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Sprint champions repeat their state titles at CIF finals

Ariana Washington of Long Beach Poly and Khalfani Muhammad of Notre Dame again win the girls' and boys' 100 and 200 meters.

June 02, 2013|By Steve Galluzzo
  • Khalfani Muhammad of Notre Dame wins the 100 meters at Saturday's CIF state track and field championships in Clovis. He also won the 200 to repeat in both events.
Khalfani Muhammad of Notre Dame wins the 100 meters at Saturday's… (Steve Galluzzo / For The…)

Ariana Washington has often been described as the fastest teenager on the planet, and she did nothing to discredit that description on Saturday in the CIF state track and field finals at Buchanan High in Clovis.

The junior from Long Beach Poly repeated as 100- and 200-meter champion, an achievement matched by Khalfani Muhammad of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, who ended his high school career with five state track championships.

Washington wanted to cap off her historic night by running on the 1,600 relay in hopes of becoming the first female to win two sprints and two relays at the state meet, but Coach Don Norford chose to rest his star with national summer meets on the horizon.

Washington's efforts and a second-place finish by the 1,600 relay were more than enough to secure Poly its 13th team crown and fifth in six years. The Jackrabbits finished with 49 points, 19 more than second-place San Leandro.

Washington took command of the 100 at the 30-meter mark and went on to win in 11.39.

"My start wasn't the fastest, but I closed the way I know how and the way I always do," said Washington, who clocked 11.47 to win last year.

Moments later, Muhammad won the boys race in 10.33 seconds, equaling his personal-best under legal wind conditions. It also marked the first time in state history that both sprint champions defended their titles in the same year.

Later in the evening, Muhammad joined elite company by winning the 200 in 20.86 to become the third male in meet history to double in those events in back-to-back years, joining Randall Carroll of Los Angeles Cathedral (2008-09) and Covina's Remontay McClain (10.39).

"This is phenomenal," Muhammad said. "I worked hard for this for four years. Everyone was coming after me all season and I had to prepare right and perform each and every week. These were competitive fields and I'm extremely proud."

The girls 200 featured a duel between Washington and Cordova's Nia Dorner, who won the 400 less than half an hour before. Washington rounded the turn with the lead and blazed to victory in 23.22, just off the personal-best 23.18 she clocked at the Masters Meet.

Jackrabbits Jade Lewis, Maya Perkins, Diamond Thomas and Washington got the meet off to a blazing start by winning the 400 relay in a national-leading 44.93 seconds, breaking their own previous best by one hundredth of a second. Poly posted the third fastest time instate meet history. Playa del Rey St. Bernard set the state finals record of 44.70 in 1997.

"One of my goals was for us to bring the title back to Poly, so I wanted to be there for my team," Washington said. "We've improved in the relay all year and it was nice to finish off the season like this."

Gardena Serra's foursome of Corey Sicard, Darrell Fuery, Adoree' Jackson and Ronny Hall won the boys 400 relay in 40.49. Los Angeles Loyola was second in 40.83 and Muhammad passed four runners on the anchor leg to move the defending champion Knights into third in 41.01. 

Jackson had to take a break from the long jump competition to run the relay and was unable to defend his title. His best effort of 24 feet, 7 1/2 inches was second to Nate Moore of Castro Valley, who leaped 24-11 3/4 on his fifth attempt. 

Serra closed out the meet by winning the boys 1,600 relay and capturing the team title.

In the girls long jump, Courtney Corrin of Harvard-Westlake put the finishing touches on her freshman season by leaping 20-9 1/4 to win by almost eight inches. She holds the national prep record for a ninth-grader at 20-11 and believes she'll only get better.

"I love to compete and I'm shooting for the stars," Corrin said. "My goal was to jump 21 [feet] and I didn't quite do it today, but hopefully I can do better as I go on."

Simi Valley junior Sarah Baxter won her third straight 3,200 state title in 10:10.71, eight days after winning the Masters Meet for the third consecutive year. 

Great Oak's Jade Miller won the girls 300 hurdles in 41.02. Schoolmate Nick Ponzio won the boys shot put with a throw of 66-2 1/2.

In one of the best races of the day, Masters champion Miles Parish of Etiwanda took the lead on the final straightaway to win the 400 in 46.53, just edging Alexis Robinson of Eureka (46.55) and defending state champion Alexander Rohani of Beverly Hills.

The total attendance for Friday's preliminaries and Saturday's finals was 17,199.

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