Costa, Redondo track stars advance to CIF Southern Section finals
By Randy Angel
Several Bay League track and field stars, including five pole vaulters, advanced to the CIF-Southern Section Division Championships, to be held Saturday at El Camino College.
Redondo junior Amari Turner bounced back from a second-place finish in the pole vault at the Bay League finals becoming one of six athletes who cleared the 12-foot mark in the Prelims last Saturday.
“I look forward to hitting higher marks and ultimately getting more consistent with my vault before the season ends,” Turner said. “Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to jump and place at State finals this year. I continue to remain grateful to Coach (Stephen) Kelley and Coach (Dave) Dill for their support and I look forward to CIF and all the surprises it brings.”
Turner will also represent Redondo when she runs the anchor leg in the 4×100 Relay along with freshman Julia Ausland, junior Mahkaia Lee and Indica Showell. The team placed 4th in the prelims with a time of 47.88 seconds.
“Our girls 4×100 is peaking at the right time,” Redondo head coach Bob Leetch said. “Our sprint coach, Stephen Kelly, has used a variety of runners throughout the season but has settled on our final four. I guess that speaks to our depth, which is great, but I like the chemistry of this unit.”
Also qualifying for finals is senior Akaylah Hill who placed 3rd in the triple jump with a mark of 38 feet, 2.5 inches. The Prairie A&M bound senior has been consistent throughout the season.
Mira Costa’s girls squad will be led by Brigette Grau, who also cleared the 12-foot mark in the pole vault, along with Samantha Ealy who placed 4th in the triple jump with a mark of 37-11.5.
In Division 3, Palos Verdes will be represented by Samantha Steman (3rd, 3200, 11:05.09) and Grace Catena (5th, 1600, 5:12.41).
In boys competition, Mira Costa pole vaulters Andrew Sandberg and Calvin Oury both cleared the 14-6 mark to become two of six South Bay qualifiers for the Division Finals.
Mustang senior Jonah Tavai also advances after placing 4th in the shot put with a distance of 53-11.5.
In Division 3, Palos Verdes will be represented by Ian Irish, who placed 1st in the 800 with a time of 1:56.48, and Brayden Scott, a 3rd-place finisher in the pole vault with a mark of 12-09.
The Masters Meet will also be held at El Camino College on Saturday, May 26. Competition includes the top nine finishers, regardless of division. The top 12 finishers from the 800, 1600, 3200 and field events also advance.
by Randy Angel