MaxWire National Blog

Covering High School Sports in America

Category: California Girls Track & Field

  • Hannah Labrie-Smith, right, congratulates Reonna Collier after Collier finished first in the 300-meter hurdles in last year's CIF championships. One year later, Collier's win was vacated.

    Hannah Labrie-Smith didn't qualify for the 300-meter hurdles at the 2015 California Interscholastic Federation State Track and Field Championships, yet she left as a state champion in the event.

    In an odd occurrence, the Stanford-bound Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) star found out this past weekend that her second-place finish in 2014 was actually a state-title performance.

    "I saw it in the program (Friday) and thought it was a mistake," Labrie-Smith told Steve Brand of U-T San Diego, also a MaxPreps contributing writer. "It's exciting, but it doesn't change much — it's not a true win.

    "I'd trade my silver medal for the gold."

    It turns out the CIF verified that the 2014 victor, Reonna Collier of Piedmont Hills (San Jose, Calif.), was ineligible due to an issue with transfer paperwork, according to the San Jose Mercury-News. It just looks like nobody informed Labrie-Smith of that fact until she saw the program at the state meet.

  • Louis Zamperini, a 1936 Olympian and a World War II hero, passed away in his home. He was 97.

    The subject of Laura Hildenbrand's 2010 bestseller "Unbroken", Zamperini participated in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin as a distance runner and even had the opportunity to meet Adolf Hitler. Although Zamperini finished eighth in the 5,000 meter run, he received attention for running the final lap in 56 seconds, according to a report in the Daily Breeze.

    Photo courtesy of Torrance Track & Field

    Louis Zamperini

    During World War II, Zamperini survived 47 days on a raft in shark-infested waters following a plane crash in the South Pacific. Zamperini also spent two years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp and suffered terrible abuse, according to Hildenbrand's account of Zamperini's life.

    A movie about Zamperini's life is set to debut in December. Directed by Angelina Jolie, "Unbroken" features English actor Jack O'Connell in the role of Zamperini.

    Zamperini also made his mark on high school athletics at Torrance (Calif.). In 1934, he set the national high school record for the mile run with a time of 4 minutes, 21.3 seconds. Known as the "Torrance Tempest," Zamperini also won the state meet that year and earned a scholarship to the University of Southern California. There, he qualified for the Olympics at the age of 19.

    The football field at Torrance High School, along with the city airfield, is named after Zamperini, who was scheduled to be the 2015 Rose Parade Grand Marshall.
  • File photo by Craig Morley

    Sarah Baxter, who has never lost a 3,200-meter race, announced Saturday her senior track season is over.

    Three of the nation's top track and field athletes from California were all eliminated Saturday, three weekends before they were favored to win state championships.

    Simi Valley distance queen Sarah Baxter (injury), Serra (Gardena) boys long jumper Adoree' Jackson (DQ) and Long Beach Poly 300-meter hurdler Ebony Crear (hit hurdle) went out during various CIF Southern Section meets on Saturday.

    According to PrepCalTrack editor Rich Gonzalez, Baxter's coach Steve Ringgold confirmed his runner's announcement she would be resting an injured leg that has bothered her the last six weeks. Her best time of 10:07.52 is only sixth best in the country this season. Her career best is 10:06.74. She's headed to Oregon.

    See Baxter bio as one of nation's top 25 most dynamic athletes

    Baxter won her 3,200-meter heat at a Southern Section Division II meet, but the senior needs time to heal. She's the three-time state champion and has never lost a 3,200 race. She was the 2013-14 Gatorade National girls cross-country Athletic of the Year.

    Crear, the state leader in the 300 hurdles and No. 5 nationally, hit hurdle No. 5 in the Division 1 sectional, stumbled and finished with the 11th best mark of the day. Only the top nine advance.

    Jackson, the 2012 state long jump champ, was involved with the most interesting disqualification, for "receiving communication electronically" during the course of his competition.

    Meet manager Van Latham told Gonzalez that Jackson exited the infield, crossed the track and viewed video footage of himself, a violation of the National Federation rules.

    "It was obvious," Latham told Gonzalez. "Several coaches — at least six of them — immediately noticed it and said they wanted to file protests."

