Culver City Observer -

Track Season Is Off To A Rousing Start


March 19, 2015

Fred Altieri

Joylyn Dailey - Girls varsity 100m sprint

By Fred Altieri

Sports Reporter

The sun was up, the weather was hot and so was the Culver City High track and field team on Saturday, March 14 for the annual Culver City Invitational held on the track and field inside Jerry Chabola Stadium.

If the Centaur performances are a sign of things to come it's going to be a very good year for the program headed by Jahmal Wright, also the boys sprint and relay coach.

The Centaurs' main competitors for the early season event were Cleveland High, Marymount High and LACES, the L.A. Center For Enriched Studies. The races began at 10 in the morning and continued without a hitch until 4:30 in the afternoon.

Well there was one unexpected moment in the early afternoon when a small twister swept through the south end of the track, uplifting the finish-line tent and sending plenty of papers high into the air like a flock of seagulls. The respondent roar from the crowd matched the wind's excitement.

Coach Wright was satisfied: "Our annual Invitational went well this year. The event ran smoothly and the sun was shining. I was pleased with how the events went and how our athletes performed.

"Our relay teams really came through on the girls' and boys' sides for both the frosh/soph and varsity squads. We were also able to place in the shot put and discuss events. It was a good early season meet to build the morale and confidence of our track team."

Wright gave an overall rundown on some of the student/athletes who will be competing for the school this spring: "We expect good things from Jarrett Anderson. He's a sprinter and will be in the 400m and 200m races and the relays: the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400.

"Cahlil Hooper is undefeated so far this season in the 100m and 200m races. He's also doing well as the second leg in the 4 x 100 relay team. He's on the 4 x 400 team too. Robert is running the 110m high hurdles and the 300m low hurdles. He ran on the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 varsity teams. He has a bright future and excelling as a ninth-grader is a great feat."

Wright was equally impressed with the girls: "The girls team is deep, talented and running great times early in the season. Destinee Augustus is 400m and 200m runner. She's on the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 teams. Senior Amber Wacker is a sprinter whose main event is the 400 meters. She's doing well on the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 teams.

"Senior Joylyn Dailey is a dynamite sprinter. She's a 100m and 200m runner and is the anchor leg on the 4 x 100 and the third leg on the 4 x 400 team. Nia Garcia runs the high and low hurdles and is a long jumper as well. Cedrinae Thompson also runs the low and high hurdles. Audrey Davies won the shot put event. All three are doing a great job for us."

The frosh/soph team on the girls' and boys sides' is probably the strongest and deepest the school has had in years according to Wright.

"Our JV team is doing a great job. Brandon Oum is a pleasant surprise as a sprinter, a long jumper and runs the 100m and 200m races.

"Freshman quarterback Jonathan Martin is doing well running the 300 meter hurdles. He's second leg on the 4 x 100 team and runs on the 4 x 400 team. He also runs the 400m, 200m and 100m.

"Our freshman soccer player, Ava Johnson, is running the 100m, 200m and the relays as is Madison Roberts, also a soccer player. Both are doing well."

There were also fine performances in the middle distances by Max Flynn running a personal best in the 1600m leg of the varsity boys DMR and Abraham Vazquez running a superb time in the open 3200m after spending most of the day taking scholastic tests.

The Centaurs finished the day in style. Coach Wright: "Dylan Van Buren did a great job running the anchor leg on the 4 x 400 team. He came from behind to win that event for us on the last race of the day. He also runs the 800m and the 400m races.

Fred Altieri

Cahlil Hooper - Boys varsity 100m sprint

Wright thanked his coaches: "Rayfield Beaton is doing an awesome job with the girls and the hurdlers. He's coaching the boys and the girls. We're kind of team-teaching this year.

"Derek Huezo is working with the long jumpers and triple jumpers. Tom Fritzius coaches the distance runners, the 1500m and 3200m runners. Coach Ollie Thomas is working with the pole-vaulters. The shot put and discus coach is Leo Zambrano. All are doing a great job."

He concluded: "It was an early season meet to springboard us through the rest of the season and give us confidence. We're looking forward to a prosperous and exciting track season. We're off to a great start and looking to win our first league track meet this Wednesday at Lawndale High."


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