Solid team efforts that combined experienced seniors with dynamic underclassmen propelled Mater Dei, Santa Margarita and Serra of Gardena to CIF-Southern Section divisional championships in girls’ track and field May 19 at El Camino College in Torrance.
Individually, sprinters Nikki Merritt of Santa Margarita and Jazmyne Frost of Serra recorded multiple victories in pacing their teams’ respective wins — for Santa Margarita, its fourth straight title, and for Serra its first since 2012, after finishing as runner-up in 2017.
Division 2: Monarchs rule
Mater Dei earned its first Division 2 crown since 2011 with 60 points (to Calabasas’ 54), as senior sprinter Kelli Godin was fourth in the 100- and 200-meters, fifth in long jump and part of the second-place 4x100 relay team, missing first by .02 second.
The Monarchs’ Dominique Ruotolo and Jade McDonald were 1-2 in the triple jump; freshman McDonald was second in long jump and third in the 100-meter hurdles; senior Ruotolo was fourth in long jump; and senior Lillie Boyer was eighth in pole vault.
Division 3: Eagles soar
Senior Nikki Merritt took charge of the D-3 competition, leading Santa Margarita with victories in the 100 meters, 100- and 300-meter hurdles, and running the third leg of the first-place 4x100 relay to account for 32.5 of the Eagles’ 77 first-place points.
Junior Tessa Green, who anchored the relay victory, won the 200 and was second in the 100; junior Isabella Ghio was third in pole vault; seniors Mallory Barnes and Mia Roth ran the opening legs on the relay win; and freshman Kendall Saeger was sixth at 1,600 meters
Alemany finished second with 46 points, winning the 4x400 relay by .12 seconds over Chaminade. Alemany’s team included freshman Ariana Rodriguez, senior Briana Johnson, sophomore Sophia Grant and junior DaJahnae Jackson, the latter three also running with senior Ekaterina Hupalo on the 4x100 relay team that placed third.
Johnson, Rodriguez and Jackson ran 3-5-7 in the 400; Johnson, fifth at 200; Audra Coleman, seventh in the 800; Hupalo, third in the 100 hurdles; and sophomore Havana Thomas, third in triple jump.
Chaminade and Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks tied for fifth with 33 points each. Chaminade junior Bailey Umans won the 400; sophomore Jazmin Jackson, second in the 100 hurdles; senior Sara East, fifth in the 100 and sixth in 200; and all three, plus junior Olivia Tyler, ran on the second place 4x400 relay squad.
Notre Dame was led by junior Gabrielle Ellis, second in the 400 and part of the second-place 4x100 relay team, with senior Kaelyn Botshekan, junior Maya Hollien and freshman Madison Dietz. Botshekan was seventh in the 100 and 300 hurdles; Hollien, eighth in the 100; and Dietz, seventh in the 200. The Knights’ 4x400 relay team of Ellis, Dietz, Botshekan and Nia Brown was fourth, as was Cheyenne Alacorn in long jump
St. Joseph/Lakewood finished 11th with 18 points on the strength of two performances: senior Talavou Maili, first in shot put, and sophomore Ryan Obannan, second in high jump. And Bishop Amat scored two points, as sophomore Morgan Rust was seventh in the 1600 meters.
Division 4: Serra surges
In leading Serra to 77 points (well ahead of runner-up Muir’s 48), junior Jazmyne Frost won the 100 and 200, and anchored both relay teams to victories. Another Cavalier junior, Queen Okoh, was second in the 100, fifth at 200, and also ran on the relay teams, as did senior Jaylah Herron, second in the 400 individual race to St. Bernard junior Sydney Bentley.
Serra was further helped in the field events by junior Erin Brown, who won the discus and was third in shot put. Its other relay team members were junior Destinee Reid (4x100) and freshman Maya Rush (4x400), with Rush eighth in the 800.
St. Mary’s Academy finished fourth with 31 points, as junior Isreal Conerly placed third in the 400, sixth in the 200, and ran on both third-place relay teams. Also scoring for the Belles were freshman Summer Reid (fifth at 400 meters), senior Tajanae Nettles (eighth in the 300 hurdles), and the 4x400 relay team (Conerly, Reid, Nettles and Timeera Lewis, third).
The other Catholic schools to score in D-4 were Marymount and St. Anthony (28 points each), Mayfield (20), St. Bernard (16) Paraclete (14), Rosary (11.5) Notre Dame Academy (11), St. Paul (9), Louisville (4), La Reina (3), Bishop Diego (2) and Sacred Heart (1).
St. Anthony freshman Atkinson Asjah won the 100 and 300 hurdles, was fifth in long jump and ran on the fifth-place 4x100 relay team with Jaena Bell, Drew Sharp and Lee London.
Marymount senior Malina Yago repeated her 2017 win in the 800 meters, edging Mayfield freshman Audrey Suarez by .02 second. Suarez was also second at 1,600 meters, with Yago fourth. Other standout performances:
- St. Bernard’s Bentley (3rd at 200 meters in addition to her 400 win).
- Rosary’s Sarah Griffith (tied for 3rd in high jump, 8th in the 100 hurdles).
- Notre Dame Academy’s Gabrielle Traylor (5th at 100 meters, 8th at 200).
- Louisville’s Phoebe Joseph and Mayfield’s Mia Koga (tied for 4th in pole vault).
- Notre Dame Academy’s Alexandra Lomeli (5th) and Marymount’s Caitlin Donovan, (7th) at 800 meters.
- The 4x100 relay teams of Paraclete (6th: Oliva Maish, Brianna Smith, Madelyn Johnson and Taylor Richardson) and Notre Dame Academy (7th: Monica Gonzalez, Camille Porter, Kayla Ramos and Traylor). Paraclete’s Smith was also third in the 300 hurdles and fourth in the 100 hurdles).
- The 4x400 relay teams of Marymount (4th: Skye Embray, Lucia Perez-Saignar, Ava Prunier-Herman and Yago) and Rosary (6th: Maddy Fetter, Emma and Katryn Goggins, and Julia Gonzalez). Fetter was also third in the 300 hurdles.
- Marymount’s Embray (3rd) and St. Mary’s Micah Howard (5th) and Trinity May (8th) in triple jump.
- St. Paul’s Aleena Garcia (4th in discus), Mataele Daniella (6th in shot put) and Ruth Blanco (8th at 1600).
- La Reina’s Charlotte Allison (7th in high jump) and Jenna Krostag (8th at 400).
- Bishop Diego’s Laura Henderson (8th in long jump and high jump).
- Sacred Heart’s Naomi Rodriguez (8th in shot put).