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Area Athletes Shine at State Championships

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J.W. North's Boys Team sets National mark on the way to a State Crown in the 1600-meter relay

Cerritos College

By Gary Montgomery
If you are a fan of the sport of Track and Field, you were no doubt one of the 17,323 faithful followers who braved triple digit temperatures this weekend to see California's top high school Track and Field athletes perform in the annual CIF Championships at Cerritos College.

The event alternates between Cerritos College and Hughes Stadium in Sacramento typically on an annual or biennial basis.

Best in the Nation – J.W. North’s Boys 1600 meter relay team after wining the California State Title with the National best time for the season of 3:10:36. North had run 3:11:86 last week to win the Southern Section. Championship. (L-R) Ennis Jones, Nevin Gutierrez, Reginald Wyatt, Tim Sabastian.
This years' competition featured a number of local competitors from the Inland Empire and surrounding communities.  For these athletes to reach the state final, these gifted athletes had to out duel six or seven of their league piers, advance through tough regional battle, withstand a grueling two days of combined sectional competition and the following weekend survive the Master's runoff just to get an opportunity to face off against 8 other top athletes who have traveled the same road.  All of this to determine who is the best athlete in California in their respective events.

Representing the Inland Empire were athletes form Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Claremont, J.W. North, Rancho Verde, Temucula Valley, Palm Dessert and La Sierra among others.

J.W. North's surprising Boy's 4x400-relay team had the crowd buzzing.  After posting a National best 3:11:86 in the Southern Section Championships and winning their first title. There was great anticipation in the air waiting for the match-up between perennial powerhouse Long Beach Poly and the red hot Huskies. 

North's entry time of 3:11:86 was the best time turned in by any team in the Nation this season.

The Huskies qualified for the Finals on Friday evening with a 3:18:62, the fifth fastest qualifying time.

Photos by Jon Gaede Lady Huskies – North’s girls battled to a fourth place finish in the 4x400 in a time of 3:49:56. (L-R) Marjoni Maldonado, Lafonda Thompson, Sharaviah Richardon, Kierstan Kirkland.
By Saturday's finals the Huskies were right back on track.  Propelled by a gritty performance from Ennis Jones running the second league, North soundly beat Long Beach Poly and turned in a new National and Personal Best 3:10:36 and captured the State Championship in the 4x400 relay.

Temecula Valley's Jonathan Williams finished 3rd in 100 meter dash and 5th in the 200 meter."

Rancho Cucamonga's Sadè William's won the 400-meter dash in a time of 53:21 and finished 3rd in the 200 meter with 23:65.  Rancho teammate Brittany Crabb finished 6th in the 300-meter hurdles in a time of 44.16.

Rancho Verde's Josh Como placed 3rd in the Triple Jump with a jump of 49-10.75.  Rancho Verde's girls 4x400 relay team finished 5th with a time of 3:50:11.

J.W. North's girls teams finished 4th in the 4x400 meter relay and 7th in the 4x100. 

North's Kiersten Kirkland also placed 5th in the 300-meter hurdles in a time of 43:43.

Ontario Colony senior high jumper Staphon Arnold finished 2nd with a jump of 6-09.

Palm Dessert's Joe Canavan finished 3rd in the shot put with a throw of 60-11.50.

Diamond Ranch junior Terry Prentice won the 110-meter hurdles crown in a time of 14.11. Prentice also finished 2nd in the long jump with a leap of 23-10.50.

G. montgomery can be reached @ gmontgomery@att.net

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