CA State Indoor: Dash and hurdle performances take the spotlight

State Meet Index

(FRESNO, Calif.) -- When it came to come-through performances, close finishes and upsets, the sprints and hurdles at the Fifth Annual Run for the Dream indoor high school invitational Saturday – also now known as the California Indoor State Meet – at the Save Mart Center in Fresno really produced.

First up were the girls’ 55-hurdles. After the prelims, freshman Jasmyne Graham of Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) had the fastest qualifying time at 8.09. Last summer, she was the USATF National Youth (age 13-14) champion in the 100-meter low hurdles at 14.04. Also qualifying for the A-heat (fast heat) final were veterans Sasha Wallace of Holy Names (Oakland) at 8.16 and Jordie Munford of Rancho Cucamonga at 8.29. Last spring, Munford placed fifth and Wallace sixth, respectively, in the state meet 100 hurdles. The real surprise was Micha Auzenne of St. Francis (Mountain View), who qualified at 8.21. Last year as a sophomore, she had a best of just 15.10 over 100H.

In the final, Wallace was out with the leaders and pulled away for a convincing win over Graham, 7.94 to 8.01—good for the #2 and #4 fastest times in the nation after the smoke cleared Saturday. Akayla Anderson of Benjamin Cardozo (Oakland Gardens, N.Y.) was the previous leader at 8.02. Munford was third in the race at 8.10 and Auzenne was fourth at 8.28.

The boys’ 55-meter high hurdles featured the 4-5-6 finishers from the s 2011 state 110-meter high hurdles—Devin Hickey of Vista, Julian Todd-Borden of La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) and Kenneth Walker of Kennedy (Richmond). Walker had the fastest qualifying time with a very smooth 7.50. Todd-Borden also qualified for the A final with a 7.69. James Knowles of St. Francis (La Canada Flintridge) and Duane Solomon of Great Oak (Temecula) had the next fastest times at 7.64 and 7.68.

Walker dominated the final while defeating Knowles, 7.37 to 7.50. Walker’s time is the fourth-fastest in the nation. Todd-Borden was fourth at 7.69. Hickey had the sixth-fastest time, running 7.72 in winning the B heat final. (Editors note—The A final is made up of the top six qualifying times and the B final is made up of the seventh- through 12th-fastest qualifying times. Final standings are based on combined results from the two races).

If Auzenne’s performance in 55-meter high hurdles was not enough of a surprise, she made a strong bid to be considered the “find of the meet” when she clocked the fastest preliminary time in the 55-meter dash at 7.14 and then came back to win the A final in 7.16, defeating Jasmine Gibbs of El Camino (Oceanside) by .01. Gibbs was fifth in last year’s state meet 100 and had a best of 11.85. Auzenne’s best in 2011 was 12.50. The fastest time in the event actually came out of the B heat final when Traci Hicks of Long Beach Poly ran 7.12.

The unexpected continued in the boys’ 55-meter dash when senior Kryee King of Colony (Ontario) had the top qualifying time at 6.50. Last spring, his best 100 meters was 10.80 in winning the Mt. Baldy League title before being eliminated in the Southern Section Division II prelims. He confirmed his prelim time with a 6.47 win in the A final for the tenth-fastest time in the nation behind a nation-leading 6.35 by Tevin Hester (Granville Central, Stern, N.C.). But look who King beat in the final: Khalfani Muhammad (Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks), who was second at 6.47 and last year was second at state and had a best of 10.55; Jordan Riggins (Fairfield), who was third at 6.52; and Blake Selig (Rio Mesa, Oxnard), who was fourth at 6.52 and ran 10.73 last year before injury ended his season.

In the girls distance races, Savannah Camacho of Templeton, the state runner-up in the 800 and ranked fifth in the nation in 2011 with her 2:07.71, ran virtually alone in passing 400 in 65.0 and pushing forward to US#3 2:12.30. Sophomore Janice Lane of Poly (Long Beach) was second at 2:22.78. In the 600-yard run, freshman Mikaela Smith of Clovis North overtook junior Nijae Jones of San Leandro for the win, 1:27.80 to 1:28.59. Nicole Lane of El Molino (Forestville) won the 2-mile at 11:18.98.

