Track Teams Shine at Western League Finals

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

Palisades High track coach Tony Ryan has been preparing his teams for “finals week” and on Thursday the Dolphins passed with flying colors.

Palisades’ Makhai Husband (second from right) and Rayne Camden (second from left) round the turn during the 200-meter dash in last Thursday’s Western League finals at University High. Photo: Craig Weston
Palisades’ Makhai Husband (second from right) and Rayne Camden (second from left) round the turn in the 200-meter dash in the Western League finals at University High. / Craig Weston

Palisades had the most “firsts” among the six schools in the Western League finals meet at University High and many of its athletes finished in the top three to qualify for today’s City Section prelims at Birmingham.

In the closest race of the day, senior sprinter Makhai Husband finished in a dead heat with Hamilton’s Jacques Wilson in the varsity boys 200-meter dash, both clocking 22.28 seconds. Husband won the 400 in 49.70 and Hunter Parker won the 800 in 2:00.34.

Venice senior Paul Luevano won the 1,600 in 4:18.69, but Palisades’ Ben Hamer (4:33.78), Jakob Pollack (4:37.83), Jack Hockley (4:44.44), Jonathon Flores (4:46.39) and Gabriel Fuligni (4:46.83) took the next five spots. A similar scenario unfolded in the 3,200, with Luevano winning in 9:30.46, followed by Pollack (9:58.28), Hamer (10:05.41), Connor Smith (10:15.07) and Hockley (10:28.59).

Doug McGhee came from behind to win the 300 hurdles in 43.28, then joined Husband, Raynard Beckham and Rayne Camden to win the 4×400 relay in 3:23.95.

Right: Kimia Samandi wins the 3,200 meters. Photo: Steve Galluzzo
Kimia Samandi wins the 3,200 meters. / Steve Galluzzo

Kouichi Uruma (19-05), Christian Fong (18-11) and Ryan Ashmore (18-09.25) were 1-2-3 in the long jump and Eric Kim won the triple jump in 39-06.

Angel Ogwo won the frosh.soph 100 in 11.28, Finn Cawley won the 800 in 2:05.72, Brent Smith won the 1,600 in 4:39.21 and the 4×400 relay won (3:42.31).

For the varsity girls, junior Sophie Rothenberg leaped 16-01 to win the long jump 16-01, took first in the triple jump (34-05) and  ran the anchor leg on the victorious 4×400 relay (:09.34). The 4×100 relay also won.

Queen Okoh (12.45) and Kendal Lake (12.46) were 1-2 in the 100-meter dash and Lake (25.47), Okoh (26.18) and Kayla Williams (26.42) swept the top three places in the 200.

Nicole Figueroa won the 800 in 2:27.66 and was second in the 1,600 in 5:32.65 and Kimia Samandi was third in the 1,600 (5:34.32) and first in the 3,200 (12:25.09). Paulyn Lao won the shot put with a throw of 24-06.

In the frosh/soph division, Niara Brown won the 100, Lilyan Garside won the 200, Elizabeth Rene won the 800 and 1,600 and the Dolphins won both relays.