By Steve Ramirez
NORWALK – 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).