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Local Stars Showcased at Moore League Track & Field Finals 

Mike Guardabascio

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

We’ve known all year that this could be a special season for the Long Beach track and field community, which has seen more than its fair share of special seasons. The Moore League Finals confirmed the feeling on Thursday afternoon and evening at Wilson, with great times, some thrilling finishes, and dozens of Long Beach athletes qualified through to next weekend’s CIF-SS Division 1 prelims at Trabuco Hills High.

Poly, Wilson, and Jordan will all be in the hunt for team CIF-SS titles, and coaches of all three teams said they got basically everyone through that they wanted to.

In the relays, Poly won both 4x1s and the boys’ 4×400, a thrilling preview of two of the best teams in the state against Wilson. The Bruins brought home the girls’ 4×400, and coaches of both teams acknowledged that they’re thinking about their 4×800 plan, with a brand-new relay set to score points at the CIF State meet Poly’s Xai Ricks, one of the fastest 800 runners in the country, did not run the event at league finals and will focus on the 200 and 400 as an individual, as well as the 4×4 and 4×8 relays; the 4×8 will be run at CIF-SS Masters as a State qualifier.

In the sprints, Lakewood’s Jai’ya Jones won the 100 on the girls’ side in 12.05 and Jordan Washington of Jordan ran a blazing 10.36, one of the fastest times ever by a Long Beach sprinter. Washington claimed the 200 in 20.94 and Wilson’s Aujane Luckey won in 24.54.

“I wasn’t trying to do anything special time-wise, I’m just chilling today and trying to get through to CIF,” said Washington, who posted two top 10 times in city history.


In the middle distances, Luckey won the 400 (54.96) as did Ricks (47.14) on the boys’ side, with Marcell Francis-Mitchell and Xcaret Tirado giving Wilson an 800 sweep. Tirado out-leaned Poly’s Camille Lindsay to win the 800 by .03 seconds in the most exciting finish of the day.

“I’m so grateful, I’ve been through a lot since freshman year but my coaches and support system believe in me,” said Tirado. “It’s a hard race, mentally it takes a toll on you, but I’m coming back and pushing through.”

The distance races were owned by Millikan, as Jason Parra took the 1600 and 3200 title and teammate Nadia Mejia won the girls’ 1600 and 3200.

Parra ran his 1600 with Poly’s Cameron Rhone on his heels before putting the gas pedal down to finish in 4:12.98, another renewal of the two stars’ exciting rivalry this year.

“I really love racing against him,” said Parra. “It’s been a lot of fun this year.” Parra looked healthy and ready for the postseason, running a 9:08 3200.

The hurdles were a mix with Wilson’s Kaylin Edwards and Jordan’s Jacob Hernandez winning the 100/110 and Poly’s Kennadi Reed coming back late to win the 300 hurdles, as did Jordan’s Daryll Stevens.

Reed was behind halfway through but said at the fifth hurdles she knew she could catch Edwards, which she did to finish with a time of 42.99.

“I saw she wasn’t that far ahead and I knew I could close the gap,” said Reed, who pushed through and claimed the win.

In every race and in most of the field events, there was a strong representation for the league, with often two or three additional competitors qualifying for the prelims. We’ll have a full list of everyone who qualified early next week.

Moore League Champions

Girls’ 4x100: Long Beach Poly (Eriss Portley, Kennadi Reed, Ari’yona Smith, Jaylin Hunter), 47.16

Boys’ 4x100: Long Beach Poly (Javon Hampton, Malachi Dawson, Jadyn Robinson, Caliph Johnson), 41.78

Girls’ 1600: Nadia Mejia, Millikan, 5:12.23

Boys’ 1600: Jason Parra, Millikan, 4:12.98

Girls’ 100 Hurdles: Kaylin Edwards, Wilson, 14.49

Boys’ 110 Hurdles: Jacob Hernandez, Jordan, 14.87

Girls’ 400: Aujane Luckey, Wilson, 54.96

Boys’ 400: Xai Ricks, Long Beach Poly, 47.14

Girls’ 100: Jai’ya Jones, Lakewood, 12.05

Boys’ 100: Jordan Washington, Jordan, 10.36

Girls’ 800: Xcaret Tirado, Wilson, 2:18.82

Boys’ 800: Marcell Francis-Mitchell, Wilson, 1:54.06

Girls’ 300 Hurdles: Kennadi Reed, Long Beach Poly, 42.99

Boys’ 300 Hurdles: Daryll Stevens, Jordan, 38.64

Girls’ 200: Aujane Luckey, Wilson, 24.54

Boys’ 200: Jordan Washington, Jordan, 20.94

Girls’ 3200: Nadia Mejia, Millikan, 11:07.85

Boys’ 3200: Jason Parra, Millikan, 9:08.00

Girls’ 4x400: Wilson (MaNia Tidwell, Brooke Blue, Kaylin Edwards, Xcaret Tirado), 3:50.55

Boys’ 4x400: Long Beach Poly (Noah Smith, Caliph Johnson, Lamarr Kirk Jr., Xai Ricks) 3:16.05

Girls’ High Jump: Jillene Wetteland, Long Beach Poly, 5-5

Boys’ High Jump: Jerman Simms Jr., Jordan, 6-0

Girls’ Long Jump: Loren Webster, Wilson, 19-4

Boys’ Long Jump: Javon Hampton, Long Beach Poly, 21-4.75

Girls’ Triple Jump: DaQari Hampton, Wilson, 34-5.75

Boys’ Triple Jump: Jermar Andrews, Jordan, 42-9

Girls’ Shot Put: Mai Ricks, Long Beach Poly, 37-9

Boys’ Shot Put: Israel Poyer, Jordan, 45-5

Girls’ Discus: Mai Ricks, Long Beach Poly, 133-8

Boys’ Discus: Christopher Tafunga, Jordan, 144-3

VIDEO: Moore League Track Finals
PHOTOS: Moore League Track & Field Finals
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.