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Track & Field Wilson

CIF Track: Wilson Brings Home First Girls CIF-SS Title Since 2006

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

The562’s coverage of Long Beach Wilson Athletics is sponsored by Joel Bitonio, Class of 2009.

It was a special day for the Wilson track and field program on Saturday at Moorpark in the CIF Southern Section Finals. The long (very long) drive to Moorpark was worth it for the Bruins as they brought home their first girls’ track team championship since 2006, easily winning the gold plaque after putting up 74 points, 21 more than runner-up Poly.

“We’re finally bringing it home after being runners up before,” said Wilson coach Neil Nelson. “This means a lot to us. We focused differently to where the point wasn’t winning a championship, it was focusing on our athletes individually—them executing, performing, and whatever happens happens. The outcome is what the outcome is. So it wasn’t as stressful as in the past because we’re not counting points.”

The Bruins girls’ quartet of Tarynn Maroney, Aujane Luckey, Kaylin Edwards, and Loren Webster started the day off right for Wilson, winning the 4×100 with a time of 46.16. The Bruins had clean exchanges and strong splits from their entire group.

“We’ve got good chemistry between us, it felt good to just come out and everybody do their job and win, and get a big PR,” said Luckey.

Maroney said the key to success for she and her teammates is not focusing too much on the big picture team chase.

“You’ve just got to focus on each event as it comes and not think too much about it,” she said. “Just do your part and make sure you get the points.”

Luckey collected plenty of points for the Bruins in the 400, taking all 10 up top with a first-place finish of 53.23, blazing past the rest of the field. Her teammate Brooke Blue brought home more valuable points with a fourth-place finish in 56.02. Luckey also took third in the 200 in 23.89, and helped boost the Bruins to a 4×400 win with a time of 3:14.77, alongside Blue, Tidwell, and Xcaret Tirado.

The 4×400 time was a new state leading mark.

“We just wanted to come out and push and run our race well,” said Luckey, a senior who’s committed to Arizona State. “I’m excited to win the (team title) and to know that I contributed. I’ve been wondering and dreaming about winning this since ninth grade. This is a really fun team, everyone works together and pushes each other.”

The Bruin boys didn’t end up placing and have been hampered by injuries all year. They still won the 4×400 as the quartet of Diego Alvarado, Jae’Ron Harris, Marcell Francis-Mitchell, and JT Kraemer brought home the gold in 3:14.77.

Kraemer and Harris both finished in the top four in the 400, while Francis-Mitchell took third in the 800.

Nelson stressed after the meet how proud he was of his team for responding to the new approach from their coaches so well.

“The kids had fun, it was a day of having fun, running well, PRing,” he said. “Next week is the same thing. There’s no points now, but we’re gonna focus on the same thing and just keep moving forward.”


Girls’ 4×100, 1st, 46.16

Girls’ 100 Hurdles: Kaylin Edwards, 2nd, 14.31

Girls’ 100 Hurdles: MaNia Tidwell, 6th, 14.79

Girls’ 400: Aujane Luckey, 1st, 53.23

Girls’ 400: Brooke Blue, 4th, 56.02

Boys’ 400: JT Kraemer, 2nd, 48.15

Boys’ 400: Jae’Ron Harris, 4th, 49.15

Boys’ 800: Marcel Francis-Mitchell, 3rd, 1:54.40

Girls’ 300 Hurdles: Kaylin Edwards, 1st, 42.52

Girls’ 300 Hurdles: MaNia Tidwell, 5th, 43.58

Boys’ 300 Hurdles: Ethan Bartee, 8th, 39.65

Girls’ 200: Aujane Luckey, 3rd, 23.89

Girls’ 4×400, 1st, 3:43.82

Boys’ 4×400, 1st, 3:14.77

Girls’ Long Jump: Loren Webster, 2nd, 19-4

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.