Kennedy High track team sprints to Los Angeles, competes in two invitationals
on April 4, 2013
Kennedy High’s track team is about to experience the wind in their hair SoCal-style. And some stiff competition. Eagles’ head coach Carl Sumler said the girls 4×100 meter relay team, and sprint specialist Takkarist “Takk” McKinnley will travel to Los Angeles this weekend and compete in the 3rd Annual Tiger Invite at South Pasadena High School on Friday, and then lace ’em up again the next day for the nationally recognized 46th Annual Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High School.
“There’s not a free meet where you just sign up and go to it,” Sumler said describing his runners’ excitement about qualifying for Arcadia. “There are 36 slots for each event, so the best 36 times from around the United States qualify.” Friday evening’s Pasadena invite will be used as a warm-up for Arcadia so that the girls can acclimate to the weather, he said.
Sumler said his relay team is getting the stick around the track, and that their time is competitive for the north coast, but they still need a lot of work on their exchanges. If the Lady Eagles can run the open event in 48 seconds they should do just fine, he said. Last year’s open class winner, Orange Lutheran High School, crossed the finish line just under 50 seconds. But the more competitive heats, seeded and invitational, finished with blistering times of 47.28 and 46.13 seconds respectively.
“I’m trying to go down there and shock the world and run a 10.5 or 10.4 and prove to everybody why I should be in the big time meet,” Takkarist McKinley said as he stretched during Tuesday’s practice. Last week at the Stanford Invite, the Cal Berkeley football commit finished first in the 100 meters with a time of 10.71 seconds. Last year’s Arcadia Invitational winner, Raymond Bozmans, of Fort Collins, CO., crossed the tape at 10.41 seconds. This year Takk will go head-to-head with two-time defending state champion and Cal Bear football commit Khalfani Muhammad of Notre Dame High School.
Sumler said he’s funding the trip to Los Angeles because he likes to show his runners what life is like outside Richmond. It’s also an opportunity where they can meet other top-notch high school athletes and shake hands with Olympic gold medallists like Allyson Felix. “[This trip is] like a good get away,” he said. “But you have to earn it.”
“It’s very hard not to be nervous,” La Dejah Dillard said about running in Arcadia. “But you just got to take deep breaths and it’ll get better.”
“I’m super duper excited because it’s my first time travelling with the team,” sophomore Diamond Stitts said about her wide-eyed experience running track. “I just know in LA they run fast.”
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