CLOVIS >> The CIF state track and field preliminaries could not have come at a better time for Palos Verdes junior Jacquelyn Smith on Friday. It was Smith’s 18th birthday and she was looking for the perfect present to give herself. She got it in her heat in the girls 1,600 meters.
Smith hung close to the pack and finished third with a personal best of 4:50.41 to advance to today’s finals at Buchanan High School.
“I was really happy that I was able to push myself,” Smith said. “At the beginning of the year, I never thought I’d be able to get to state so this is a great birthday.”
Collins followed that up winning his 300 hurdles heat in 37.56, the second-fastest time of the meet, but he was prouder of his 110 time coming against the state leader.
“Alex definitely pushed me to that time,” said Collins, who nursed a hamstring injury earlier in the week. “I like when great competition pushes me because it makes me run faster.”
Collins also helped the Carson boys 4×100 team qualify for today’s final. He, Marquel Angelo, Jerome Bruce and Ryan Hall ran 41.67 to place second behind Chaminade in its heat. Hall also advanced to the final by placing third in his boys 200 heat (21.71).
Serra’s 4×100 relay team of Jaela Williams, Madison Golden, Morgan Pecantte and Jasmine Reed had a stunning time of 46.02 to win its heat and place second behind state leader Oaks Christian. Williams also advanced to the finals in the girls 100 hurdles (13.99).
Reed later advanced to the girls 100 final by running 11.81 to place second behind Oaks Christian’s Lauren Rain Williams in her heat.
“I did what I’ve been working on from the start and was happy to tie my PR,” Reed said. ”It’s going to be a great race in the 4×100 tomorrow.”
St. Mary’s Academy also won its 4×100 relay heat to reach today’s final in 46.75. Redondo’s girls 4×400 relay team ended the night qualifying for state in 3:49.68.
Carson’s Brenden Scott advanced in the boys triple jump (46-2) and Redondo sophomore Kaitlin Heri cleared 12-2 in the girls’ pole vault to reach today’s final.
The South Bay will also be represented in the 300 hurdles as Carson’s Jeanette Paul (42.53) and Mira Costa’s Shante Robinson (43.07) advanced to the finals. Bishop Montgomery’s Tessa Allen also qualified in the high jump by clearing 5-6.