    Jackson, headed to USC on a football scholarship, led Serra to a state championship last season. His mark of 23-7½ Saturday would have advanced him easily, but the DQ ends that portion of his season. He's also a sprinter and key relay runner for Serra.

    See Jackson bio as one of nation's top 25 most dynamic athletes

    He won the 2012 state long jump title with a mark of 25-0 and was second last season at 24-7.25.
    File photo by Craig Morley

    Adoree' Jackson's track season will continue, but not in the long jump.

  • Sensational long jumper Courtney Corrin broke her own national freshman record Tuesday during the USATF World Youth Trials in Edwardsville, Ill.

    Photo courtesy of Vince Orlando

    Courtney Corrin, Harvard-Westlake

    The Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.) star leaped an even 21 feet to win gold and eclipse a record she set early in the spring by one inch.

    Corrin told the Los Angeles Daily News, "When I jumped 20-11, it was such an amazing feeling, but to finally jump 21, words can't express what that means to me. It's only a matter of jumping 1 inch more, but it feels like a foot. It was so far away. Now it motivates me to try to do better the next time. Even if I had won, but didn't jump 21, I wouldn't have been happy because this is what I've been working for all year. As soon as I jumped 20, I wanted to jump 21. Now it's on to 22."

    Her jump also is a national record for age 15 and tied for No. 12 in all classes.

    Placing second with a career-best leap of 20-7 1/4 was rising senior Keturah Orji of Mount Olive (Flanders, N.J.), who also was runner-up to Corrin at the New Balance Nationals in Greensboro, N.C.

  • Photo by Kirby Lee

    Trinity Wilson's prep career is over.

    Two of the nation's most accomplished prep athletes - St. Mary's (Berkeley, Calif.) senior hurdler Trinity Wilson and Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) basketball junior Aaron Gordon - have been done in by the same obscure injury.

    Wilson, the reigning California 100-meter hurdles champion, is done for the season with a persistent injury to her left big toe. According to her personal coach Curtis Taylor, the toe is not broken, but doctors have warned that hurdling will exacerbate the injury. Wilson can sprint and might be added to relay teams, but her individual season is finished.

    Photo by Todd Shurtleff

    Aaron Gordon

    "It's sad because she's in great shape and she doesn't want to finish her high school career like this," Taylor said. "But she obviously has a very, very bright future, and we don't want to risk that."

    Wilson, who has committed to UCLA, was undefeated in 2011 and ran a then-national season best of 13.41 seconds in her only outdoor race this season before she hurt her toe. She won the USA Junior Outdoor Championships last summer in 13.15, a time that met the provisional qualifying standard for the Olympic trials. Taylor thinks Wilson would have reached the qualifying standard of 13.0, which is still a possibility in post prep-season competition.

    Gordon confirmed that his left big toe is fractured, and he'll sit out the next four weeks at least, which will mean missing various AAU and Team USA events. The two-time San Francisco Chronicle Metro Player of the Year is the No. 2 junior recruit in the country, according to MaxPreps. Gordon, who led Mitty to back-to-back state championships, has been playing with the injury since June. "It's really (ticking) me off I can't play," Gordon said. "But maybe it's for the best. Maybe this is a sign I need to rest my body."
  • The 1000-meter run developed into one of the most bizarre races of the indoor track season Friday during the New Balance Collegiate meet at the Armory in New York City.

    Ben Malone of Pascack Valley (Hillsdale, N.J.) emerged as the shocking winner with a clocking of 2:23.56, which is the second-fastest time in prep history and a U.S. junior-class record. The record of 2:22.28 was set by Robby Andrews of Manalapan (Englishtown, N.J.) in 2009.

    Malone actually finished third, however, behind Ned Willig of Great Valley (Malvern, Pa.) (2:22.37) and Zavon Watkins of (Liverpool (N.Y.) (2:22.58), but they were both disqualified for cutting in too soon at the start.

    In the girls 1000, Bronxville (N.Y.) star Mary Cain finished strong to win in 2:47.29, which is a new national sophomore record, No. 6 overall all-time and a New York state record.

    In the boys 600 on Saturday, Strymar Livingston, of Columbus (Bronx, N.Y.), broke his own national 600 mark with a time of 1:17.64. His old record was 1:17.64.