MACK ATTACK LIFTS BAKERSFIELD

Hurdler Thomas Mack and runner Blake Mackey combine for 30 points as CIF Central Section school wins boys state track crown. Girls title goes to J.W. North of Riverside for the third time in four years.

It's Big Macs for everybody at Bakersfield High this week after the Drillers' boys track team won the CIF state title on Saturday at Cerritos College.

The fast food theme doesn't work quite as well for the J.W. North girls squad of Riverside, but the "fast" certainly does as the Huskies received 23 points alone from senior standout Chaunte Howard and edged Long Beach Poly for the team title.

Poly, which pulled off a historical feat of its own by sweeping the boys and girls relay events, also was second in team scoring on the boys side. The Jackrabbits trailed J.W. North by 57-53 and Bakersfield by 32-30. Only two schools have even won three of the four relay races since the girls began competing in 1975 -- Berkeley in 1981 and Hawthorne in 1988.

Mack, a junior, was favored in both the 110 high hurdles and 300 intermediate hurdles and did what he was supposed to do by winning his races in times of 14.34 and 37.45.

But the key to Bakersfield winning the team crown was Mackey in the 400. He faced a more wide-open field in his race and coming off the last turn he was in a group of four runners who all looked like they could win. Mackey had more power and edged in front of the others for the win and 10 more points toward the team count.

"I came off the turn and I thought I was in third," Mackey said. "I just told myself I was going to win. I just gave it all I had."

Mackey also ran the anchor leg for the Drillers in the 4x400 relay, the last event of the meet. He brought them home fifth in 3:16.33, which added two points to the three first-place finishes from earlier. Poly's first place finish upped its final total to 30, so the best the Jackrabbits could have realistically hoped for was a team title tie.

Bakersfield coach Bobby Gridiron did not tell the 4x400 squad that all they needed was sixth-place finish, instead saying they needed the win.

"There's obviously a lot of tradition (at Bakersfield), and for this team to be part of it now is really special," Gridiron said. ÒThis class of seniors has been terrific throughout the year."

Gridiron wasn't only talking about the school's track athletes. The team title was the second of the school year for the Drillers as the school dominated at the CIF wrestling state championships. The football team, of which Mackey was a key player, was unbeaten and nationally-ranked and the girls soccer team also was unbeaten.

Bakersfield now has 12 overall CIF state titles -- six in football and six in track. The Drillers are tied for third on the all-time list with Nordhoff of Ojai, which has won its CIF state titles mostly in cross country.

J.W. North got out to a quick start in its quest for the girls team title when Lena Bettis and Howard went 1-2 in the long jump. Howard also tied for second in the high jump and was second in the triple jump. Ashlee Brown defended her crown in the 300 hurdles and sophomore Dominique Manning was third in a 100 hurdles race in which two Long Beach Poly hurdlers did not place.

"This was the hardest of the three state championships we've won," said Huskies coach Charles Leathers, dripping wet from a water bucket dumping. "We had to battle through injuries and a lot of setbacks. I told Chaunte at the end that we needed a second from her in the triple jump and we'd be okay. That's what she did."

Here are the winners from each event at this year's CIF state track meet:

Boys Events

100 -- Matt Bruno (Trabuco Hills, Mission Viejo) 10.55

Super start and keeping his form throughout the race gave the Mustang sprinter an impressive win over Rubin Williams from Valley Christian of San Jose (10.72) and Reggie Bush of Helix (10.74).

200 -- Matt Bruno (Trabuco Hills, Mission Viejo) 20.82

This might not be P.C., but the last white sprinter to double at the state meet was Forrest Beatty from Hoover of Glendale in 1961. He was a junior at the time and won the 100 but not the 200 in 1962. Williams (20.92) and Bush (21.15) also were second and third in this race.

400 -- Blake Mackey (Bakersfield) 47.93

Drillers coach Bobby Gridirion said he felt good about Mackey's chances to win this one due to how strong he did earlier in the season at the Arcadia Invitational.

800 -- Michael Haddan (Woodbridge, Irvine) 1:51.41

Great mark for Haddan, who is just a sophomore. Second-place finisher Duane Solomon from Cabrillo of Lompoc (1:51.76) also will be back next year as he's just a junior.

1600 -- Matt Johnsrud (Woodcreek, Roseville) 4:11.89

It was great that Matt won in front of the city of Roseville's greatest athlete ever, female sprinter Evelyn Ashford of Roseville High, who was on hand to help present awards.

3200 -- Kyle Alcorn (Buchanan, Clovis) 9:00.46

Alcorn came from way back down the final stretch to beat Granada's Carl Dambowski (9:01.82).

110 HH -- Thomas Mack (Bakersfield) 14.34

Mission Viejo's Joe Fleskowki, who starred for the Diablos' unbeaten football team last fall, almost upset Mack and clocked 14.38. 300 IH -- Thomas Mack (Bakersfield) 37.45

Thomas had to take off his gold tights after winning this race in favor of blue ones. If he wore the gold, it would have been a uniform violation.

4x100 -- Poly (Long Beach) 40.63

Chreston Anderson ran a strong relay leg and Derrick Jones gave the Jackrabbits a big lead after the second.

