WLA: Six Straight Track Championship
The West Los Angeles College women’s track and field team won the 2013 Western States Conference Championships on with 167 points, defeating Ventura and Glendale who each had 111.
This marks the fourth title in a row for the ladies program which is the longest winning streak by any women’s team in the 33-year history of the Western State Conference. The men’s team finished second with 151 points, just seven behind Glendale, which won the men’s title. The combined track and field title went to West LA for the sixth year in a row.
West was led by sophomore, Jonika Baker who won the 400 hurdles and the 100 hurdles followed by teammates Mariah Richards-Maynard, Susana Usher, Aundrea Yancy, and Aysia Smith. In addition, Baker had a pair of 3rd place finishes in the 100 and 200 meters, and ran lead off leg on the victorious 4x100 relay. She teamed up with Richards-Maynard, Smith, and Jasmine Waters to run 47.06 which is the top time in Southern California. Not to be outdone, Smith won the triple jump with a bound of 37’11.5” surpassing teammate Yancy by less than 2 inches. The pair later locked up in the high jump, this time with Yancy placing first in 5’4”. State leader, Shadonna Hunter won the long jump and was runner-up in the 100 meters as the Lady Wildcats swept the jumps, hurdles, and relays in route to a 56 point victory in the 12 team conference which is the biggest in the state.
The men were led by hurdler Darien Richardson (110 hurdles, 400 hurdles) and thrower Christopher Walker (discus) who both won individual conference titles. Richardson led a 1, 2, 4, 5 finish by West in the 110 high hurdles along with Najee Williams, Lawrence Mendenhall, and Jurnee Gibson. Richardson later came back to win the 400 hurdles in 53.88, and run a leg on the victorious 4x400 relay along with Will Lacy, Franz Palacio, and Alex Amankwah running 3:15.99. Earlier in the day, Palacio and Lacy teamed up with Davion McGee and Kenneth McDaniel to win the 4x100 relay in 41.57 as the West men and women swept all four relays on the day. Individually, Palacio placed 3rd in the 400 at 48.37, 4th in the 200
and 6th in the triple jump and Lacy placed 3rd and 4th in the 200 and 100 meters respectively. Perhaps the most impressive performance was Amankhaw who had a pair of 2nd place finishes in the 1500 (3:54.59) and 400 (48.17) and also placed 3rd in the 800 all within 1 hour. The national leader over 800 meters will drop the 400 and 1500 event for SoCal to concentrate on his specialty.