Three Redondo relay teams make State’s track & field top ten
By Randy Angel
In a preview of what should be exciting Bay League track and field competition, six relay teams and one individual finished with top ten marks in the State while competing in the 51st Arcadia Invitational last weekend.
Mira Costa’s Xavier Court turned in an impressive performance with a strong final kick to win the 3200 Seeded race, posting a personal-best time of 9 minutes, 6.92 seconds that ranks him sixth in the state.
His time is about three seconds off the Mira Costa High School record (9:03) set by Jeff Atkinson 37 years ago.
Court was one of seven athletes among the State’s top ten 3200 runners who competed at Arcadia. He also holds the State’s best mark in the mile with a 4:15.86 finish at the Azusa Meet of Champions on March 24.
“Winning the 3200 meant a lot to me as far as building confidence in running my own race strategically and, most importantly, gaining more confidence in my kick at the end,” Court said. “I hung at the tail end of the front pack for six laps, matching their moves and not letting them get too far ahead. With two laps to go the momentum changed and, with 200 meters left, it was an all out sprint. With some energy leftover gas in the tank, I managed to outkick the rest of the competition ahead of me.”
Redondo’s relay teams also fared well with its girls Distance Medley Relay, 4×800, 4×200, 4×100 and boys 4×800 teams finishing in the top ten.
The Sea Hawk’s boys team of Alberto Aguilar, Benjamin Tait, Cade Erikson and Farooq Tariq placed third in the 4×800 Invitational (3rd best in state) with a time of 7:54.08.
On the girls side, Redondo’s 4×800 team of Domenica Villegas, Allison Montgomery, Molly Ann Hastings and Peyton Heiden turned in the state’s 5th-best time (9:29.23) while finishing 8th in the race.
Indica Showell, Julia Ausland, Makaia Lee and Amari Turner ran a personal-best time of 1:42.86 for a 3rd-place finish in the 4×200 seeded competition which is the 5th fastest in the state this season.
Redondo also won the girls Distance Medley Relay Open race with a time of 12:30.66, placed 8th in the 4×100 Seeded competition (49.31) while Akaylah Hill finished 9th in the triple jump (37-04.5).
Palos Verdes’ girls team of Grace Catena, Maya Whitcomb, Savannah Scriver and Samantha Steman placed 10th in the Distance Medley Relay Invitational race with a time of 12:18.56 which is also the 10th-best time in the state.
Peninsula’s Jessica Nye finished 9th in the mile with a time of 5:08.49.
Other athletes with top-ten marks in the state this season include pole vaulters Brigette Gray of Mira Costa (5th) who cleared 12-7 at the Woodbridge Invitational and Redondo’s Amari Turner (7th) with a mark of 12-6 set at the Sea Hawk’s dual meet with Palos Verdes and Morningside.
In boys action at the Arcadia Invitational, Palos Verdes’ Distance Medley Relay team of Ian Irish, Ryan Echeverria, Hunter Burczyk and Nathan Lantz placed 4th in the Invitational race with the state’s 5th-best time of 10:19.58
West Torrance’s 4×800 Seeded relay team was 4th at Arcadia with a time of 8:06.36 (6th in State) while the Warrior’s Caleb Terrill placed 7th in the 800 Invitational (1:55.65).
Along with league competition, local athletes have two large meets coming up which will be held at El Camino College.
The South Bay Championships take place Friday and Saturday April 13-14 followed by the Mt. SAC Relays on April 20-21.
Mira Costa will host Redondo on Thursday, April 26 prior to the Bay League finals which will take place at Redondo on Friday, May 4.
by Randy Angel