By Justin Vigil-Zuniga
Signal Sports Writer
The Foothill League’s 13 athletes remaining have finally reached their final stop of the season.
While their athletic careers have no clear end in sight, their seasons will come to completion at the state meet in Clovis on Friday and Saturday.
Three individual athletes and the Golden Valley girls’ 4×100 relay team have the best marks in the state. The rest remain just behind the state’s leaders with the chance to overtake the title of California’s best at Buchanan High School.
The team of Kylee Davis, Adonijah Currie, Ta’Ahjah Fann and Navaeh Williams scorched their own best time at Masters.
West Ranch’s Christopher Goode came out of nowhere at the Arcadia Invitational and took the state’s leading time in the 400-meter dash.
“[I’m] just trying to be better than my last time,” said Goode. “I don’t have a set time that I try to beat. I just work on the little things and execute in the race.”
Goode was tied just last week by Dijon Stanley of Granada Hills with his 46.94 finish.
The Wildcat promptly responded by shaving 0.19 seconds off his time to retake the leading mark. The two will have the chance to finally go head-to-head over the weekend.
Davis is the jumper to beat in Clovis. The five-time CIF champion is the only girl to hit over 20 feet in the long jump this year. The senior may not have the team’s top mark in the high jump but if the PR machine is bested, whoever tops her will have to work for it.
“I’m just ready to PR again in long [jump],” said Davis. “I’m ready now and I know what I need to work on.”
Meagan Humphries will be in the same jumps after she PR’ed with an 18-foot, 10-inch long jump. Humphries is tied for second in California with a 5-foot, 8-inch high jump only behind Whitney’s Ashanti Elie at 5-feet, 9 inches.
The Grizzlies’ last state leader is Currie with a recent PR of 23.45 seconds in the girls’ 200-meter dash.
Currie is looking like the clear runner to beat as no one else in the state has cracked under a 23.6-second time.
Fann will be the only local athlete in the 100-meter dash. The junior PR’ed at Masters with an 11.86 second finish and will now have a shot at the state title.
Golden Valley’s discus man, TJ Wiggins, will see his biggest competitors again in the event, just a week after facing off with them. Wiggins has been creeping up on a 200-foot throw since earlier in the year and will be up against Cade Moran of Murrieta Mesa, the only thrower to hit over 200 feet on the year in California. JSerra’s Brandon See also is hanging just under 200-feet throws and although both have longer PRs than Wiggins, the Grizzly beat out both at the Masters meet with his 196-foot, 10-inch heave.
Elijha Ellis has taken flight in the long and triple jump all season with PRs in both of the events’ state top three. Ellis is healthy and ready to break his own records of 48 feet, 3.5 inches in the triple jump and 24 feet, 2.5 inches in the long jump.
West Ranch’s star distance runners will also look to make some noise at state. Both Billie Issa and Alexis Fernandez ran strong 3200-meter runs at the Masters meet, in which both came alive in the final two laps.
Issa has steadily improved all year and is regarded as one of the most competitive runners by his coach Chris Taylor. The junior will likely crack under the nine-minute mark in the race and will need to cap off his strongest finish yet.
Issa will race alongside a familiar face again in Hart’s Jaden Wiley. Wiley has shown great improvement throughout the season and will look to beat Issa one more time in the only boys’ event featuring two Foothill League athletes.
Fernandez is sitting just outside the top-25 in the state with her recent 10-minute, 40.37 second finish in the 3200. She’ll have plenty of competition but looked strong in her final two laps as she picked off every runner in the pack.
The Wildcat will also race one last time against Saugus’ Isabella Duarte in the only girls’ event to showcase two Foothill League athletes.
Even with two of the fastest distance runners opting out of the event this year, the pair still have their work cut out for them.
Nothing will come easy to any of the athletes traveling up north, but every single one of them has put the work in to earn their spot and showcase their skill on the state meet stage.