Clovis, CA. June 1, 2103 – The fabulous foursome of Gabriella Cantrell, Kortni Smyers-Jones, Camille Watson and Nijae Jones, fresh off their NCS Team Title, concluded their amazing journey to State by finishing 2nd behind perennial powerhouse Long Beach Poly at the CIF State Track & Field Meet. Finishing in 3rd place was Castro Valley on the strength of the phenomenal Sasha Wallace who won two events (HH, TJ and 6th in LJ) – local girls do real good!
It was 102 degrees at 5:00 PM at Buchanan Memorial Stadium when the 4 x 100 meter relay lined up. The San Leandro team of Camille Watson, Kortni Smyers-Jones, Nijae Jones and Gabby Cantrell were as hot as the weather, blazing the track with a school record of 46.57 to finish 3rd for 6 points. Poly got 1st for 10 pts and the race for the title was on. Next up was the 100 High Hurdles. A CIF finalist in 2012, Smyers-Jones ran a PR 13.94 in the trials to qualify 2nd, but faced the indomitable Wallace and two very fast Vacaville girls. After a shaky start, Smyers-Jones came on strong to finish 4th with 14.05 for 4 pts. SLHS 10 – Poly 10 pts. Cantrell qualified for the 100 meter finals with a wind-aided 11.50, but was up against a Poly girl with one of the fastest times in the Nation and finish 3rd with at PR of 11.67. SLHS 16 – Poly 20 pts. Up next the 800 meters and Nijae Jones. Jones always runs her best at State and this year was no exception. Jones held with the pack for the first 600 meters then blasted the last 200 meters step for step with a girl from Clovis North who proved to have just a little more kick. Jones finished 2nd by a hair in PR of 2:09.91. SLHS 24 – Poly 20 pts. In the 200, Cantrell again battled the Poly girl, but again finished 3rd with a PR of 23.79. SLHS 30 – Poly 30.
The Pirate ladies where done for the night, but the Poly Ladies still had 2 runners in the 300 meter hurdles. Those runners both scored and the final team score of the night ended with Poly winning the Girls State Title with 40 points.
In the men’s divisions, Christian Carter always seems brings out the best in his competitors. Facing the fastest runners in the state, Carter managed to qualify for the finals with a 48.08 to set up a rematch with Alexis Robinson and Frank Kurtz. But once again the competition stepped-up. Three runners ran 46s, and Carter battled to 47.56 just off his PR of 47.53 to finish a very strong 6th place.
In all the girls set 5 Schools Records! The Girls 4 x 100 team of Camille Watson, Kortni Smyers-Jones, Nijae Jones, Gabriella Cantrell ran 46.57, Gabriella Cantrell 11.67 and 23.77 in the 100 and 200 meters, Kortni Smyers-Jones 13.94 in the 100 High Hurdles, and Nijae Jones 2:09.91 in the 800 meters.