Serra high school added on to their rich, athletic history by reaching the 2017 CIF Track and Field State Championships in Clovis, CA. Those defining moments were created from the dedication of the students and the tutelage of head coach Chris Calvin.
The girl’s team had a great deal of success during the State competitions. Running a 46.04-second performance, the Cavaliers bested Upland and Santa Margarita in the 4x100m relay competition. The top three schools in that event were of the Southern Section.
Calvin mentioned how Queen Okoh’s performance as the first leg was the reason why the team came in first place.
“All year, I’ve been saying we had two of the fastest girls in the state,” Calvin said. “I just kept telling the girls ‘it’s gonna be okay, it’s gonna click at the right time’ and sure enough, June 3rd, it finally clicked in the finals.”
Jasmine Reed qualified for the 100m and the 200m dash finals at the State meet. For the 100m, she came in second place with a 11.60s time, outrunning Kiera King from Wilson High School, but unable to beat Long Beach Poly’s Ariyanna Augustine with a winning time of 11.58s.
Reed competed against both competitors again in the 200m, coming in third at 23.65. Augustine took first place at 23.41, and King at second with 23.55 seconds.
“It was really good to see her kinda take off this year, she’s been battling injuries,” Calvin said. “It’s really good for the returning girls to see something that can happen if you put enough hard work into it.”
This competitive run concluded Calvin’s first season as head coach for Serra. He told his runners to tend to intricate details, the advice would help the team become more competitive.
“I think they kind of get that from me because I’m always bragging about how I ran track and trying to race them,” Calvin said.
He wants practices to be more intense than the atmosphere of a track meet or championship.
“My philosophy as a coach is just success is in the details,” Calvin said. “When I inherited the program, I knew the talent that was around the program. I don’t think the kids actually knew for themselves.”
Upon earning the job as head coach, Calvin hired Rick Carrigan and Obea Moore to the coaching staff.
Moore was a three-time high school State champion who still holds the World Youth Record with 45.14s in the 400 meters race. He also became an inductee into the Pasadena Hall of fame and the Penn Relay’s Wall of Fame.
“My sprint coach, Rick Carrigan, he’s number [two] all time in the state still in the 100m, so to me, that was a no-brainer,” Calvin said. “Obea Moore is my quarter-mile coach, he has just about every youth track club record.”
Several members of the boys and girls track team are in the top 10 division IV rankings. Sprinter Isaiah Diego-William is second in the boys 100m rankings with a personal record of 10.59 and first for the 200m at 20.96.
Four Serra players reached the girls top 10 in the 100m event, including Reed who’s 11.60 personal record qualified her for third. She is also ranked third for the 200m at 23.77 seconds.
Calvin’s guidance brought the track and field program back to the prominence that it was once known for.
“People always [associated] Serra as a football school,” Calvin said. “But I’m like ‘hold your horses, this was a track school before anything.’”