Last year, Michael Granville became the first athlete from Bell Gardens High School to qualify for the State track and field meet as a freshman.
This year, he became the school's first state champion.
Granville won the 800 meters in 1 minute 49.82 seconds in the June 4 meet at Cerritos College, thrusting his arms at the finish after overtaking Vondre Armour of Bakersfield down the final straightaway.
Armour was second in 1:50.11 and Jessie Camp of Lakeside El Capitan was third in 1:52.14.
"I was so overwhelmed by emotion" after the victory, said Granville, who placed third in the 400 meters last year. "It was one of the good moments of my track career."
The performance was one of many outstanding efforts this season for the 6-foot, 165-pound sophomore. Granville, 16, set national sophomore indoor records in the 500 yards and 800 meters and an outdoor 10th-grade record in the 800.
In May, Granville ran 1:48.98 in the Southern Section Division I final, the nation's fastest 800-meter time this season. In April, he clocked a nation-leading 46.65 in the 400 meters in the Mt. San Antonio College relays. He will compete June 19 in the 400 in the National Scholastic championships at North Carolina State and also plans to run in either the 200, 400 or 800 meters in the Junior Olympic National championships in Gainesville, Fla., in July.
"I want to expand to some other races and try something different," Granville said.
Usually a front-runner, Granville was forced to come up with an alternative plan at the state meet after Obea Moore of Pasadena Muir towed the field through a sizzling 51.9-second first 400.
Granville, content to stay two seconds back at the halfway mark, caught Moore with 200 meters to go and ran side-by-side with Armour until Granville surged with 60 meters to go and pulled away for the victory.
"I would not have been fluid if I forced the pace. I was going as hard as I could," Granville said. "My dad told me to watch out for someone going out fast. In a top-caliber race like that, you just try to stay in contention and make a statement in the last 200 yards."
Keisha Griffis of Washington again established herself as the City Section's top 300-meter low hurdler. The two-time defending City champion was the section's top finisher in any event, placing third in her specialty in 43.72.
Dorsey's Leo Settle finished sixth in the 100 in 10.80 and third in the 200 in 21.48. Settle joined Anthony Mabry, Jabulani Smith-Freeman and Rodrick Brown on the Dons' 400-meter relay team, which finished sixth in 41.96.
Settle and Mabry, along with Gene Shepard and Anthony Wheeler, qualified for the 1,600-meter relay final with the third-fastest qualifying time of 3:14.98 in the preliminaries but could only manage sixth in the final at 3:17.02.
Jim McElroy of Washington was seventh in the 200 in 22.20 and ran on the Generals' 400-meter relay team, which finished seventh in 42.40. City 3,200-meter champion Humberto Sanchez of South Gate was 14th in a personal best 9:21.29.