All did not glitter for the Long Beach Poly track and field program Saturday at the Southern Section championships, but everything Bryshon Nellum touched seemed to turn to gold.
Behind his long, graceful strides, the Jackrabbits ran away from the Division I boys' competition on the recently renovated track at Cerritos College.
Nellum, who signed with USC, lowered his nation-leading time in the 200 meters while winning in a personal-best 20.58 seconds, tuned up in the 400 by finishing first in 46.55 and gave Poly insurmountable leads in the 400 and 1,600 relays.
"I've been working on my 200, so the first part of my 400 can be pretty fast," said Nellum, who hopes to break 46 seconds for the first time this spring.
The Jackrabbits scored 86 points to runner-up Rancho Cucamonga's 56.
The Poly girls, also bidding for a Division I team title, lowered their nation-leading time in the meet-opening 400 relay, winning in 45.58, then took the top two spots in the 400.
However, sophomore Turquoise Thompson fell to the surface while rounding the curve in the 300 hurdles and had to be carried off the track. She lay, face down, on a trainer's table the remainder of the meet.
Poly Coach Don Norford said Thompson complained of stiffness in her legs earlier in the day. "Sometimes, kids just tense up at a big meet," he said.
Thompson stood to score 10 points if she had won the 300 hurdles, and that would have been enough to stave off Moreno Valley Rancho Verde, which outscored Poly, 65-62, and won the team's first section team title since it began in 1991, Athletic Director Kevin Stipp said.
Rancho Verde's Jessika Hornsby, Alicia King and Alycia Herring finished in the top seven in the 200, and the Mustangs clinched the title with a runner-up finish to Poly in the 1,600 relay.
Terry Prentice of Pomona Diamond Ranch, the defending state champion in the long jump and 110 hurdles, won both in Division III.