Covina High School’s Remontay McClain will be the favorite in the 100 meter finals at tomorrow’s state finals in Clovis after winning his heat in 10.34 on Friday, the fastest time in the nation this season. Bishop Amat’s Kylie Price qualified for the finals in both the long jump and 100 meters.
Above: Look, Remontay can even beat Superman.
By Keith Lair, Staff Writer
CLOVIS – It was easy to think of Covina High School’s Remontay McClain as an afterthought. And why not? McClain has shown vast improvement this season, but as far as being among the state’s elite? That didn’t happen until Friday. The junior made people who had not heard of him stand up and definitely take notice. Serra’s George Farmer, considered one of the heavy favorites going into the meet, said McClain has “come out of the woodwork.” (To continue, click thread).
Friday’s performance in the CIF State Track and Field Championships at Buchanan High made that easy to do. He won his 100-meter heat in 10.35, the best time in the nation this season. He followed it up with a state-best 20.85 seconds in the 200, the best time in the state this season and third-fastest in the nation.
“I’m shocked,” McClain said. “I’m surprised by how good my times are, but I thank God.
“I was nervous at first. I had to take a deep breath so I wouldn’t flinch or anything. So I took a deep breath before I ran my races.”
He will try and prove Friday’s times were no flashes in the pan in tonight’s finals. Field events are scheduled to start at 4:30 and running events at 6.
“I’m improving little by little,” he said. “You take care of the little things.
“You may be fast, but if someone gets by you out of the blocks you’re pretty much done.”
Perhaps there’s a good reason McClain was overlooked. He suffered a stress fracture in his foot last season and said it hurt every time he ran, but he still reached the CIF-Southern Section preliminary meet.
He now can become the first state champion from Covina High in 86 years.
“Being here against the best people in California is really great,” he said.
McClain’s previous best time in the 100 was 10.53, which he did in taking second at last week’s CIF-SS Masters Meet.
“I worked on my block starts this whole week and my speed workouts,” he said.
“I got out of my blocks and I just picked up my legs and strided out a little bit. The 100’s are a short race, so I picked up my knees at the start and I just finished.”
He did it at the legal wind limit of 2.0 meters per second. It was a hot, gusty afternoon Friday in Central California, with the wind going well over the limit for many races.
He was fast out of the bocks in the 200 and the only runner to break the 21-second mark. His previous best was a 21.00, which he ran at last week’s Masters Meet.
He’s not the only east San Gabriel Valley runner who’ll take aim at a double title today. Bishop Amat’s Kylie Price qualified in the long jump and the 100.
Price, running in the lane next to St. Elizabeth’s Ashton Purvis, was able to draft off her competitor into a spot into tonight’s finals. She finished second to Purvis in a personal-best 11.68. Purvis set a national season best in 11.22.
“It was so great to compete alongside someone like Ashton,” Price said. “She can push me to a faster time.”
It was the seventh-fastest time of the four qualifying heats in the meet.
Price had to battle the wind to advance in the long jump. She jumped short of the bar on her first and third attempts, but the wind calmed on her second attempt and she went 19-3 to finish second.
“I was scared of it messing up my step,” she said of the wind.
Jenna Prandini of Clovis went 20-7 3/4, the longest jump in the nation in all conditions. The wind was blowing at 3.9 meters per second.
Diamond Ranch’s Koree Hines finished fourth in his 110 high hurdles heat, and 10th overall, in 14.39. San Dimas’ Erika Kalmar finished fifth in her 400 heat, 16th overall, in 56.81. The Damien 400 relay team suffered from a botched handoff and finished fifth, 12th overall, in 42.22.
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