Coming off an impressive showing in the Masters Meet, with several qualifiers in field events, Hawthorne High's boys are favored to win their third straight state track title this weekend in Sacramento despite the absence of sprinter Henry Thomas, recovering from surgery.
The Hawthorne girls should also be in contention, and will be looking to lower their national 400-meter relay record of 45.11 set at the Masters Meet.
Sean Kelly and Michael Marsh won titles in 800 meters and 200 meters and John Medford took the high jump title at 6-10. The Cougars also qualified relay teams in 400 and 1,600 meters and appear unbeatable in the latter despite the loss of Thomas. Hurdlers Michael Graham and Von Joyce, second and third in the 300-meter intermediates, and Ed Tillman, fifth in the 110 highs, also qualified.
Sprinters lead the girls' team, and Hawthorne qualified three in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes as well as teams in the 400 and 1,600 relays. Tami Stiles, DeDe Wheeler and Kim Grant placed 2-3-4 in the 100 and Stiles, Grant and Wheeler went 1-2-3 in the 200, with Stiles, a junior, setting a CIF record of 23.56. Sharon Edmonds also qualified in the 300 hurdles.
Paul Moebius of Rolling Hills qualified in the high jump at 6-6. Teammate Christy Lee qualified for the girls.
Much of the Hawthorne girls' competition should come from Locke's Choo Choo Knighten and Tesha Giddens. Knighten, practically a one-woman team, won the 400, 200 and the 100 low hurdles but was edged by teammate Giddens in the 100, 12.08 to 12.11. With Angie Sims winning the 800, the Locke threesome combined to win the Los Angeles City title. Banning had a state qualifier in the 400 in Rhonda Fenderson, who placed second behind Knighten.
State qualifiers from the boys City meet included several South Bay titlists. Gardena's Lyndon Earley won the City high jump title at 6-7 and qualified for state in the 300 intermediate hurdles, placing second to Banning's Walter Harris, who ran a best-ever 37.75. San Pedro sprinter Michael Ford placed third in the 100 in 11.06. Gardena's 400-meter relay won the title state in 41.58.