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Saturday’s 102nd CIF State Track & Field meet wasn’t dominated by Long Beach teams and athletes the way it often has been over the last century—but it was a strong return to state competition for four young Long Beach high school programs, all of whom return podium talent next year. In all, 22 Long Beach entries made it through prelims to Saturday’s finals, with 16 of those entries earning a podium finish at the meet.
“We ran a lot of kids who are returning,” said Wilson coach Neil Nelson. “All of our boys who made the Finals were on the podium, our girls were on the podium, and we have a freshman on the podium. So what can you say? The future is bright.”
Wilson junior Aujane Luckey summed up that same feeling. Luckey finished second in the 400 and third in the 200, as well as running leadoff on the Bruins’ second-place 4×400 relay. For most athletes that would be a sensational performance. Luckey, coming from Long Beach and having huge expectations for herself, was unimpressed
“Honestly I feel like I could have done better,” she said. “But I’m excited. I’m happy I got this far—and it’s my first time being able to come to State, so being able to run is good. I didn’t do great, but it’s a learning opportunity, and I’ve got next year to come and win it.”
The Bruins finished third in the girls’ team standings behind Serra and Clovis North, getting points from Samarra Monrroy (8th in the 400) and freshman Kaylin Edwards who took fourth in the 300 hurdles, as well as Luckey’s events and the girls’ 4×400.
On the boys’ side Wilson finished ninth with 14 points, with a day highlighted by the 4×400 finishing third to close the day, and Isaac Lewis finishing fourth in the 300 hurdles, and Marcel Francis-Mitchell taking sixth in the 800.
Long Beach Poly also featured a host of young and returning talent, as well as seniors Jaelen Knox and Lauren Reed, who both qualified for multiple individual events on Saturday. Knox finished eighth in the 100 and fifth in the 200, while Reed finished seventh in the triple jump and twelfth in the long jump, also running leadoff on Poly’s fifth-place 4×100 relay. Poly senior Zharia Taylor finished eighth in the high jump.
The Jackrabbits relays featured returning talent including junior Kennadi Reed, sophomore Taylor Johnson, freshman Jaylin Hunter, and freshman Leila Holland.
Poly also featured a trailblazer in junior Gabriel Tyler, who took fourth place in the ambulatory 100 and 400 events, Poly’s first-ever State competitor in the unified category. Tyler, who won the 100 unified event at Arcadia, was proud.
“It’s exciting to get to make history at an event like this and to do something new for Poly,” he said.
Millikan sophomore Jason Parra was yet another underclassman getting valuable State experience as he finished sixth in the 3200.
Long Beach’s CIF State Finalists
Long Beach Poly Girls’ 4×100 (Lauren Reed, Taylor Johnson, Aniyah Wyche, Kennadi Reed), 5th, 47.32
Girls’ 400: Aujane Luckey, Wilson, 2nd, 54.90
Girls’ 400: Samarra Monrroy, Wilson, 8th, 56.60
Boys’ 100 Ambulatory, Gabriel Tyler, 4th, 14.85
Boys’ 400 Ambulatory, Gabriel Tyler, 4th, 1:15.94
Boys’ 100: Jordan Washington, Jordan, 2nd, 10.44
Boys’ 100: Jaelen Knox, Long Beach Poly, 8th, 10.65
Boys’ 800: Marcel Francis-Mitchell, Wilson, 6th, 1:53.69
Girls’ 300 Hurdles: Kaylin Edwards, Wilson, 4th, 43.16
Boys’ 300 Hurdles: Isaac Lewis, Wilson, 4th, 37.44
Boys’ 300 Hurdles: Daryll Stevens, Jordan, 6th, 38.10
Girls’ 200: Aujane Luckey, Wilson, 3rd, 23.97
Boys’ 200: Jordan Washington, Jordan, 4th, 21.38
Boys’ 200: Jaelen Knox, Long Beach Poly, 5th, 21.40
Boys’ 3200: Jason Parra, Millikan, 6th, 9:01.66
Wilson Girls’ 4×400 (Aujane Luckey, Kaylin Edwards, Sadia Green, Ma’Nia Tidwell), 2nd, 3:47.92
Long Beach Poly Girls’ 4×400 (Kennadi Reed, Jaylin Hunter, Kennedy Butler, Leila Holland), 5th, 3:53.51
Wilson Boys’ 4x400 (Isaac Lewis, Leroy Crook, Marcel Francis-Mitchell, Nico Colchico), 3rd, 3:15.16
Girls’ Long Jump: Lauren Reed, Long Beach Poly, 12th, 16-10.75
Girls’ High Jump: Zharia Taylor, Long Beach Poly, 8th, 5-6
Girls’ Triple Jump: Lauren Reed, Long Beach Poly, 7th, 37-10.25