Los Angeles Preps: Traci Hicks

Harvard-Westlake's Weissenbach sets national record in 800 meters

June, 5, 2011
Potential national records and repeat performances were the talk heading into the CIF state track and field finals, just not the national record and repeat performance that everybody ended up talking about.

The athlete who stole the show and rewrote the record books Saturday night at Clovis Buchanan High School turned out to be North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake junior Amy Weissenbach, whose performance in the girls’ 800 meters ranks as the all-time best in U.S. high school competition.

Weissenbach defended her title in 2 minutes 2.04 seconds, breaking the previous best National Federation High School time of 2:02.90, set three years ago by Chanelle Price of Easton Area, Pa. Weissenbach also obliterated the state meet record of 2:04.91, which had stood since 1984.

Despite the soggy conditions caused by steady rain earlier in the day, Weissenbach set herself up for the record by turning a 57.5-second opening lap. With a five-second lead over her nearest competitor, Weissenbach was forced to race against the clock over the final 200 meters.

"When I saw 57.5, it was definitely a surprise. I didn't expect that," Weissenbach told reporters. "The last 200, I started to tighten up a little, but I was able to do it. It's just unbelievable."

Weissenbach’s teammate, junior Cami Chapus, also posted one of the more surprising results of the meet, out-lasting last year’s runner-up in the girls’ 1600, senior Alli Billmeyer of San Diego Torrey Pines, to win in 4:40.88. The top qualifier, Katherine Delaney of San Juan Capistrano JSerra, finished fourth in 4:47.20.

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Southern Section looks to dominate girls' state track finals

June, 2, 2011
The CIF-State girls’ track and field track championships are set for Friday and Saturday at Clovis Buchanan High School, and the Southern Section appears in good position to sweep a majority of the events. Long Beach Poly is the clear-cut favorite in the team race, possibly taking aim at its state-meet record of 80 points compiled in 2004. Here’s a breakdown of the 16 girls’ events.


Barring any dropped batons or lane violations, Long Beach Poly should run away with this meet-opening event and take an early points lead in the team race. Carisma Lyday, Melia Cox, Traci Hicks and Akawkaw Ndipagbor circled the track in a national-leading 45.04 seconds at the Masters Meet on Friday night. The Jackrabbits also have a good shot at breaking the 14-year-old meet record of 44.70. Moreno Valley Rancho Verde is the defending champion in the event and No. 3 qualifier behind Poly and Eastvale Roosevelt.

1,600 METERS

Katherine Delaney of San Juan Capistrano JSerra comes in as the state’s top qualifier after winning in 4:42.95 at the Masters. Delaney, a Cal-bound senior who was sidelined during the postseason a year ago due to illness, figures to be pushed by last season’s state runner-up, Alli Billmeyer of San Diego Torrey Pines, and North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake senior Cami Chapus.


Long Beach Poly figures to add to its team lead with Cox bringing a nation-leading 13.34 qualifying time into the event. She won’t have the race all to herself, however. Trinity Wilson of Berkeley St. Mary’s took first in 13.38 at the North Coast Section Meet of Champions last weekend. Wilson finished runner-up last season in a wind-aided 13.35, while Cox was fifth in 13.91.


Not to be outdone by her teammate, Ndipagbor also produced a nation-leading mark at the Masters, crossing the line in this event in 53.51. Her closest competition figures to come from the Southern Section, as Vanessa Jones of Etiwanda (53.83), Gabrielle Scott of Irvine Woodbridge (53.98) and Azia Walker of Long Beach Poly (54.48) are the next fastest qualifiers and all were on the starting line a year ago.


One of only two running events that does not feature a Southern Section athlete as the top qualifier, this race will likely come down to how well Jenna Prandini of Clovis gets out of the block. Prandini was the top competitor at last season’s state meet, winning the long jump and triple jump and finishing second in the 100. Kylie Price of La Puente Bishop Amat is the third-fastest qualifier.


Amy Weissenbach of Harvard-Westlake shows no signs of giving up her reign as state champion in the 800. She returns as the top qualifier after winning her Masters race in 2:06.18, the second-fastest outdoor time in the nation this season. As a sophomore, she won her state title in the two-lap race in 2:07.52. Last season’s runner up, Savannah Camacho of Templeton, is the No. 2 qualifier at 2:07.65, followed by Long Beach Poly teammates Dynasty Gammage (2:09.38) and Arielle Stevenson (2:10.08).

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Jonathan Cabral is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition

May, 27, 2011
Jonathan CabralKirby Lee/Image of Sport/US PresswireJonathan Cabral not only won both hurdles events, he set nation-leading times in each.

CERRITOS — Jonathan Cabral is inching closer to his life-long goal, one hurdle at a time.

Cabral, a senior at Agoura High, delivered the two most eye-opening performances at the Southern Section Masters track and field meet Friday evening at Cerritos College, winning both boys’ hurdles events in nation-leading times.

He opened with a one-sided victory in the 110-meter hurdles, finishing in a wind-aided 13.27 seconds, the all-time fifth-fastest high school time in the nation under any conditions. His closest pursuer, Sam Barkley of Mater Dei, the brother of USC quarterback Matt Barkley, finished second in 14.11.

“As soon as I heard 13.2, I just felt like God shined a light on me,” Cabral said. “I was so happy.”

Cabral wasn’t finished. He came back about two hours later and won the 300 hurdles in 36.19, overtaking Greg Coleman of Warren High in San Antonio for the nation’s fastest time this season.

“It’s getting me closer to my real-life goal, which is to go to the Olympics,” said Cabral, the defending state champion in both events.

On the girls’ side, Long Beach Poly cruised to victories in several events, putting the team in prime position to win the title next week at the state championships in Clovis.

The Jackrabbits opened the meet by lowering their nation-leading time in the 400 relay from 45.23 to 45.04. Carisma Lyday, Melia Cox, Traci Hicks and Akawkaw Ndipagbor circled the track without a hitch for Poly.

Cox then won the 100 hurdles in a personal best 13.34, which also lowered her nation-leading time in the event. She followed up with victories in the 300 hurdles (41.32) and triple jump (39-10 ).

Ndipagbor posted a nation-leading time in winning the 400 in 53.51, then came back to win the 200 in 23.76. The Jackrabbits wrapped up the meet with a victory in the 1,600 relay (3:41.75).

“Everybody that scored last year in the state meet got through,” said Poly coach Don Norford. “That’s always a plus.”

Among the other highlights from the meet:

In the girls’ 1,600, all 12 runners ran under the state qualifying time of 5:00.19, led by Katherine Delaney of JSerrra, who was first in 4:42.95, the fastest time in the state this season and third best in the country.

Amy Weissenbach, a junior at Harvard-Westlake and the defending state champion in the 800, won that event in 2:06.18, the second-best time in the nation this season. All 11 runners in that event also produced state qualifying times.

Remontay McClain of Covina, the defending state champion in the boys’ 100 and 200, won both events. Kylie Price of Bishop Amat was also a double winner, taking the girls’ 100 and long jump.