Culver City Observer -

By Fred Altieri
Sports Reporter 

Culver's Winter Track Classic Is A Success


December 21, 2017

The second annual Culver City Winter Track Classic sprinted out of the blocks at Culver City High last Saturday morning, December 16 in ideal weather conditions. Over 100 athletes of different ages and backgrounds competed in the competitive yet fun event that is quickly becoming popular for athletes and future runners preparing for the upcoming track season early next year.

The meet has turned into Culver City's version of "If you build it, they will come." Last year's inaugural meet started by Culver City High girls track Coach Rayfield Beaton was an instant success. This year the Winter Classic has been expanded to three meets held over three consecutive months ending in February.

The event raises funds for the Culver City High track and field team. The open all-comers meet was well-attended by athletes from high school, middle school, youth track clubs, masters and newcomers. St. Mary's high school from Inglewood brought dozens of female student athletes to compete.

Athletes competed from all age groups, ranging from youths aged five up to masters at age 66. The attractive feature of the meet is that all runners are invited regardless or not of being a sanctioned, school or club affiliated runner. The events were a mixture of quality competition and fun for all.

The efficiency and organization of the meet cannot be understated. Nine full events with numerous heats ran smoothly without a hitch. Each event rolled into the next as the entire meet was completed in two and a half hours, a remarkable accomplishment by a very stealth and effective track meet staff. The meet started at 9 a.m. and finished by 11:30 a.m.

Culver City High track athletes also served as event coordinators, volunteers and assistants, giving them valuable experience and opportunities to improve their organizational skills. Also helping were Alisa Ross and Eve Whitworth, two former athletes who ran for Coach Beaton at West L.A. College, offering their qualitative track experience to further elevate the Winter Classic.

The coaches in attendance used the opportunity to check on their athletes' times and form before the track season begins several months away. They also used the meet as a way to observe new runners in their programs as well as to use it as a time trial and compare times for many of their runners.

Beaton was very pleased with the Culver City High freshman and sophomore girls who displayed excellent preseason times in the 300 meter event. Alero Soaris ran 42.19, Anaiya Mitchell ran 43.02, Ava Belcher ran 43.49 and Kayla Barnes ran 43.75.

The three meets progressively change event formats to help teams and athletes prepare for the coming season. The following events were held for Meet #1: 600m, 1600m, 60m hurdles, 300m, 60m, 1000m, 200m and the 4x400m relay. Five teams competed in the final 4x400m relay event.

Meet #2 will be held on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at 9 a.m. The events include the sprint medley relay that features the 100m, 100m, 200m and 400m legs. Following will be the 600m, 1600m, 60m hurdles, 300m, 60m, 1000m, 200m, 3000m and the 4x400m relay events.

Meet #3 will be held on Saturday, February 17, 2018 and also starting at 9 a.m. will include the medley distance relay that features the 200m, 200m, 400m and 800m legs. Rounding out the final Winter Track Classic program is the 4x100m relay, 1600m, 100m hurdles, 400m, 100m, 800m, 300m hurdles, 200m and the 3200m events

Two relays will be featured in the final two meets. It also allows the coaches and athletes to compete in events they don't ordinarily run. The last meet will closely parallel most upcoming high school meet schedules. This allows teams and athletes to compete in a meet that is very close to what they'll face in the spring season track meets.

There will be a distance medley event in the third and final meet. The distance medley offers relay teams a chance to compete in an event outside the traditional relay races such as the 4x100 meter relay and 4x400 meter relay events.

Coach Beaton received positive feedback from the other coaches with requests to further help in promoting the event. A major attraction is the very low price to compete for each athlete, a mere five dollars. It's a great chance for Culver City residents and visitors to support the school and compete without breaking the bank.

With two events remaining on the schedule the Culver City Winter Track Classic is on a fast-track to becoming a must-compete and attend event on the Westside preseason track calendar. It's time to run for Culver City.


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