ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Rachel McCoy, Miller, Senior
Story by Pete Marshall, Staff Writer
It’s hard to fathom that at the beginning of the season, she was quitting track and field. By the end, she was winning state and hoping to compete in track in college.
“I always knew I could do it (win state),” Miller senior Rachel McCoy said. “But it’s always surprising when I actually do it.”
Such was the journey this season for McCoy. The senior, who has signed with Long Island University to play basketball, won state in the high jump as a sophomore with a solid, but unspectacular jump of 5 feet, 8 inches. That gave her an ego problem.
“I got this attitude that I can do anything,” she said. “This should be run my way. It was immature to think that.”
TRACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Miles Parish, Etiwanda
It’s a good thing Miles Parish is 6-foot-5.
He needed every inch of his towering frame to win the CIF State championship in the 400 meters.
“My coach told me before the race that it was going to be so close I would have to lean at the finish,” Parish said. “I didn’t know for sure I won until the announcer said it.”
At that very moment, it all become worth it. All the excruciating ladders, the weight lifting, the monotonous training.
Second place is OK up to a certain point in track season. At least that was the general consensus at last week’s CIF-SS Masters meet.
Friday is the last time that attitude will be applicable.
Entering tomorrow’s qualifying round of this weekend’s CIF State track meet at Clovis Buchanan High School, Inland Valley athletes are ranked second in the state in six events. For months now the goal has been to rank first at state finals on June 1.
Jordie Munford isn’t among those currently ranked second in the state, but the Rancho Cucamonga hurdler knows better than anybody in Clovis this weekend what second feels like.
On Thursday, it was Ayala freshman Sydney Tullai dropping jaws at the Sierra League finals track meet by winning the 800 meters, 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters. (Check out the photo gallery) It’s a combination of events so taxing – “insane,” was the term of preference for Chino Hills coach Richard Morales – that Tullai won’t be able to run all three at CIF-SS Preliminaries on May 11. She’s leaning toward the 3,200, but her decision will be jut one of many interesting story lines heading into the posteason.
On Friday at Baseline League finals (photo gallery) Upland’s Myles Valentine tied the top wind-aided 100 meter time in the state this season with a 10.36-second effort. The runner he tied was defending state champion Khalfani Muhammad, who defeated Valentine two weeks earlier at the Mt. SAC Relays, prompting this statement: “I knew at that point,” Valentine said, “I wasn’t going to finish second again.” He hasn’t.
After finishing second in the state in both hurdling events last year, Rancho Cucamonga’s Jordie Munford has been nowhere to be found. Turns out she was nursing a hamstring injury suffered in late February, just weeks after signing with Oregon.
Munford finally made her 2013 debut over the weekend at the Mt. SAC Relays, finishing fourth in the 300 hurdles, an event in which she finished second in the state not only last year, but in 2010 as well.