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Long Beach Poly junior Camille Lindsay has been the top runner in the Moore League all year, but her win on Wednesday at the league finals meet at Heartwell Park was far from guaranteed. Lindsay has been dealing with an allergic reaction that caused anaphylactic shock a few weeks ago, and was not 100% coming into this week’s meet.
Lindsay gutted her way through it, and helped bring her team with her too. She raced to a cruise control individual league title, and led the way for the Poly girls to claim their first team championship since 2017.
“I’m feeling a lot better emotionally than physically right now, I’ll just say that,” Lindsay said. “I was trying to just be as confident as possible coming in, knowing that I wasn’t 100%. I’m so proud of the team for running so well and winning today, this is the happiest I’ve been in a long time.”
Lindsay’s time of 18:02 may have been slower than her usual three-mile time, but was still good enough to finish first by 36 seconds. Wilson’s Natalie Maahs narrowly edged Poly’s Alexa Bryson for second, with Poly’s Sasha Johnson and Evelyn Hernandez Lujan not far behind. Lakewood’s Bailee Carpenter took sixth, with Poly’s Maile Quinn taking seventh to round out the Jackrabbits’ team scoring with five in the top seven finishers.
Jordan’s top finisher was Melanie Moreno, and Cabrillo’s was Beverly Mendez.
Poly coach Cameron Ford has been the coach of the Jackrabbits boys’ program for two years, and took over the girls’ program as an interim coach this year with Gabrielle Bournes out on maternity leave. It was a successful year for the program under Ford, as they claimed their first league title in four years.
“I think anyone in a position like this at Poly expects to win a league title, so we just wanted to bring in the family environment and make it fun for our kids,” said Ford. “These girls were so hungry, and they showed it from the very first meet. If Camille hadn’t been able to run today they would have lined up ready to go win a league title. Seeing her fight through what she’s been going through and run inspired them, too. They never flinched, they knew they were going to take care of business this year. They executed and they stayed as a family the whole time, I couldn’t ask for anything other than that.”
Ford praised Lindsay for her willingness to toe the line and race while she’s still not 100%.
“She definitely wasn’t 100%, and seeing her still race and outperform everybody, it shows a mentality of how much she cares about the team and about winning,” he said. “The depth and that family bond really showed today.”
Poly, Millikan, and Wilson will advance to the CIF-SS prelims next weekend on Nov. 12-13 at Mt. SAC.