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Torrey Prepares for the Spotlight in Arcadia Meet


Deneeka Torrey, a valuable but sometimes overlooked member of the Taft High girls' track and field team last year, is one of two athletes from the region who will compete in four events tonight in the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High.

Torrey, a junior, placed third in the 100 meters and 300 low hurdles, and ran on the victorious 400 and 1,600 relays in helping Taft to a record 112-point total in the City Section championships last year.

But she was overshadowed by teammates Eboni Grayson, Jayda Bailey and Frances Santin, who won individual titles.

Grayson and Santin graduated and Bailey transferred to El Camino Real before withdrawing after the fall semester.

In their absence, Torrey has emerged as Taft's leading performer.

She has region-leading times this season of 14.5 in the 100 high hurdles and 44.27 in the 300 lows, and has run legs on teams that have clocked region-leading times of 48.53 in the 400 relay and 3:54.64 in the 1,600 relay.

She will run in those events tonight in a meet that is considered the premier regular-season high school invitational in the nation.

Field events start at 4 p.m., with running events starting at 6:10. The meet will be televised on Fox Sports West 2 at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Sophomore Porchea Carroll of Rio Mesa, defending Southern Section Division II champion in the girls' 100 and 200, also is entered in four events tonight.

Carroll, who has bests of 11.98 in the 100, 24.65 in the 200 and 18-7 1/2 in the long jump, will compete in the invitational sections of those events and in the seeded 400 relay.

Juniors Josh Spiker of Ventura and Oliver Jackson of Royal and seniors Mentu Daniel of Antelope Valley, Tim Adrian of Moorpark, Lauren Fleshman of Canyon and Tiffany Burgess of Birmingham will also compete.

Spiker, state leader in the 1,600 with a hand-held time of 4:15.6, will compete in that event and run the 1,600 leg on Ventura's distance medley relay.

Jackson will test his unbeaten record in the long jump, in which he has leaped 24-1 to rank second in the state.

Syracuse-bound Adrian will try to top his career best of 183-6 in the discus.

Stanford-bound Fleshman was runner-up in the national cross-country championships in December and will try to break 10:30 in the girls' 3,200 for the first time.

Burgess, three-time defending City champion in the 1,600, will try to lower her best of 5:02.74 and will run in the distance medley and 1,600 relays.

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