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Olympic Hopefuls Impress At Mt. Sac Relays

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By Gary Montgomery

Staff Writer

Many of the World’s greatest runners come to Mt. Sac Relays to tune-up for Olympic competition.

Eisenhower's Clinay Cameron won the high school girls discuss at 124-02, 37.84 m.
A collection of the world's best athletes and Olympic hopefuls made their way to Walnut last weekend for the Fiftieth running of the Mt. Sac Relays. This year's event was loaded with athletes tuning up or attempting to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Among the stars were local favorites Joanna Hayes, 400-meter hurdles gold medalist and Riverside North grad. Former La Sierra and Riverside Community College star Tyree Washington, Mickey Grimes, Pomona's Torri Edwards just to name a few. 

Olympic Gold medalist Joanna Hayes running the 4x100 during the fiftieth Mt. Sac. Relays.
Southern California's premier track and field showcase event has provided fans with an opportunity to see track and fields greatest athletes perform for a half century. The fiftieth running was no exception, featuring athletes representing every level of competition from elementary, high school, community college, university, professionals and disabled athletes competing throughout the weekend.  

With the Olympic games only three months away, athletes were ramping up to prepare for an ever increasing schedule of competition as they head toward the Olympic trials to be held in Eugene, Oregon in June.

Eisenhower's girls 4x100 relay team won with a time of 3:59:63;Sakia Sailinuu, Lakeia Thompson,Samia Sailinuu and Allese Houston.

Pomona native Torri Edwards ran a 23.03 in her signature 200 meter dash.  "I feel really good coming here," aaid Edwards. "I love getting to come back to Mt. Sac. It gives me a chance to run in front of my family and that's always fun. I grew up just over the hill and I have a lot of good memories from here."

Allyson Felix comes down the stretch in the 4x400 relay. Felix ran and unofficial time of 49.8 in her leg.
Riverside's Joanna Hayes, the 2004 Olympics' 400-meter hurdles champion recovering from an injury plagued season felt much the same. "I love coming back to Mt. Sac. It's no pressure and great competition," aaid Hayes. "I'm here just trying to loosen up. I feel a little tight right now, but this is a great place to test yourself without a lot of pressure. I'm 31 now and trying to take it one day at a time. I'm sticking to my regiment and doing all the things I am supposed to do. My goal is to get ready to defend my title. I want to repeat."

Hayes ran a leg on the 4x100 and the 400 relay teams. Her Bob Kersee All-stars team anchored by Allyson Felix ran a 43.12 in the 100 and 3:28:33 in the 400.

Tyson Gay, the reigning world champion in 100 and 200 runnning the anchor leg of the 4x100 relay team.
Felix, the women's 200 meter Sliver Medalist at the 2004 Olympics, ran an unofficial time of 9.8 leg in the 4x100 and a 49.8 in the 400. "I'm just here to have fun and run with my teammates," said Felix. Felix will also compete nest month at the Home Depot Center.  

Tyson Gay, the defending world champion in the 100 and 200 meters, ran the final leg of the 4 X 100 for his USA team. "I feel pretty good. Once I got running, I felt relaxed," said Gay. "I'm just trying to work on my starts and making sure I stay healthy." Gay is scheduled to run in the Adidas Track Classic at Home Depot Center in May also.

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

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