TH Wei, left, placed third in the CIF State Championships in the triple long jump with a personal best, 48’00.25. Lucas Tailin, right, qualified for the state finals but did not place. Tailin has only been pole vaulting since March. His rookie attempt at the sport took him all the way to the state finals.
Photo courtesy of CB Richards

The South Pasadena High School track & field program is over for 2019 but not before two key players made it into the state finals.

TH Wei qualified for state as 5th overall in the triple jump at the Masters, which is the precursor to compete at the state level, with a leap of 46’04.50.

“His hamstring was tight but we taped it up,” track coach CB Richards said in an email to The Review. “(Mike) Parkinson got him loosened up and taped up. He went 45’10”, 46’02”, 46’04.50” and we really didn’t attack it.  So he should get even better jumps at state next week.”

And that’s exactly what Wei did, besting the competition but also jumping to a personal best with a leap of 48’00.25 placing him third in the CIF State Championship Finals for the Mens Varsity Triple Jump.

“The state California track championship is the best high school track meet in the country,” Richards said. “Better than any invitational, etc.”

Lucas Tailin, meanwhile, had to clear a personal best of 14’9” at Masters to advance to state and again like Wei, that’s exactly what he did. He vaulted with a large clearance of 14’9” and went to the CIF State Finals.

However, at state, Tailin could not duplicate his success at the Masters.

“Lucas Tailin had to open at the pole vault at his career PR 14’9”, Richards said. “He had 3 good attempts but failed to clear. This was an amazing season for Lucas; that he made it to the state meet in just 3 months from first learning the event in March.”  

The third key team member was Kai Dettman, who has been fighting a hamstring injury all season, and he did not make it to the state finals. Richards explained.

“We just missed going 3 for 3,” Richards said. “Kai Dettman had a tough 800 meters race from the start with the senior having to run in middle of the pack on lane 3 for the entire race. The pack was slow from the first lap at only a .58. They picked it up with a negative split but he missed the 6th state qualifying spot by 0.13 running 9th at 2:56.10. And 6th was 2:55.98. It was a tough race for him in the 800 meters indeed. He only got to the top of lane 2 once. Never ran in lane 1 the whole 800 meters.  It was a great season though. But we were hoping Kai would make it but that’s the 800 meters sometimes.  It’s a contact race. Looked like roller derby.”  

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Steve Whitmore is the editor for the South Pasadena Review. Steve has spent more than four decades as an award-winning print and broadcast journalist with a 16-year stint as the senior media advisor for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Steve comes to us from the Keene Sentinel in Keene, New Hampshire, where he covered politics and was a columnist.

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