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Speedy Solomon Paces Poly

May 25, 2003|John Ortega | Times Staff Writer

Shalonda Solomon of Long Beach Poly will be an underdog to Allyson Felix of North Hills L.A. Baptist when the two sprinters meet in the girls' 100 and 200 meters in the Southern Section Masters meet Friday at Cerritos College in Norwalk.

But Solomon's performances in the Southern Section track and field divisional championships at Cerritos College on Saturday showed that she is in the best shape of her career.

Solomon, a junior, led Poly to its third consecutive Division I team title by winning the 100 in a school-record 11.35 seconds, the 200 in a wind-aided 23.21 and running the anchor legs on teams that won the 400 and 1,600 relays on a cool, overcast day.

Poly won the 1,600 relay in 3:42.03, the fastest time of the meet, and was credited with a national-record 44.50 in the 400 relay before the mark was disallowed 4 1/2 hours later because it was determined that there had been a malfunction in the automatic-timing system.

Led by Solomon, Poly scored a Division I-record 133 points. Long Beach Wilson finished second with 89 points.

Solomon, runner-up to Felix in the 100 and 200 in the state championships last year, slashed .16 of a second off her previous best in the 100.

Her 100 time was the fastest in the nation this year -- .02 faster than Felix ran in winning the Division IV section title on Saturday -- and moved her to a three-way tie for 10th on the all-time national performer list.

"I had a great start," Solomon said. "I drove out of the blocks real fine and I just worked on my form so when [the state championships] come, I'll be ready."

Junior Jasmine Lee also played a big part in Poly's victory, winning the 400 in a school-record 52.85, finishing second in the 200 in a wind-aided 23.59 and running legs on the 400 and 1,600 relays.

Felix, who ran a world junior record of 22.11 in the 200 to win the Banamex Grand Prix meet in Mexico City on May 3, won her fourth consecutive Division IV section titles in the 100 and 200.

Her 11.37 clocking in the 100 trimmed .02 of a second off her previous best. She cruised to a Division IV-record 22.88 clocking in the 200 and also anchored L.A. Baptist to a winning time of 47.64 in the 400 relay that equaled their record last year.

Riverside North, the defending state champion, dominated the Division II competition while rolling to a 136-37 victory over runner-up Irvine Woodbridge. Senior Ashlee Brown led North to the highest total in meet history at any level by winning the 100 in 11.89, the 100 high hurdles in a career-best and Division II-record equaling 13.76, finishing second in the 300 low hurdles in 43.56 and running a leg on the winning 400 relay team that clocked 46.74.

Pasadena Muir edged Santa Margarita, 49-46, for the Division III team title and Gardena Serra beat defending co-champion L.A. Baptist, 42-40, for the Division IV championship.

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