Simi ValleyThree 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.
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.