It has not been the best of years for high school track teams in the San Gabriel Valley--at least if last week's CIF Southern Section finals were any indication.
The only valley team to win a title last week was Pomona, which won the girls 3-A Division championship.
But there is no shortage of outstanding individuals.
Valley athletes will be among favorites in many events at the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Cerritos College in Norwalk. The top five finishers in each boys and girls event will qualify for next week's CIF state meet at Cerritos.
Leading the boys are sprinters Corey Ealy of Muir and Martin Cannady and Cedric Coleman of Duarte and shot-putter Dan Tunnicliff of Arcadia.
Vickers Leads Pomona
Among the top girls are hurdler and sprinter Janeene Vickers, who almost single-handedly led Pomona to a CIF team title; sprinter La Shawn Simmons of El Monte, hurdler Kristen Edwards of South Pasadena, long jumper Rosalyn Mitchell of Diamond Bar, shot-putter Brandi Gail of Rowland and distance runner Tracey Williams of Mountain View.
It is a good year for juniors in the valley and two of the best are Ealy and Cannady. The two, who produced fast times in the 100- and 200- meter dashes at the CIF finals, will go head-to-head in both events.
Ealy, favorite in the 100, produced winning times of 10.59 seconds in the 100 meters and 21.59 in the 200 in the 4-A finals. Cannady, favored in the 200, turned in clockings of 10.74 in the 100 and 21.55 in the 200 in the 3-A finals.
Duarte, which finished second in 3-A, has an outstanding sprinter in the 400-meter dash in Coleman. Cannady and Coleman are key members of Duarte's 400- and 1,600-meter relay teams, which posted swift times of 41.82 seconds and 3:18.29 to win in 3-A.
Another standout is Tunnicliff, whose toss of 58-5 1/2 in the shot put was best in the CIF finals.
Vickers is the valley's top prospect in the girls division after an outstanding performance in the CIF finals. The junior speedster won three events--the 100- and 300-meter hurdles and the 400-meter dash--and anchored Pomona's winning 400-meter relay team.
Vickers set a 3-A record in the 100 hurdles in 13.57 and posted swift marks of 42.30 in the 300 hurdles and 55.02 in the 400 dash.
Edwards also qualified in three individual events and Williams and Simmons in two.
Edwards turned in winning marks of 18-7 in the long jump and 14.41 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles and finished second (43.63) in the 300-meter hurdles to lead South Pasadena to third place in 2-A.
Simmons will compete in the 100-meter dash and 100-meter hurdles and Williams is entered in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs. Williams, a sophomore who is one of the premier distance runners in the state, posted a fast 10:39.27 to win the 3,200 meters in 3-A.