Lakewood Long Beach Poly St. Anthony Track & Field Wilson

CIF Announces Postseason Plans for Track & Field

This season is already gearing up to be a memorable one for local track & field athletes. Several Long Beach schools have prominent athletes who project as some of the state’s best, but postseason competition remained in question until this week.

On Monday morning, the CIF-Southern Section confirmed that a Boys’ and Girls’ Track and Field Championship would be held this year for CIF-SS athletes across all four divisions. The prelims will be held on June 5 with the finals set for June 12 at four different sites across Southern California.

The announcement brings some good news after the CIF State office canceled the 2021 CIF State Track and Field Championships, due to a low number of sections in Northern California competing this year. Still, there will be section champions crowned in Southern California, and there are ongoing efforts to hold a SoCal Regional Championship event in lieu of the traditional Master’s Meet.

This year’s CIF-SS track championships for Division I schools will be hosted at Trabuco Hills High School, where all Moore League schools will be competing. St. Anthony and star hurdler/jumper Asjah Atkinson will be at the Division 4 championships held at Carpinteria High School. 

The CIF-SS also announced that fans would be allowed to attend the championships, adhering to local health department guidelines. A livestream of the events will also be available.

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Looking at the latest state leaderboard compiled by PrepCalTrack.com, several Long Beach athletes would have been in the running for a state title this year, but will still be among the favorites at the upcoming section finals next month. Long Beach has had success across several disciplines this year, which should make for an entertaining season both on the track and in field events.

On the girls’ side, Wilson sophomore Aujene Luckey is the current state leader in the 200m (24.48) and is second in the state in the 400m (55.57) early on in the season. Teammate Sadia Green has the sixth-best time in the 400 so far this year with a 56.69. Wilson is also having success in the girls’ relays, currently ranked third in the state in the girls’ 4×400 relay and fifth in the 4×100 relay with a time of 47.72. That time is just ahead of Poly (47.87) in sixth in that event.

The Jackrabbits also have current and likely some eventual state leaders in the jumps. Poly’s Zharia Taylor is the state leader in the girls’ high jump, clearing 5-06 at the Triton Invitational last month. Iowa-bound senior Jade McDonald has the best mark in the triple jump this year (39-10.00) by more than three feet, but it was not wind-legal. She leads a trio of talented Long Beach jumpers in the wind-aided crew, followed by St. Anthony senior London Lee (38-04.50) and Jackrabbit teammate Alyssa Perkins (37-10.50). Those marks would be the three best in all of California if they were wind-legal marks.

Poly’s Lauren Reed has the fourth-best mark in the girls’ long jump (18-10.50), but it’s also wind-aided. Taylor also has a wind-aided mark of 18-02.00 which would place her fifth in California, were it permissible.

McDonald is also one of the top athletes in the girls’ 100m hurdles as her time of 14.80 currently ranks fourth in California. But everyone is looking up at state leader Asjah Atkinson of St. Anthony. The Cal-bound senior ran a 14.40 back in March and it hasn’t been touched since.

Elsewhere in girls’ field events, Lakewood’s Cherish Washington-Logan currently sits fifth in the girls’ discus with a heave of 150-04. That mark ranks second-best in the Southern Section this season.

In boys’ track, Wilson’s Phillip Jefferson has had a great start to the campaign. He currently has the state’s second-fastest time in the 400m, running a 48.27. He’s also sixth in the state in the 300 hurdles and 10th in the 800m. He’s also part of Wilson’s 4x400m relay squad that just took the state lead over the weekend after running a 3:20.30.

At Poly, the boys’ 4x100m relay is currently ranked fifth in the state with a time of 42.52. Meanwhile, senior Miguel Orozco would have California’s best mark in boys’ long jump this year, but his recorded distance of 23-01.75 was wind aided. His mark is more than 16 inches better than the current official state leader.

As local track season marches on, Moore League dual meets will conclude on May 19 with league finals scheduled for May 28 at Wilson High.

PHOTOS: Long Beach Poly vs. Millikan Track & Field

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Tyler Hendrickson
Tyler Hendrickson was born and raised in Long Beach, and started covering sports in his hometown in 2010. After five years as a sportswriter, Tyler joined the athletic department at Long Beach State University in 2015. He spent more than four years in the athletic communications department, working primarily with the Dirtbags baseball program. Tyler also co-authored of The History of Long Beach Poly: Scholars & Champions.
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