Serra High’s boys’ and girls’ track and field teams from Gardena continued to dominate the CIF-Southern Section Division IV with their third consecutive sweep in last Saturday’s Southern Section Championships at Cerritos College.
The Cavaliers proved other teams that they had so much depth that the boys had to compete without standout sprinter in George Farmer, IV, who injured his anke a week earlier in the Division IV Prelims at Carpinteria High in Santa Barbara County. He pulled out of the 100- and 200-meter dashes where he had an outstanding chance at state championships in those events, as well as a rivalry with Covina sprint standout Remontay McClain, who won the 100 meters in a United States top prep time of 10.31 seconds in the Division III final, as well as the 200. The two split their invitational meets with Farmer winning the 100 at the Arcadia Invitational on April 9 and McClain topping Farmer in the Mt. San Antonio College Relays in Walnut a week later.
On top of that, in the boys’ first race (the 4×100-meter relay), Serra was disqualified for the second straight season after anchor Darrell Fuery dropped the baton after receiving it. The Cavaliers had one of California’s top times at 41.13 this year. Last year, Serra was disqualified at the Division IV Prelims on a buffed baton exchange, a week after recording the nation’s top time of 40.66 at the Del Rey League Championships at Serra. That proved costly for the Cavaliers in the 2010 California State Championships where they fell two points short of the championship, 36-34, to Sacramento Jesuit.
It could prove costly, again, in state but Serra’s boys enjoyed their fifth straight divisional title by outscoring second place Westlake Village Oaks Christian, 93-74.5. Finishing third was Santa Maria St. Joseph with 31 points.
The key was the one-two finish by seniors Pete Lauderdale (47.77 seconds) and Francisco Olloqui (48.27) in the 400-meter dash.
Those two also put the finishing touches to the Cavalier CIF crown as they teamed with James Henderson and Reuben Guy to win the 4×400-meter relay at three minutes and 18.47 seconds.
Lauderdale also had a second place finish in the 200-meter dash clocking 21.88, while Fuery (22.21) took third.
He and numerous other Serra athletes advanced to Friday’s Southern Section Masters Championships at Cerritos College, which begins at 5 p.m.
Marquis Lee, who leaped a personal high 24 feet, eight inches in the long jump at the Prelims on May 14, did not do as well in the final but his 21-11 mark was good enough for a victory and a spot at the Masters.
“Our boys had some players step up,” Serra head coach Lori Thompson said. “We had some key second and third place finishes. Some of our athletes came thorugh as expected.”
Serra’s girls enjoyed a solid title win over runner-up Oaks Christian, 104-84; followed by Inglewood St. Mary’s Academy with 65 points.
Sophomore sensation Chimere Ezumah, who recorded a state record freshman time of 52.97 in the 400 in winning the state crown last season, breezed to victory in the event clocking 55.68.
Ezumah also anchored the Cavaliers’ 1,600-meter relay to a win in 3:45.4. Other runners included Maya Brown, Megan George and Alexis Faulknor. Ezumah also ran on the second leg of Serra’s victorious 400 relay, that also included George, Kayah Agudo and Dawnielle Baucham. That squad was timed in 46.42. Both were the second best times, overall, behind Division I champion Long Beach Poly, who were clocked at 3:45.08 in the 4×400 and 45.5 at the 4×100. Serra already defeated the Jackrabbits, twice, in the 1,600 relay.
Baucham nipped St. Mary’s Gianna Woodruff in a thrilling 300-meter hurdle race, 42.36-42.37, for the win.
St. Mary’s was led by Rachel Toliver, who won the triple jump at 40-4.25.
The Belles 4×100 and 4×400 both were second behind the Cavaliers. St. Mary’s 400 relay of Allanah Hughes, Sierra Peterson, Woodruff and Toliver were timed at 46.8, and its 1,600 squad of Toliver, Summer Buckley, Peterson and Woodruff finished the race timing 3:48.91.
Inglewood’s girls had a Division III victory in its 4×100 relay. The team of Christine Jackson, Tiffain Reneau, Destinee Brown and Arayha Dixon topped its field at 47.25.
Also in the Division IV girls final, Stanford bound Jaye Buchbinder from Rolling Hills Estates Chadwick won the 3,200-meter run in 10:48.17 and was third in the 1,600 clocking 4:55.85.
Also in Division III girls final, West Torrance’s Kayla Mallett finished second in the triple jump at 38-7.25 and took fourth in the pole vault (11-9).
Palos Verdes’ Erica Capellino advanced to the Masters in the 1,600 after a second place finish with a very good time of 4:51.1 and she made it as an alternate in the 800 with a another runner-up finish at 2:14.69.
Rebecca Mehre was also second in the 3,200 meters clocking 10:40.93.
For the Division III boys, the Sea Kings’ Jonah Diaz made the Masters in the 3,200 after a third place finish in an outstaning time of 9:05.55.
In the Division II girls championship, North Torrance’s Joslyn Barnes won the high jump, leaping 5-6.
Junior Lyndsey Mull of Redondo, who finished third in the 1,600 meters in the state finals last season but was plagued with a femur injury during the early part of the track and field season, managed to place second at the event behind Stephanie Bulder of Saugus (4:53.31) at 4:55.34 and advanced to the Masters.
Finishing second in the girls 3,200 was Aryn Foland of Mira Costa in 10:41.26, good enough for the Masters.
Peninsula had a third place finish in the girls discus by Mia Ogundipe-Tillman with a school record mark of 130-5.
For the Division II boys, the Sea Hawks enjoyed a second place finish by sophomore Evan Malone in the 1,600 with an outstading time of 4:15.64.
Peninsula’s boys 4×100 relay team of Victor Woo, Ukoma Idah, Ryan Sawelson and Dylan-Brailon Brown placed third in 42.1.
Idah was second in the long jump at 22-4.