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Long Beach Poly Track & Field

CIF Track: Long Beach Poly Boys Claim Championship, Girls Take Silver

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The562’s coverage of Long Beach Poly athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Poly alum Jayon Brown and PlayFair Sports Management. 

The562’s coverage of Long Beach Poly athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by JuJu Smith-Schuster and the JuJu Foundation.

It was a green and golden day for Long Beach Poly at the CIF-SS Track and Field championships at Moorpark, as the Jackrabbits brought home the CIF-SS Division 1 team title on the boys’ side, and the silver plaque on the girls side. The Jackrabbit boys tallied up 70 points, at least 30 points more than the runner-ups. 

The CIF-SS team title is the Poly boys’ 17th as a program, and the 38th for the track program as a whole. It’s their first since 2019 and also the school’s 128th total CIF-SS championship, more than any other school.

“It’s really amazing that everyone stepped up, and that we were able to do so well for the boys,” said Poly coach Crystal Irving. “A lot of them are underclassmen as well. To see their brotherhood, to see the support from each and every one of them, it was just a magical day.”

The star of the day for Poly was junior Xai Ricks, who easily won the 400 with a PR time of 46.57, took fourth in the 200 in 21.25, and anchored the Poly 4×400 to a second-place finish in a time of 3:15.42.

“It’s great, we had a lot of guys come in and our goal was to get here and wing a ring,” said Ricks. “We’ve got a lot of our guys coming back next year and hopefully we can do it again.”

The Long Beach Poly boys’ quartet of Cal signee Javon Hampton, frosh Malachi Dawson, Jadyn Robinson, and Caliph Johnson started the day off right with a win in the boys’ 4×100, with a time of 41.64. Johnson got the baton for the anchor leg even with a few other teams and ran a great final leg to give Poly the win.

“When I got the baton I saw people on either side of me and I just had to go and get it,” he said. The Jackrabbit pack includes three underclassmen as Dawson is a freshman and both Robinson and Johnson are sophomores.

The Jackrabbit boys picked up seven points in the long jump as Hampton and Robinson finished fifth and sixth in that event, sprinting over to jump immediately after wrapping up the 4×100.

Ricks picked up an individual championship in the 400 with a time of 46.57, leading an impressive 1-4 Long Beach finish with teammate Noah Smith taking third in 48.57.

Lamarr Kirk Jr. won perhaps the most exciting race of the day in any division as he went from first to third to first again in the 800, winning with a time of 1:54.13 and just outleaning the competition for a .02 win.
“I knew it was going to be a dogfight from the beginning, I just had to fight at the end,” he said.

Kirk Jr. said that he and the other Poly runners were motivated by the chance to win a team title, which they celebrated loud and proud as a group.

“I wasn’t really worried this week about my event as an individual,” he said. “I really wanted it for the team, to do it for the team and bring home a championship.”

On the girls’ side, Poly ended up tallying 53 points, taking second-place to league foe Wilson who brought home the gold with 74 points.  It was a strong day for Poly as hurdlers Kennadi Reed and Anise Becker scored in both hurdles races, and both girls’ relays made it through to CIF-SS Masters as well.

Thrower Mai Ricks finished third in the shot put with a personal-best mark of 41-03.5.

“I’m happy with it but I wanted more,” said Ricks. “I’ve been working on getting my left foot down and getting it to the toe board and not watching the ball after I release it. I’ve got more time now to keep getting better.”

Irving said she was beyond proud of how her girls’ team competed and qualified so many athletes through to Masters.

“We’re really excited that we’re getting back to pre-COVID numbers and the talent and the drive and the will to just show and compete,” said Irving. “It means a lot for the boys and especially for the girls. I’m super proud of them for stepping up like they did, and I’m very excited about the health of the program overall.”

Long Beach Poly 

Girls’ 4×100, 4th, 46.86

Boys’ 4×100, 1st, 41.64

Boys’ 1600: Cameron Rhone, 6th, 4:14.62

Girls’ 100 Hurdles: Kennadi Reed, 5th, 14.76

Girls’ 100 Hurdles: Anise Becker, 7th, 14.85

Girls’ 400: Jaylin Hunter, 6th, 57.19

Boys’ 400: Xai Ricks, 1st, 46.57

Boys’ 400: Noah Smith, 3rd, 48.57

Girls’ 100: Ari’yona Smith, 6th, 12.08

Boys’ 100: Javon Hampton, 8th, 10.69

Boys’ 100: Malachi Dawson, 9th, 10.75

Girls’ 800: Camille Lindsay, 8th, 2:17.76

Boys’ 800: Lamarr Kirk Jr., 1st, 1:54.13

Boys’ 800: Cameron Rhone, 5th, 1:54.93

Girls’ 300 Hurdles: Kennadi Reed, 2nd, 42.96

Girls’ 300 Hurdles: Anise Becker, 3rd, 43.23

Girls’ 200: Jaylin Hunter, 6th, 24.76

Boys’ 200: Xai Ricks, 4th, 21.25

Boys’ 200: Malachi Dawson, 5th, 21.79

Boys’ 200: Noah Smith, 7th, 21.93

Girls’ 4×400, 3rd, 3:50.79

Boys’ 4×400, 2nd, 3:15.42

Girls’ High Jump: Jillene Wetteland, 3rd, 5-4

Girls’ Shot Put: Mai Ricks, 3rd, 41-03.5

Boys’ Long Jump: Javon Hampton, 5th, 20-8.25

Boys’ Long Jump: Jadyn Robinson, 6th, 20-3 

VIDEO: CIF-SS Track & Field Championships
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.