MOORPARK >> To lead their greatest team to victory in four years, Roosevelt’s girls track team didn’t need another individual victory. It just had to be good – and was.
Roosevelt, Long Beach Polly and Long Beach Wilson took the Division 1 team competition into the final event at the CIF-Southern Section Finals Meet at Moorpark High School on Saturday. Wilson won the 4×400 relay in the Girls Division 1 meet-ending (except for late pole vault competitions), but the team of Kaila Burns, Dakota Minor, Sierra Ellis and Naomi Johnson finished second in 3 minutes, 46.17 seconds.
Roosevelt scored enough points for a one-point team victory over Pauley.
“Our main objective was to really make sure we were in front of Paulie, and we executed it,” said Johnson, also a double winner with D1 wins in the 200m (23.69) and 400 (54.44).
“I’m really happy,” Johnson said. “It feels really good to be back in my senior year and win with a whole new 4×4 (team).”
Roosevelt’s narrow victory gave the Inland Region a sweep in Division 1, as the Upland Boys won the team title with 68 points over second-placed Wilson (49 points) and third-placed Great Oaks (47).
The Highlanders won on the strength of their handicap victories, junior Kai Graves-Blanks (wind-aided 13.91 seconds) won the 100 hurdles and senior Delaney Crawford combined with Graves-Blanks to finish 1-2 in 300 hurdles – Crawford ran 37.44 and Graves-Blanks clocked a time of 37.98.
Crawford’s victory was particularly encouraging after a hard fall in the 100 hurdles.
“I can’t complain about nothing,” Crawford said. “I had an injury – I pulled my hamstring at the start of the season so I could come back and have a chance to win the CIF for 300, so I’m happy with what I’ve got.”
While there were several CIF-Southern section titles from the inland region, only two others – apart from Johnson – were double individual winners.
Great Oaks senior Jesse Stevenson won the long jump in Division 1 with a wind aid of 23 feet, 5¼ inches, while also taking the triple jump in 47-8¾.
King Jr. Alyssa Hope had similar success on the girls’ side, winning the long jump at 19-8¼ and the triple jump in 40-2.
“I didn’t do very well last year, and I didn’t get that many points for my team,” she said, “so now that I’ve done really well this year, I’m able to move on while representing.” it means a lot.”
Orange Vista Junior Cala McKenzie managed in just one day, finishing in the top two in three events. She won a section championship in the Division 1 Girls 100 hurdles, winning over Upland sophomore London Davis in a personal best 14.20; Davis scored 14.22 runs. The inland region, in fact, swept the top four spots in the event, as King Jr. Sarah Ajayi (14.93) was in third place and Santiago sophomore Samantha Walston (15.08) was in fourth.
McKenzie was Hope’s runner-up in the Division 1 girls’ long jump, 19–7. He had a second place in the high jump at 5-6, which made him most proud on Saturday. He is set to try and qualify for the CIF State Championship Meet Memorial Day Weekend at next week’s Masters Meet, also at Moorpark.
“I think I’ll have a lot of confidence because I’m used to the competition now, so I’m ready,” McKenzie said.
Division 1 was, in fact, a particular strong point for the inland region. Of the 32 combined events for boys and girls, 18 were won by domestic athletes.
It also included a third individual title for Upland, which was won by senior Christopher Coates in the 400 (47.82).
Murrieta Mesa senior Cade Moran, who set a new Riverside County record at 207-4 in discus last month, won again on Saturday with a score of 201-4. They accelerated strong inland finishes in both throws, as Elsinore’s pair of Eliza Ignacio (182-4) and Matthew Hodges (170-5) finished third and fourth in the discus; Great Oaks senior Aiden Pastorian won the shot put 66–7 and Moran was runner-up 63–0.
On the girls’ side, Chino Hills senior Erica Collins won the Division 1 shot put in 40–6. Roosevelt senior Carissa Owens topped Division 1 discus at 130-5.
Cajon senior Seth Johnson won the Division 1 boys’ high jump 6–6. The Cowboys also won the 400 relay in 41.80, and the Boys finished fourth as a team with 43 points.
And in the Division 1 pole vault, inland athletes went deep into the night to claim their title, as Roosevelt senior Hunter O’Brien won 15–9 for the boys.
And some two hours after the completion of the race’s events, Vista Murrieta hit the Aspen Fears – the Broncos Girls were fourth as a team – were the only women to pass 12–6 and miss their efforts 13–0. After winning. Inland athletes made seven of the top eight in the event, with Ayala senior Madeline Seifert 12–0 in third.