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Great Oak wins boys' team championship at Mt. SAC Relays

Muhammad of Notre Dame impresses, and Long Beach Poly girls win the team title.

April 21, 2012|By Steve Galluzzo
  • Khalfani Muhammad, center, of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame sprints to the finish line on his way to winning the Invitational 200 meters Saturday at the Mt. SAC Relays.
Khalfani Muhammad, center, of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame sprints to the finish… (Steve Galluzzo / For The…)

Highlighted by the individual efforts of junior Khalfani Muhammad, the Sherman Oaks Notre Dame boys' track and field team came on strong Saturday to earn the sprint crown and finish second behind Temecula Great Oak in the team championships at the 54th annual Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut.

Muhammad won the boys' invitational 100 meter dash in a time of 10.55 seconds, just one-hundredth of a second off his personal best, which he clocked the previous week at the Maurice Greene Invitational. Muhammad has rebounded from a disappointing fourth-place finish at the Arcadia Invitational on April 7. Corona Roosevelt's Elijah Mitchell, who ran 10.58 to beat Muhammad at Arcadia, was third Saturday in 10.67.

Notre Dame's Brandon Jett, Aidan Elias, Kyle Ause and Kyle Barrett won the invitational 440 shuttle hurdles in 1 minute 2.11 seconds, the best time in the state this season. Later, the Knights' 400 relay, consisting of Nick Holland, Eric McDaniel, Koa Farmer and Muhammad (who ran the anchor leg), won the Invitational race in 41.45 seconds to take over the state lead in that event as well.

To cap off his afternoon, Muhammad showed no signs of fatigue by winning the invitational 200 meters in a state-leading 21.32 seconds.

Mitchell's runner-up time of 21.34 is the second fastest in California this spring. It was not Muhammad's personal best -- that was 21.11 at the CIF Southern Section finals last season -- but he left Hilmer Lodge Stadium confident that faster times are on the horizon.

"Today was a good day, but I usually don't run my best this early," Muhammad said. "I had some time to rest between events, and I wish I'd had less time because I don't like sitting around too long. In the 200, I knew I was in good position coming out of the turn, but I expected Elijah [Mitchell] to give me a fight, and he did."

Meanwhile, Long Beach Poly was running away with the girls' team title.

First, it won the invitational 400 shuttle relay in 57.91 seconds, moving the Jackrabbits into first place overall ahead of Studio City Harvard-Westlake.

After Poly held off Gardena Serra to win the invitational 400 with a time of 46.64, its 1600 sprint medley team, made up of sophomores Hollie Harris, Erika Foster, Bridget McWaid and Janice Lane, placed second in the invitational in 4:08.15.

Poly's Traci Hicks won the invitational 100 hurdles in 13.22 seconds, which would have shattered the 26-year-old meet record of 13.56 except the wind reading was 0.1 over the allowable amount. Jackrabbits teammate Tori Myers won the 100 seeded hurdles in 14.41. Poly closed the meet with a second-place finish in the invitational distance medley.

Simi Valley's Sarah Baxter ran the anchor leg as the Pioneers won the invitational distance medley in 11:59.68.

Oxnard Rio Mesa took first in the boys' invitational 1600 relay in 3:16.42. Sasha Wallace of Oakland Holy Names broke the Mt. SAC triple jump record with a winning distance of 42 feet, 4.75 inches. Nick Hartle of Las Vegas Centennial tied the meet standard in the invitational 800 meters in 1:51.06, then anchored the distance medley team that ran 10:05.84 to become the new national leader.

In the women's invitational elite long jump, Brittney Reese of Nike leaped 23 feet, 4.50 inches, the world's best outdoor mark this season. It also broke the Mt. SAC record of 22 feet, 10.50 inches set by Carol Lewis of Houston in 1984.

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