4x400 -- Poly (Long Beach) 3:12.90

Taft of Woodland Hills was long out of the running for the team title but the Toreadors almost won this one, finishing second in 3:13.24. David Hill ran the anchor leg for Poly.

Pole Vault -- David Moore (Miramonte, Orinda) 16-6

Moore tried three attempts at meet record 17-1 and missed. Defending champ Mike Landers from Golden Valley of Merced was second at 16-0, a foot lower than he cleared at the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section meet.

High Jump -- Cole Herron (Sanger) 6-11

There were so many seven footers earlier in the year, it's hard to believe there was none on Saturday. Teak Wilburn's injury (the Chico senior has gone 7-4 1/4) was part of the reason for that, and the wind in the jumping area may have been another.

Long Jump -- Ronald Hill (Walnut) 23-9 1/2

Tustin's Denny Casupanan was way over 24-feet in the prelims, but couldn't quite match Hill and wound up second at 23-8 1/4.

Triple Jump -- Nathan Atkins (Cerritos) 49-7 3/4

Atkins won by more than a foot over Solomon Welch from St. Mary's of Berkeley (48-5 3/4). Ryan Hollins, more known for basketball at Muir of Pasadena, took third at 48-2 3/4.

Shot Put -- Noah Bryant (Carpinteria) 65-7 3/4

Arroyo Grande's Jon Howard, also from that throwing mecca of SLO-Santa Barbara counties, was second and reached 60-11 1/2.

Discus -- Jarered Morgan (La Quinta) 194-1

Premeet favorite didn't look good in the prelims on Friday, but he won solidly on Saturday over junior 6-7, 280-pounder Nick Kay of Los Gatos (188-2).

Girls Events

100 -- Allyson Felix (L.A. Baptist, North Hills) 11.55

Allyson was pushed early due to great start by L.B. Poly's Shalonda Solomon, who finished second in 11.64.

200 -- Allyson Felix (L.A. Baptist, North Hills) 22.83

Running into a slight wind, Allyson was all that. She ran 22.69 wind-aided in the prelims, the fourth fastest time on the national lists under any conditions. L.B. Poly got a boost toward its team chances as Solomon was again second (23.36) while Dominique Dorsey (24.09) was third and Jasmine Lee (24.20) was fifth.

400 -- Christina Hardeman (Wilcox, Santa Clara) 54.09

Christina caps great spring for the Chargers, who just finished 34-3 in baseball and will finish high in the national rankings.

800 -- Jamillah Titus (Vintage, Napa) 2:08.62

Titus put a surge past San Dieguito AcademyÕs Jenna Timinsky, who was not able to respond. Timinsky was second in 2:09.48.

1600 -- Shannon Rowbury (Sacred Heart Cathedral, S.F.) 4:52.77

You've really got to hand it to Shannon, who won the 800 last year but went for the 1600 this time and won impressively.

3200 -- Clara Horowitz (Head-Royce, Oakland) 10:31.01

Clara's win is another example of why the CIF should never go to divisions for the state meet. She's from a school that would be Div. V.

100 HH -- Talia Stewart (James Logan, Union City) 14.03

Standout sophomore avenged loss to Danielle Stokes (St. Mary's, Berkeley) at CIF North Coast Meet of Champions. Stokes was only fourth this week. Second-place went to Osarhieman Omwanghe of Buchanan (14.15).

300 LH -- Ashlee Brown (J.W. North, Riverside) 41.67

Ashlee defended her title over great three-sport athlete Julia Pitts of North Torrance (42.46) and Poly's Tunisia Johnson (42.71).

4X100 -- Poly (Long Beach) 45.50

It was a pretty easy win for the Jackrabbits over Logan (46.62) and Long Beach Wilson (46.78).

4x400 -- Poly (Long Beach) 3:35.99

It was another terrific battle between the Jackrabbits and rival Long Beach Wilson. The Bruins were second (3:38.69) and were contending for the lead around the last turn.

Pole Vault -- Chelsea Johnson (Atascadero) 13-3

Johnson tried three times for the national record at 13-8 but missed. Teammate Kacey Lundgren was second at 12-9.

High Jump -- Sharon Day (Costa Mesa) 5-11

Fewer misses at lower heights did it for Day, who edged J.W. North's Chaunte Howard and Kaylene Wagner of Goleta Dos Pueblos. Howard and Wagner have 6-0 clearances from earlier in the season.

Long Jump -- Lena Bettis (J.W. North, Riverside) 19-8 1/4

This was huge for the team title as Bettis was figured to be a third or fourth at best. Teammate Chaunte Howard leaped 19-5 for second.

Triple Jump -- Michelle Sanford (Woodbridge, Irvine) 41-5 1/4

After for her was a disappointing third in the long jump, Sanford bounced back strong in the triple. J.W. North's Howard was second at 40-4 1/4.

Shot Put -- Rachel Varner (Bakersfield) 47-0 1/2

Rachel didn't win the shot last year but took the discus instead. This year it was the other way around. Megan Howard of Arroyo Grande, just a sophomore, lost the state title by a half-inch as she was second at 47-0.

Discus -- Billie Joe Grant (Arroyo Grande) 174-0

Eagles had Sean Shields win the boys discus last year, so we guess you can say there's a lot of big discs flying around big ditch (get out your spanish-english guides to completely understand that reference).


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