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High Schools | SOUTHERN SECTION MASTERS TRACK MEET

L.A. Baptist's Felix Fastest of Fast

May 31, 2003|John Ortega | Times Staff Writer

First came a monster anchor leg in the girls' 400-meter relay.

That was followed by a winning time in the 100 that tied for the fifth fastest ever run by a U.S. high school girl under any conditions.

And then came a win in the 200 with a time that was the fifth fastest ever run under any conditions.

Not a bad evening's work for Allyson Felix of North Hills L.A. Baptist in the Southern Section Masters meet at Cerritos College in Norwalk on Friday.

The top five finishers in Friday's meet automatically advanced to the state championships at Cerritos College next Friday and Saturday, as did any other individuals or relay teams that met at-large standards in their respective events. But it was Felix, who set a world junior (age 19 and under) and national high school record of 22.11 seconds in the 200 in a Grand Prix meet in Mexico City four weeks ago, who stood out.

"This is a qualifying meet," Felix said, "but any time you're up against good competition, you don't want to sit back and relax."

No one would accuse Felix of loafing after watching her bring L.A. Baptist from ninth to fifth on her anchor leg of the 400 relay, run a wind-aided 11.12 in the 100 and a wind-aided 22.65 in the 200 while defeating Shalonda Solomon of Long Beach Poly in both races.

Solomon, a junior, had run a career-best 11.35 to win the 100 in the Division I race of the Southern Section championships at Cerritos College last Saturday while Felix won her fourth consecutive Division IV title in a career-best 11.37.

But Felix got off to a solid start in the 100 on Friday, drew even with Solomon 40 meters into the race and gradually pulled away to win by .13 of a second.

Felix made up the stagger on Solomon in the first 75 meters of the 200 before finishing in the third-fastest time of her career under any conditions. Solomon was second in 23.02 after earlier anchoring Poly to a winning time of 44.90 in the 400 relay that moved the Jackrabbits into a tie for third on the all-time national list.

"It's always good," Felix said when asked what her reaction was to Solomon's fast time in the divisional championships. "I always get excited when someone puts up a time like that."

Felix, who will run in the women's 100 in the inaugural Home Depot Invitational in Carson on Sunday, was one of five athletes who won two individual events in the meet.

The others were Lionel Larry of Compton Dominguez in the boys' 100 and 200, teammate Craig Woods in the 110 high hurdles and 300 intermediate hurdles, Rudy Burgess of Edwards Air Force Base Desert in the long jump and triple jump, and Billie Jo Grant of Arroyo Grande in the girls' shotput and discus.

Larry, a junior, won the 100 in a wind-aided 10.51 and the 200 in a career-best 20.87, the fastest time in the state this year. He also ran anchor legs on teams that won the 1,600 relay in season-best 3:14.69 and finished fifth in the 400 relay in 42.21.

Larry ran a stellar 46.3-second split in the 1,600 relay to give Dominguez a come-from-behind victory over Long Beach Poly.

Woods, a senior, won the high hurdles in a wind-aided 14.08 and the 300 intermediates in a career-best 37.46 in addition to running on the Dons' relay teams.

Burgess, a senior, won the long jump and triple jump with career bests of 24 feet 1 1/2 inches and 49-9 1/2, respectively. The mark in the triple jump was the best in the state this year.

Grant, the defending state champion in the girls' discus, won the discus with a toss of 172 feet after winning the shotput with a career-best 48-11 1/2. Grant, a senior, began the meet with a best of 47-3, but put 47-9 on her first attempt, 48-11 on her second and 48-11 1/2 on her third. She fouled her final three efforts.

Junior Derrick Jones of Long Beach Poly, the state leader in the boys' 100 at 10.44, was a notable non-qualifier in that event and the 200. An injured ankle had cost Jones two weeks of training earlier this month.

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