The Redondo Union girls and boys track teams competed at the Arcadia Invitational which annually hosts the best-of-the-best from around the country and North America. This year was no exception as one national record was achieved, 11 meet records were broken and 19 national leading marks were set.
This year 730 schools from 31 states plus Canada, Mexico and Norway competed in the two-day event that began last Friday.
In the seeded competition, which is just below the invitational, the Redondo 4 x 200 girls relay team came in first.
The team of Julia Ausland, sophomore; Amber Autrey, sophomore; Eve Divinity, freshman and Mahkaia Lee (who ran in place of Amari Turner) finished in a time of 1:41.28.
They beat a team from Centennial that finished in 1:41.31. Notre Dame and Central were third and fourth.
“It was an exciting race from finish to end,” said Lee, who filled in for Turner, who was pole vaulting. “I’m glad I got to be a part of it.”
Ausland started the race.
“We all ran our hardest and it really paid off,” Ausland said. “I feel like we had a good lead when the baton was handed to me and I was able to keep the lead in first. Overall super happy with the win and can’t wait to continue running.”
Autrey ran second.
“We were in a really tough heat but I had confidence in our team and I knew we would do well,” Autrey said. “My teammates did really good and I was able to get the baton in a good position, I ran against a good competitor in the lane next to me, but luckily I was able to keep the lead. Overall, I’m really happy with how we ran and I can’t wait to keep breaking records.”
In the women 800 sprint medley invitational, Redondo Union won a medal, finishing sixth in a time of 1:51.93.
Ausland led off followed by Autrey. Lee ran third and Amari Turner, senior, ran the last leg.
Homewood-Flossmoor won in a time of 1:45.57. Dana Hills was second in 1:46.20 followed by Edison CE, St. Mary’s Academy, Carondelet.
In the women’s distance medley invitational, Redondo Union won a medal with a sixth-place finish and a time of 12:04.95.
Peyton Heiden, senior, was the first runner followed by Eve Divinity, freshman; Dominca Villegas, senior; and Isabella Landry, senior.
“Our girls distance medley relay time of 12:04 was a breakthrough performance,” said Redondo Union boys and girls head track coach Bob Leetch. “This is the best time we have in years. The girls have successfully dropped their time over the season and run that fast on that stage was terrific.”
Mira Costa finished seventh in the same race in a time of 12:06.31.
Dalia Frias, freshman, lead off the race followed by junior Lucy Konsmo. Senior runners Lucy Atkinson and Brooke Inouye ran third and fourth.
Mission Viejo won with a time of 11:47.98. St. Francis was second, Great Oak third, Lees Summit West fourth and Vista Murrieta fifth.
Meanwhile, Turner finished sixth in a very competitive girls pole vault field with her best jump this season at 12-feet 7-inches. The winner, Chloe Cunliffe, senior, of West Seattle set a national girls outdoor record of 14-feet 8-inches in winning the event. California’s state champion Paige Sommers, sophomore from Westlake, finished second clearing 13-feet 5-inches, which is the best so far this year in the state.
Elizabeth Funk, senior, Clovis West was third at 13-1. Isabella Grant, senior, Presentation was fourth and Ashley Callahan, sophomore, Rancho Bernardo was fifth.
Redondo Union also won a sixth-place medal in the girls 4 x 800 invitational won by Great Oak in 9:10.24. The Sea Hawks were timed in 9:24.22 and had Montgomery Allison, sophomore, running with Heiden, Landry and Villegas.
Redondo Union had a second team finish 19th.
Molly Hastings, junior; Shelby Bender, junior; Kasey Bohney, junior and Eva Kelly, freshman, finished in 9:52.89.
“Arcadia Invitational really is the peak of our distance relay season,” Leetch said. “From here on out we will focus primarily on individual events.”