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Jordan Lakewood Long Beach Poly Millikan St. Anthony Track & Field Wilson

Long Beach High School Track and Field Preview

The562’s season previews for the 2022-23 school year are sponsored by Vertical Raise, the official team fundraising partner of The562.

The562’s coverage of cross country and track and field is sponsored by Bryson Financial.

The Long Beach high school track and field world has left all other competitors in the dust, as the boys and girls of Spring have proven themselves by far the best collection of talent in the city. The 2023 season is shaping up to be a special one, as was patently obvious taking a quick glance at the preseason rankings.

PrepCalTrack ranked three Moore League teams as the very best in California on the boys’ side, with Long Beach Poly, Wilson, and Jordan in the top three spots. Wilson and Poly’s girls’ teams were both among the top ten in the state, and all five of those teams are favored to be in the mix for CIF Southern Section Division 1 titles as well.

With 200 athletes in the programs at Poly and Wilson and a couple dozen future NCAA competitors in the city as well, it’s starting to feel like a golden era in a city that’s had several, and this year’s Moore League Finals at Wilson on April 27 may as well be a CIF State meet preview.

Poly coach Crystal Irving said that she hasn’t spent any time talking with her team about the various rankings that have the Jackrabbits favored to make noise at the CIF-SS and CIF State meets.

“I really don’t worry about rankings,” she said. “There’s times when they said we would never do anything again, we would never be in the top. This year we are. All I can say is I’m going to have my sundress ready, my wedges ready, a nice hat ready. And we’re gonna sit back and watch the show. Long Beach has a lot of talent this year and I’m really blessed to have kids that work hard and great coaches.”

Her counterpart at Wilson, Neil Nelson, was in lockstep with her comments.

“I’m not gonna fall for all this stuff,” he said. “Right now all it is is hype, and if we take it easy and think we’re good, we’re not going to do well. We told our kids don’t look at that stuff, just keep working hard. A big part of it is staying healthy at the right time.”

All of that being said, Long Beach’s coaches know they’ve got something special this year, and the group text with Irving, Nelson, and Jordan coach Sharaud Moore has had plenty of good news flying around this Spring, with state and nation-leading times going up nearly every weekend.

“We’re riding high right now, we’ve got to keep working,” said Nelson. “We’re Long Beach. We’re rooting for Poly, we’re rooting for Jordan. And we want to keep getting better and better.”

Click here for our preview of boys’ track and field

Click here for our preview of girls’ track and field

Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.