It's A Fast Start For Culver Track Teams

Sports Reporter

Get ready, set... and the 2017 Culver City High track and field season got off to a very pleasant start under fair skies and mild temperatures.

The Centaurs hosted four league rivals at Jerry Chabola Stadium for the first Ocean League meet of the year on Saturday, February 25.

"It went smooth. We were able to run all the events in a timely fashion. All the athletes had a chance to compete. It was a well-run meet where we got everything accomplished that we wanted to. It was just a good way to kick off the season," began Culver High track and field head coach Jahmal Wright.

"I thought the meet was a great representation and a good showing of our team and all the hard work that they put in this off-season and preseason getting ready. And it showed on Saturday afternoon. It's the first meet and a good beginning.

Culver's four teams scored well in the running, hurdling and jumping events with a number of fine individual performances. The varsity girls, frosh/soph girls and the frosh/soph boys won their respective meets. The varsity boys finished second behind Beverly Hills. Santa Monica, Lawndale and El Segundo also competed.

The Culver varsity girls, defending Ocean League champs, won their meet with 174 points to Santa Monica with 118, El Segundo 86.5, Lawndale 40.5 and Beverly Hills 36. The Culver frosh/soph girls won their meet with 117.5 points to El Segundo with 96.5, Santa Monica with 93, Beverly Hills 66 and Lawndale 11.

"It went pretty well for the first meet. I was kind of surprised with the way they performed overall. I was very pleased. There were some good times for early in the season," said Culver girls track head coach Rayfield Beaton.

"Their attitude was... they were ready. They have been training so they wanted to see where they were. They were excited to compete. There were a few mistakes but overall it was very encouraging,"

Centaur sophomore Kayla Barnes took the 100m event in 12.86 and a personal record. Kalyn Hooks finished second in the 100m with 13.60.

Coach Wright: "For a sophomore to be running 12.8 in the 100m I'll take that everyday of the week."

The Culver girls swept the top four spots in both the 100m hurdles. Guess Scott won with a PR of 16.50 ahead of fellow teammates: Hannah Reliford 17.80, Jasmine Marrero 17.88 and Milana Sanders 20.64.

Guess Scott also ran an impressive 49.93 in winning the 300m hurdles also ahead of the same teammates: Marrero 51.58, Sanders 53.15 and Reliford 54.34.

Coach Wright: "It was a pretty good day for Guess. She ran a :49 in the 300m hurdles and that was her best time, too."

"I just put some kids out there and wanted to see them compete. I wasn't worried about their times and where they finished. We won the meet but overall we weren't trying to win or lose. For an opening season meet it was a very good start."

The varsity girls also saw success in the relays, winning the 4 x 100m (51.02) and 4 x 200m (151.02) events. They finished second by less than a half second to Santa Monica, 4:20;25 to 4:20:58, in the 4 x 400m relay.

Yasmin Randa Ashley won the high jump event for Culver with a leap of 5'-2". Angel Morris placed third by clearing 4'-10".

Culver senior Harley Robinson won all three events she competed in starting with the long jump with a leap of 15'-3.5". She also won the triple jump by almost six feet over her closest competitor by covering 32'-5". Robinson completed the triple threat by tying for first in the pole vault, clearing 8'-6".

The Centaur varsity boys finished second by only 3.5 points to Beverly Hills (123.5). Santa Monica was third with 113, Lawndale with 83 and El Segundo with 62.5. The Culver frosh/soph team won with 146 points to Santa Monica with 103.5, El Segundo 84. 5, Beverly Hills 51 and Lawndale 43.

"At these meets we want to evaluate all of our personnel. We want to compete in and win as many races as we can but it was good to see some of our younger runners in competition," said Wright.

"I thought we looked very strong in the 4 x 200m and the 4 x 400m events. It's a pretty good early season time for both of those events because those times are definitely going to come down a lot. For us to start the 4 x 400m at 3:33 and a 1:33 in the 4 x 200m is not bad."

The boys varsity 100m event was determined by two heats including one photo finish. Centaur junior Nick Bradley tied for first in the boys varsity 100m event with Lawndales's Demarjae Gilmore. Both ran a 11.60 and just inched out Centaur junior Brandon Oum (11.61) and El Segundo's Shawn Lyon (11.67).

Wright: "Brandon Oum and Nick Bradley were in the same race. It was difficult to tell who won that race. Once they looked at the camera Nick edged out Brandon. In the second heat the Lawndale runner (Gilmore) ran the same time that Nick Bradley ran in his race. We have some work to do in that event but once we change some things those times are going to drop."

Culver junior Sam Robert, continuing to improve on his successful form, won three individual events and ran the third leg on the 4 x 100m relay that just lost by .14 of a second to Lawndale.

Robert won the 110m hurdles in 16.87 and the 300m hurdles in 44.35. Robert cleared 12'-6" to win the pole vault. Kaito Salcedo finished tied for second by clearing 10 feet.

Culver senior Steven Ashby completed a double by winning two jumping events. Ashby leaped 20'-7.25" to take the long jump and cleared 5'10" to win the high jump by four inches. "Steven has been nursing a hip-flexor injury so his pre-season workouts have been very limited because we've been watching him," said Wright.

"He definitely came out and showed how explosive he is. That's not even the tip of the iceberg of who he's going to be when it's all said and done this season. Overall, both the girls and guys teams were able to show the potential that we have."

The Centaurs have two track meets scheduled this week: a dual meet Wednesday, March 1, at Torrance and the annual Culver City Invitational on Saturday, March 4 starting at 9 am at Culver City High.

Coach Wright: "The Culver City Invitational has been going on since 2002. It's an annual event that we put on at Culver City High School. It promotes the fabulous facilities that we have. A lot of the talent that's on the Westside come out and compete against each other. It's definitely a track and field event that people want to check out."


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