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California's best gear up for Arcadia Invitational track meet

Long Beach Poly's girls' relay team hopes to build on success from Trabuco Hills Invitational. The boys' 100- and 3,200-meter races features state championship rematches.

April 08, 2011|By Austin Knoblauch
  • Akawkaw Ndipagbor receives the baton from Traci Hicks during the Southern Section Division I championships last spring.
Akawkaw Ndipagbor receives the baton from Traci Hicks during the Southern… (Bret Hartman / For The Times )

Long Beach Poly's girls' relay team looks to build on last week's success at the Trabuco Hills Invitational when they line up against the state's best at the Arcadia Invitational on Saturday.

Anchored by senior captain Akawkaw Ndipagbor, the Jackrabbits posted the state's fastest times in 4X100-, 4X200- and 4X400-meter relays last week. Gardena Serra, which lost to Poly in the 4X100 and 4X400 at Trabuco Hills, looks to reclaim the top spot on the state leaderboard as each team continues to chase national records.

Ndipagbor, who finished third in the 200 and 400 meters at the 2010 state championship, is among the favorites in the 200.

On the boys' side, Remontay McClain of Covina is the favorite in the 100 and 200 meters after taking the state title in each event last year. McClain is tied for the fastest 100 time in the state this year, but Serra's George Farmer, who lost the state 100 title to McClain by less than a hundredth of a second last year, is eager to take over the No. 1 spot.

The 3,200 meters will also feature a state championship rematch as South Pasadena's Sam Pons and Arcadia's Ammar Moussa renew their rivalry. Pons won the title last year and Moussa finished third. Playing spoiler could be Towson (Md.) Loyola Blakefield's Matthew Jablonski, one of the top cross-country runners in the nation.

Agoura's Jonathan Cabral will try to stay on top of the state rankings in the 300- and 110-meter hurdles and Jantzen Oshier of Trabuco Hills looks to improve on his nation-leading time in the 1,600 meters.

Nearly 3,900 athletes representing 540 schools will take part in the meet with the invitational portion scheduled to begin at 3:40 p.m.

austin.knoblauch@latimes.com

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