Track and Field Teams Head to Divisional Finals
May 9, 2019
Culver City High track and field is alive and well heading into this weekend’s CIF Track and Field Divisional Championship Finals. Saturday’s May 11 Finals, starting 1:00 p.m. at El Camino College in Torrance will feature at 14 total Centaurs from the girls and boys teams.
Last Saturday during the CIF Divisional Prelims at Moorpark high school, senior sprinter Kayla Barnes qualified for four girls varsity and junior Mekhi Evans-bey qualified for three boys varsity Finals events. Both girls 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams qualified for the Finals as did the boys 4x400m relay team.
Sophomore hurdler Ayahna Bahati qualified in the 100m hurdles, finishing fifth with a personal best time of 15.05 seconds. Junior hurdler and sprinter Alexandria Williams qualified in the 300m hurdles event in a personal best of 45.94 seconds, good for eighth place.
“My mind was set to execute each race to qualify, bring my best and give it my all,” said Kayla Barnes. “So I was able to do that in both of my individual races and also get together with my teammates to make sure we were on the same page for the relays. We went out there, did our job and qualified for all of them.”
The CIF Prelims started at high noon with the girls 4x100m relay event. The Centaurs had sophomore Ava Belcher led off, Alexandria Williams ran second leg, with sophomore Alero Soaris running third leg and Barnes running anchor. The girls finished fifth in 48.31 seconds.
“I liked the 4x100m relay time for my team,” said Barnes. “The handoffs could have been better. It wasn’t our best. But I feel once we get back to work this week we’ll tighten those up and we will break 47 seconds at Finals. But we did execute very well and got to stick around, no problem.”
The girls varsity 4x400m relay team also finished fifth and qualified with a time of 3:38.40. Junior sprinter Yasmeen Delgado led off to Soaris, running second leg, on to freshman Kennady Iverson running third and Barnes taking up the anchor leg. Girls head coach Rayfield Beaton slated Iverson to run in place of Alexandria Williams, who is usually runs with the 4x400m team.
Barnes: “There might be a change to Saturday’s lineup, whatever Coach Beaton feels. We had switched out Alexandria because she’s been running a lot of events. We had a lot of confidence in Kennady that we would qualify with her.”
The boys varsity 4x400m relay team qualified for Saturday’s Finals by finishing sixth. Dexter Hollier-Larouse, Shamar Carter, Dialo Drati and Mekhi Evans-by teamed up for a time of 3:23.27. The boys varsity 4x100m relay team of Evans-bey, Khary Crump, Tyler Lucket and Jamal Glaspie qualified for alternates with a time of 43.12 seconds.
Mekhi Evans-bey shined at Moorpark High, excelling in both the 200m and 400m sprinting events. Evans-bey ran a personal best of 21.75 seconds in the 200m to finish third behind winner Chad Lemmons of Mater Dei. Evans-bey also finished third in the 400m event, clocking 49.23 seconds, just behind winner Ryan Rivtuso of Edison High, Huntington Beach (48.86).
“Mekhi Evans-bey has been phenomenal this whole season. On Saturday he really showed that he’s ready to compete for Finals, for sure,” said Barnes.
“Coach (Jahmal) Wright, Coach (Rayfield) Beaton and Coach Derek (Huezo-Clark) are definitely supportive and rooting us on all the time. At practice I always ask Coach B. questions, to critique my running… he always has the right answer for me. And it’s been showing throughout the season. He supports me and for sure has my back.”