A strong Hawthorne High contingent and a foursome from El Camino College bent on setting a record lead the South Bay participants in Friday's Sunkist Track Invitational at the Sports Arena.
The Hawthorne gang, all returning from last year's state championship team, includes sprinter Henry Thomas, middle distance man Sean Kelly and hurdler Michael Graham, plus Deanna Amy on the girls side. Several Hawthorne relay teams will also run in boys and girls races.
Thomas, defending state champ and record holder in 100 and 200 meters and one of the nation's pre-eminent prep sprinters, will compete in the boys 60-yard dash at 7 p.m. Kelly will compete in the boys 880. Graham will run the 60-yard hurdles.
Amy will compete in the girls 500, where her competition will include Locke star Choo Choo Knighten, the defending state 400-meter champ. Knighten will also run the 60-yard hurdles, where Hawthorne's Sharon Edwards is the first alternate.
Other Hawthorne entries are relay teams in the girls two miles, boys 640, girls 640, girls mile and boys mile.
Other South Bay High schoolers competing will be: Rolling Hills' Paul Moebius in the high jump; Palos Verdes in the girls two-mile relay; Torrance in the boys two-mile relay; Aileen Barclay of Torrance and Laura Culliver of Banning in the girls 500; Westchester's Dwight Moore in the boys 500; Angie Sims of Locke in the girls rated 880; Richard Hirshman of Torrance in the boys seeded two miles; Torrance's Karen Donahue in the girls rated mile; Greg Houlgate of Bishop Montgomery in the boys two-mile; Locke in the girls mile relay and Westchester in the boys mile relay.
The last event of the evening, the community college mile relay, will feature El Camino's terrific quartet of Daymon Lee, Darnell Christman, James Ferreira and Kevin Hawkins. Hawkins is defending state champ in 400 meters and was a member of the state mile relay winner along with Christman and Ferreira. The four are hoping to set a meet record if conditions are right. The addition of Lee, the Los Angeles School District's top sprinter the last two years, doesn't hurt their chances.
The open portion of the meet, featuring many Olympians, including Mary Decker in her first appearance since her Olympic spill, will include Banning High graduate and Olympian Tonie Campbell in the 50- and 60-yard hurdles and UC Berkeley star Louise Romo (North Torrance) in the women's 880. Campbell was the fastest hurdler in the world indoors in 1984 and placed fifth in the Olympic 110-meter high hurdles. His competition Friday will include former UCLA star Greg Foster, who was silver medalist in the Olympics.
The featured women's race, the 2,000-meter showdown between Decker and Ruth Wysocki, will also include Hermosa Beach resident Monica Joyce, who ran in the Olympics for Ireland after her collegiate career at San Diego State.
The high school field events and the first relays will begin at 4:45 p.m. The open meet is scheduled to begin at 7:08.