to win the title. And Helix freshman Brandon Arrington was the surprise winner of the boys 150m dash (15.94). 

SDS junior Laraigh Allen of Helix and Payton Smith of La Jolla were two of seven girls under the previous meet record in the 150 meter dash. 

The most impressive efforts from NorCar representatives included Menlo senior Justin Pretre, who defended his 1500m title in record fashion, and anchored the teams 4x800m relay team to a record 7:56.14 to hold off a Great Oak quartet from the Southern Section that also dipped under the previous standard at 8:02.75 

Castilleja senior Samira Kennedy, who will attend Harvard in the fall, ran off with the title in the 600 meter in 1:33.42, lowering her previous state-leading mark of 1:34.52.

Palo Alto (CC) junior Grant Morgenfeld made noise in the 1500m, chasing Pretre under the previous standard (3:55.56) and then he came back to whin the 3000-meter run, with the Southern Section's Hayden Owen of St. Francis also rrunning under the previous meet best a 8:35.73. 

Senior sprinter Xavier Bruce of Whitney brought gold back to the Sac-Joaquin Section with his 6.88 victory in the 60-meter dash, holding off Alex Skalmowski of Servite (6.96), Tony Smith of Roosevelt (SS), and Arrington, who also clocked 6.96. 

Southern Section champions were aplenty. Upland senior Davis-Davis Lyric, a State Meet runner-up in the 110m hurdles, won the 60m hurdles here in 8.06. 

Roosevelt's boys won the 4x200m relay in 1:29.08. The boys from Thousand Oaks won the sprint medley relay (1-1-2-4) in 1:35.00. 

Serra's girls, the defending CIF-State team champions, took home gold in both the 4x200m relay and the 800m SMR (1-1-2-4) with Brazil Neal, Sadia Green and Mia Flowers running on both teams. Neal, who signed with Oregon last week, won the State 200m title last year and took the silver in the 100m. Zakiyah Wilson ran on the 4x2 team and Sienna Claiborne took the stick in the SMR. 

Etiwanda senior Sinaiah Pointer won the girls shot put (39-11.75) with Los Alamitos senior Taylor Hofland second at 39-3. 

Moorpark's Victor Ezike won the boys high jump at 6-6 and was clean through that clearance. San Clemente senior Griffin Schwab also cleared that height but missed on his first attempt, and that was the difference.

South Torrance junior Mackenzie Monson won the girls weight throw (42-00.50) with junior Gracelyn Brown of Granite Bay (SJ) second at 41-05.50.

Lucas Chin of Santa Barbara San Marcos won the boys pentathlon with 3,150 points. In the girls pent, Harris totaled 3,371, closing it out with a 2:30.40 runner-up finish in the 800 meters.