By Keith Lair, staff writer
Personal bests, school records, invitational medals and accolades can be thrown aside.
They will not mean very much if track and field athletes do not perform well this weekend. That’s because the road to the CIF State meet begins tonight with league championships for nearly every Valley athlete.
Only winners in each event will earn automatic berths into the CIF-Southern Section postseason meets. The other athletes must reach a pre-set qualifying standard this weekend to earn berths.
“Either you win or you hit a qualifying mark,” California High School coach Armando Padilla said. “That’s the goal.”
There will be nine league meets today and seven meets on Friday. Most have running events starting at 6 p.m.
“It’s who will qualify for CIF,” Arcadia coach Chris Schultz said. “That’s the key. In our league, third place should qualify, but we will not have a lot of at-large entries.”
Victories in the recent Arcadia Invitational and
Mt. SAC Relays will not mean much to South Pasadena High School’s Claire Kieffer-Wright if the reigning state high jump champion somehow does not do well in Friday’s Rio Hondo League meet.
Kieffer-Wright’s 6-foot jump at Mt. SAC is the top-ranked mark in the state. Seven other area athletes and two teams are ranked in the state’s top 25.
Bonita’s Dominique Wheatley is ranked fifth in the triple jump, South Pasadena’s Laura Anuakpado is fifth in the 400 meters, South Hills’ Josh Webster is fifth in the triple jump,
La Salle’s Daniel De La Torre is sixth, Santa Fe’s Kevin Ramirez and Bonita’s Mackenzie Landa is 15th – all in the 3,200 – Bishop Amat’s Darren Andrews and Phillip Johnson are 10th and 11th, respectively, in the 100, Monrovia’s girls 4×100 team is 12th and South Pasadena girls 4×400 relay team is ranked 13th.
South Pasadena is the reigning CIF-SS Division 3 girls champion and returns most of its athletes from that team.
League meets today include the Del Rey at Monrovia High, the Del Rio at
La Mirada, the Hacienda at Diamond Bar, the Mission at Occidental College, the Montview at Duarte, the Olympic at Heritage Christian, the Prep at Claremont College, the Sierra at Chino Hills and the Valle Vista at San Dimas.
Friday’s meets are the Almont at San Gabriel, Baseline at Los Osos, Horizon at Caltech, Mission Valley at Rosemead, Pacific at Arcadia, Rio Hondo at South Pasadena and Suburban at
The four divisional CIF-SS preliminary meets are May 11, with the all-division CIF-SS finals May 18 at
Mt. SAC and the CIF-SS Masters Meet on May 24 at Cerritos College. The State meet is back at Clovis Memorial Stadium May 31 to June 1.
Several area athletes are just off top state marks, including California’s Raiven Ellis in the triple jump and Samuel Bautista in the 1,600. Ellis is among the top 10 jumpers in the CIF-SS Division 1.
“Division 1 is tough,” Padilla said. “It is definitely loaded.”
Divisions are aligned by school enrollment size.
By Keith Lair, staff writer