The Taft High track team may be stronger that it was in winning the City Section championship in 1986, but the Toreadors are no sure bet to waltz to a second straight title.
That was evident in the City quarterfinals at Birmingham High on Thursday. Taft, led by junior Quincy Watts, qualified 14 athletes and two relay teams for next week's semifinals but shared the spotlight with West Valley League dual-meet champion Reseda.
The Regents, led by Jeff Ricks and Darrell Armstrong, qualified 11 individuals and both relay teams.
Watts recorded the fastest times in winning heats of the 100 (10.66) and 200 meters (21.63) and anchored the 400- (41.11) and 1,600-meter (3:20.65) relay teams to victory.
Taft's time in the 400 relay bettered a school-record 41.13, which the Toreadors ran to win the 1986 City title.
Daryle Smith and Sean Roberts also turned in top performances for Taft.
Smith qualified first in the triple jump with a personal best of 44-7 1/2. Roberts won a 100-meters heat in 10.98 and ran a personal best of 49.51 in the second heat of the 400 meters to place fourth.