Covina’s McClain and Bishop Amat’s Price double up at CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet

By Steve Ramirez
Covina High School’s Remontay McClain and Bishop Amat’s Kyle Price began the season as the area’s top two returning track and field athletes.
They continue to live up to that billing.
Both earned double wins while qualifying for next weekend’s CIF State championships in Clovis after giving stellar efforts Friday night during the CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet at Cerritos College.

McClain, the 2010 state champion in the 100 and 200 meters, continues to look like a favorite to repeat after easily winning both those events Friday. Price matched the performance, winning the 100 and long jump. She scratched in the 200, where she was one of the favorites, to make Friday night’s Bishop Amat graduation ceremony.
Other qualifiers were West Covina’s Beejay Lee in the 200, Diamond Ranch’s Marquise Cherry in the long jump, Ayala’s Brea Buchanan in the 100 and 100 hurdles and Claremont’s Paul Ross in the 3,200.
All will compete at the state championships, which is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Buchanan High School in Clovis.
McClain, who will compete for nearby Azusa Pacific University next season, continued to look like the best sprinter in the country, winning the 100 in 10.31 seconds, then following with a 20.87 to beat rival Beejay Lee of West Covina in the 200.
“I felt pretty good,” McClain said. “I was looking for a faster time
in the 100 meters. But it was a good deal, it felt good.”
The senior, who is looking for a rare repeat of the 100 and 200 at the state meet, broke clean in the 100, pulling ahead at the gun before beating all competitors to the line by about four lengths. He finished 0.27 seconds ahead of second-place Khalfani Muhammad (10.61) of Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks.
“I got out of the box better, which is what I’ve been working on,” McClain said. “I had a nice finish. My coach and I will look at the little things, and see what we can improve on (for next week).”
He was just as impressive in the 200, making up for the stagger by the turn before withstanding a challenge from Lee to win by a step. He appeared to pull up lame after the finish. McClain said it was a hamstring, but he expects to be OK for next weekend.
Price, who was unavailable for comment due to her graduation ceremony
Friday night, after scoring wins in the long jump and 100.
The senior met the state-qualifying standard with a mark of 19 feet, 7 1/2 on her first leap in the long jump before finishing with that mark to win the event. Price, who finished second in the long jump in the state last year and sixth in the 100, then easily covered the field in the sprint event, finishing with a 10.77, which was an improvement from her Division 3 winning time of 10.81 last week.
Lee, who was disqualified in the 100 after a false start last week and did not qualify for this meet in that event, looked like one of the better 200 sprinters in the country, using a strong kick to push McClain before finishing second with a 20.96.
Cherry solidified his spot in the state meet, leaping 23-3 1/4 on his first jump to finish third.
Buchanan qualified in the 100 (13.94) and 100 hurdles (11.95) after finishing third and fourth, respectively.
Ross, one of the top cross country runners in the area during the fall, took eighth in the 3,200 (9:04.18), but advanced by eclipsing the state-qualifying standard of 9:09.65.
San Dimas’ Katherine Salcido was among five area competitors who failied to qualify, missing in the 100 hurdles (14.83) and long jump (17-7 3/4). She was eighth and 10, respectively in both those events.
Also not advancing to Clovis are West Covina’s Taylor Bernhard, who was 12th in the pole vault (11-3); Bonita’s Toure McCully, who was seventh in the 110 hurdles (14.66); Diamond Ranch’s Andrew Fischer, who was seventh in the 300 hurdles (38.46), and Arroyo’s Ivy Nunez, who was 12th in the discus (119-2).

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  • Nona

    It’s getting clearer and clearer who will be the AOY for track. I probably don’t need to name names. I do have a couple of suggestions for all-area, though.

    First, don’t combine girls and boys as you did last year. Give more recognition rather than less. These kids work incredibly hard, so why not recognize more of them since you have the chance?

    Second, give the relays some love. They hardly ever get mentioned, and when they do the individual team members usually aren’t listed. You could choose an all-area girls 4×100, all-area boys 4×100, all-area girls 4×400, and all-area boys 4×400.

