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A pair of young talents put on a show for Millikan at Saturday’s CIF-SS Track & Field Finals, highlighting a bright future for the Rams.
Sophomore Jason Parra, the reigning Long Beach All-City Freshman of the Year, brought home a CIF-SS individual championship in the two-mile with a blazing time of 9:09.39. Parra didn’t sprint out to the lead in this race the way he usually likes to, but had more than enough in the tank over the final 300m to bring home the gold.
“I always try to feel out the race, and today I knew there’s gonna be a lot more competition,” Parra explained. “I was kind of expecting someone else to go out, and eventually someone did and that helped me a lot. But there was definitely new strategy this time, because of the way the race was being ran. I knew as soon as we started and we got that first 800 it was a little slower, so I could really feel the pace change after that. But all I had to do was just stick with the leaders and then try to out-kick them.”
Long Beach has been long-known as “Speed City,” but with Parra and Wilson’s Nico Colchico winning the mile, the city dominated the top division in the distance races as well.
“I was really proud, massive respect to Nico over there," said Parra. "I just like that we're representing Long Beach pretty well."
Parra wasn’t the only rising star competing for the Rams, though. Millikan junior Kaliyah Johnson has been one of the top sprinters in the city all year, and she turned in a pair of strong performances on Saturday at Moorpark. Johnson took fourth in the 100 and fifth in the 200 with times of 11.86 and 24.56.
Parra and Johnson will be forces to be reckoned with as the postseason continues as well as in future seasons.
Millikan (Division 1)
Girls’ 100: Kaliyah Johnson, 4th, 11.86
Girls’ 200: Kaliyah Johnson, 5th, 24.56
Boys’ 3200: Jason Parra, 1st, 9:09.39