Los Angeles Preps: Rachel Toliver

Long Beach Poly runs away with girls' Division 1 title

May, 21, 2011
Melia CoxKirby Lee/US PresswireMelia Cox of Long Beach Poly won three events at Saturday's CIF-SS track and field finals.

CERRITOS — Arguably the best girls’ track and field team in state history might finally have some competition.

Long Beach Poly dominated the Southern Section Division 1 finals Saturday at Cerritos College, taking the top two spots in the 200, 400 and 800 meters and winning a handful of other events to run away with the team title.

The Jackrabbits finished with 148 points, far ahead of Eastvale Roosevelt and Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos, who tied for second with 33.

“It’s like our 2004 team,” said Poly coach Don Norford. “A lot of depth, a lot of great athletes, a lot of dedication and hard work. They have all the qualities of a champion.”

The 2004 team finished off its high school season by setting a national record in the 1,600-meter relay to finish with a state meet record 80 points. Shana Woods was the star on that team, winning a state title in the long jump and finishing runner up in the 300 hurdles and fourth in the 100.

This season’s front runner is senior Melia Cox.

She opened the meet by running the second leg on the 400 relay team that won in 45.50 seconds. She then won the 100 hurdles in a nation-leading 13.42, which was also just a hundredth of a second off the Division 1 meet record set by Nichole Denby of Riverside North in 2000.

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