Varsity Boys and Girls Track and Field

Photos by Joseph Ruiz
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A little less than halfway into the season, the South Pasadena High School boys and girls track and field teams have found themselves experiencing some mild success. With meets such as the Stanford Invitational, Arcadia Invitational and the Second Annual Jim Cerveny Invite still to come, the book on the Tigers’ season is far from written.

Though they have struggled in large-scale events such as the Nike Redondo Track Invitational, the Tigers have established themselves as forces to be reckoned with among Rio Hondo League opposition. On the boys’ side, South Pas athletes are littered throughout the top spots on leaderboards of best times and distances recorded thus far this season.

Senior Jack Renken has recorded the best 100- and 200-meter dashes in the league, with impressive times of 11.57 and 23.29, respectively. Senior Oliver Chang has established himself as a stellar distance runner, pacing the Rio Hondo League in both the 1600-meter and 3200-meter to this point of the season.

On the field, South Pas athletes hold the top two spots in the 12-pound shot put, with seniors Ben Martinez and Josiah Topping showing off their strength in the event with distances recorded at the dual meet vs. Alhambra. Just this past March 17th, sophomore Tianhao Wei put up the Rio Hondo League’s best triple jump of the season with an incredible personal record of 44’7.

The South Pasadena High girls’ team has been just as formidable. Senior Cayley Whitman ran a scorching 13.14-second 100-meter time against Alhambra on March 1, giving her the best time of any Rio Hondo League performer thus far.

Her teammate, junior Christina Taylor, used the same meet to throw up a league-pacing 27.32-second 200-meter dash. Sophomore Gianna Beasley appears to be a phenom, blazing to a 2:16.57 time in her 800-meter dash. This puts her nearly 10 full seconds faster than the league’s second-fastest runner in the event. Beasley should be one to watch not just for the remainder of this season, but for years to come.

The girls’ team’s dominance is even more evidence on the field, where Tigers hold the top spot in 4 kilogram-shot put, triple jump, long jump and high jump.

With such impressive depth on both teams, it stands to reason that South Pasadena is the class of the Rio Hondo League. Despite some early season struggles, including fifth place at the Oaks Christian Invitational, the Tigers have already proven their top-level performers can keep pace with the best in their league. This bodes well with the Rio Hondo League postseason less than two months away. Preliminaries for the league will be May 1 at South Pasadena High School. Many Tigers, including the stalwarts mentioned thus far, will be expected to make it to the finals for the Rio Hondo League, which will be May 4, also at South Pasadena High School.

Should the Tigers advance beyond there, they will compete for their postseason lives in the May 12 CIF-Southern Section Division 3 preliminaries at Estancia High School in Costa Mesa.

(All stats according to athletic.net).

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