reporting from clovis — Before he could catch George Farmer in the state-title hunt, Covina's Remontay McClain had some ground to make up on the sprinter from Gardena Serra in the 100 meters.
McClain trailed Farmer with 15 meters to go Saturday night at the state track meet at Clovis Buchanan High. Even McClain wasn't sure he could make up the difference.
"It's hard catching someone who's as fast as you," McClain said.
McClain surged down the stretch to win in a wind-aided 10.448 seconds -- one-thousandth of a second ahead of Farmer. When McClain won the 200 in 20.85, it gave him two state titles, as many as Farmer had in other sports entering the day. Farmer's bid to become the first California prep athlete to win state titles in three sports in the same school year fell short when Serra finished second in the team standings with 34 points, behind Carmichael Jesuit's 36.
"It irked my nerves to see how close I was to winning it," Farmer said of the photo finish in the 100. "I mean, it came down to one one-thousandth of a second."
Technology also helped propel Chino Don Lugo's Josh Mance to a narrow victory in the boys' 400. He received a prerace text message from track star Tyree Washington, who advised Mance to start his finishing kick about 40 meters earlier than he had been.
"I did that and my time was a lot better," said Mance, whose 45.90 finish edged Serra's Robert Woods (46.21) and was the fastest time in the nation this year. "I'm happy about it."
Woods anchored Serra's victory in the 1,600 relay, with the Cavaliers winning in 3:08.72.
Bolstered by its triumph in the girls' 1,600 relay in 3:39.15, Long Beach Poly won a third consecutive team title with 51.33 points.
Claremont senior Kori Carter swept the girls' 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles. The Stanford-bound standout won the 300 hurdles in 40.44 -- the fastest time in the nation this year -- edging Thandi Stewart of Union City James Logan by .01. Carter won the 100 hurdles in 13.33, beating Albany St. Mary's Trinity Wilson by .02.
Serra's Chimere Ezumah set a California freshman record in the girls' 400, winning in 52.97, and North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake's Amy Weissenbach prevailed in the girls' 800 in 2:07.52.
Placentia Valencia's Sean Krinik retained his state title in the boys' 800, winning in 1:48.20, the fastest time in the nation this year.
Farmer, who helped Serra win state titles in football and basketball, would have completed an unprecedented triple with a win in the 100. He got off to a strong start but felt McClain creeping up about 85 meters into the race.
"It came down to the dip at the line," Farmer said. "I was thinking, man, I'm just going to lay out for it and just dive. But I kind of second-guessed it. I didn't want to get hurt."
But it was McClain. "I'm just shocked right now," he said. "That was the best race I ever ran, even though it wasn't my best block start."