    Girls 4x100m – San Dimas HS (Jackson, Wallace, Salcido, McKee) – 2nd CIF D3
    Boys 4x100m – Bishop Amat HS (Smith, Gutierrez, Andrews, Hill) – 6th CIF D3
    Girls 4x400m – Claremont HS (Brown, Chen, Sanin, McCormack) – 2nd CIF D2
    Boys 4x400m – Claremont HS (Jones, Kuramata, Cleghorn, Aiken) – 8th CIF D2

    It would be a way to recognize more kids and finally give the relays the recognition they deserve.

    Just a thought.

  • Fred Robledo

    Nona, I hear what you’re asking, but the league’s do a good job honoring athletes with long first and second team lists and honorable mention’s. We like our all-area teams to be more of a select group of the best-of-of the best. By honoring the boys and girls track athlete of the year, and the five most accomplished boys and girls in track and field events, plus a second team of five boys and five girls reflects the best-of-the-best I’m referring too. That’s 20 athletes and two players of the year.

    We never pick relay teams in track or swimming because we want to honor the best individuals in those sports, but it’s a good suggestion. But if you honor the relays, you have to honor the best in each individual event, and that’s too many pictures — 10 to 12 pictured is about all we can fit on a front page and do the athletes justice. Here’s a thought, what if we accompanied the all-area team with a list that show’s who finished with the best times or marks in each event?

  • Nona

    Hi Fred!

    Happy Memorial Day weekend!

    I completely get what you’re saying about space restrictions in the paper, league recognition, etc. However, I want to renew my suggestion that you do a boys’ list and a separate girls list, rather than combining them as you did last year. That way you could recognize more kids because you wouldn’t be under such space constraints. I don’t remember whether you recognize boys and girls swim together, or boys and girls cross-country, but why not give more recognition rather than less?

    Regarding league recognition for the relays, in our league, league champions are all-league, and that’s great. However, many relays are able to win their league finals with very . . . pedestrian times. There’s one local league in which the league champions ran 52.60 in the girls 4x100m. In another local league the champions ran 50.35. There’s more. I’m not going to name leagues or schools, but you can look it up. I could give examples for the other relays too, but you get the idea.

    My point is that running a great time at CIF Finals should get those relay teams and individuals some all-area recognition. They have to work hard on their speed and their hand-offs (especially the 4x100m). If you were at CIFD3 prelims you saw what can happen when hand-offs are not perfected: the Mater Dei boys 4x100m relay team, with one of the top times in the country this year, running away with the relay, dropped the baton on the hand-off to the anchor, and didn’t finish.

    The relays I nominated earlier are truly the best of the best. To run a great time and finish second at CIFSS Finals (as two of my nominees did), one of the toughest high school track meets in the country, is an amazing accomplishment. Some of these times would win state meets in other states.

    Regarding recognizing the best athlete in every event, if there are kids who placed well at CIF in their individual events they should be recognized anyway. I don’t think there’s any need to recognize all events if the best local athlete didn’t do well enough to merit individual recognition.

    Or maybe this year you only recognize the San Dimas HS 4x100m girls and Claremont 4x400m girls by virtue of each team finishing second at CIF Finals.

    Due to space constraints maybe you only list the names of the relay members, without pictures. Or use smaller pictures. Or put their pictures on page 2 or page 3, where you continue the article from the first page.

    In lieu of that, including a list of top times/marks would be GREAT, but you’d want to make sure they were fully automatic times, not hand times. And it’s hard to get an accurate list. The local SGV track challenge website is good but it is missing a couple of individuals and times/marks. They don’t seem to have some of the CIF Prelims times included. But why not use that space for recognizing the relays instead? šŸ™‚ And if you do decide to give some well-deserved recognition to the relays, please give the individual runners’ names.

    Thanks for hearing me out, Fred, and sorry for the long post.

  • Nona


    Looking at the picture on the web site, maybe it was Notre Dame and not Mater Dei.