Sergio Gonzalez of Arcadia, who ran 4:18.57 for the full mile last spring, had the early lead in the event while passing 800 in 2:14, but was overtaken in the last 600 by Brandon Messerly of Great Oak (Temecula), who went on to win in a personal best of 4:24.20. Gonzalez was second at 4:26.64, then came back to win the two-mile at 9:28.47. Sophomore Miguel Bautista of Long Beach Poly was second there at 9:29.06.

Nick Ratto of St. Joseph Notre Dame (Alameda) held off Conner Vigil of Redlands East Valley in the 800, 1:59.32 to 2:00.79. The finish was even closer in the 600-yard run as Alex Rohani of Beverly Hills just edged a fast-closing Isaiah Cantu of Hanford, 1:14.75 to 1:14.76. Rohani just missed the meet record of 1:14.72, set by Trabuco Hills’ Chad Rozean in 2010.

In the boys’ field events, state outdoor champion Cody Crampton of Canyon (Anaheim) defended his indoor title with a 6-8 clearance. He had two good and one great attempt at 6-10¼. Gyle Becker of Bullard (Fresno) was second at 6-6. Kyser Anderson of Clovis missed his personal best by just one inch with his 15-6 pole vault win. Phillippe Ueng of Temple City was second at 15-0.

Freshman Joey Souza of Kingsburg was the long jump winner with a personal best of 22-4¾, followed by Willie Alexander of Central (Fresno) at 22-3 ¼ and Rio Mesa’s Selig at 22-3. Last year, Selig jumped 23-8 ½ and Alexander 23-6. Eric Sloan of Bear Creek (Grass Valley) won the triple jump at 47-3 and Jeff Prothro of James Logan was second at 46-7 ¾. Shot putter Nick Budincich of Loyola (Los Angeles) won the 25-lb weight throw at 62-5 for the 11th-best throw in the nation and the best by a Californian. The shot went to defending state discus champ Jayson Kovar of Burroughs in 58-3 1/2.

In the girls’ field events, sophomore Claire Keiffer-Wright of South Pasadena had a four-inch personal best in winning the high jump at US#5 5-8. Raegan Nizdil of Rio Mesa was second, leading four girls that cleared 5-4. Hicks became a double winner by also taking the long jump with a personal best of 19-3¼. Kierra Miller of Carson was second at 18-10—also a personal best. Graham was third at 18-1. Wallace also picked up her second win taking the triple jump at 39-11 ½. Tamika Brazzel of El Camino (Oceanside) was second at 38-6. Danielle Steffen of Petaluma won the pole vault at 11-6, just three inches off her personal best.

Junior Tanya Sapa of La Sierra (Riverside) turned back the challenge of freshman Nia Britt in the shot put, 44-0 to 42-11½. Sophomore Stamatia Scarvelis of Dos Pueblos (Goleta) was third at 41-6. Both Britt and Scarvelis hot personal bests. Lissette Mendivil of Redwood (Visalia) won the 20-lb weight throw at 47-6.

In boys’ 4 x 800 relay, San Ramon Valley (Danville) at 8:18.62, Beverly Hills at 8:19.07 and Rio Mesa (Oxnard) at 8:41.38 were all section winners and had the three fastest times. In the 4 x 145-meter relay, Colony (Ontario) just ran down Great Oak (Temecula) in a photo-finish, 68.13 to 68.14, with 55-meter winner King on the anchor leg. Deer Valley (Antioch) defeated Carson in the final section of the 4 x 400 relay, 3:31.47 to 3:33.80, for the two fastest times. Deer Valley’s time broke the meet record of 3:31.71 set by Rio Mesa in 2010.

Beverly Hills won the girls’ 4 x 800 relay at 10:06.85 with James Logan (Union City) second at 10:17.22. Long Beach Poly was an easy winner over Great Oak in the girls 4 x 145-meter relay, 1:13.78 to 1:15.82. Running in the final section of the girls 4 x 400 relay, Great Oak was an easy winner over Long Beach Poly, 4:06.61 to 4:09.92 for the two fastest times.