Thursday, September 21, 2017
Serra’s Thompson has up and down performance at Masters Meet
By Evan Barnes
Published June 2, 2009

After winning 400 meters, senior trips during 300 hurdles but rebounds to help Serra 4 x 400 relay take second.


It was a mixed bag for Gardena Serra’s Turquoise Thompson at the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet at Cerritos College on Friday. She won the 400-meters with a personal best of 53.45 seconds but fell near the end of the 300 hurdles.

Thompson was leading handily in the 300 hurdles when she got tripped up on the next-to-last hurdle and stumbled to the ground. She remained there for a brief moment before finishing the race.

“I have no idea what happened. I guess my leg didn’t go over the hurdle or I just ran into it,” she said. During the fall, her spike dug into right shin which caused a gash that required her to go to the hospital after the meet for stitches.

Considering the 300 is her favorite race, she was so distraught that she thought about pulling out of the 4 x 400 relay but decided against it. It was a wise decision as she ran a 53.7 split on the anchor leg to pull the Cavaliers into a second-place finish (3:44.95) behind Rancho Verde.

“I couldn’t let my team down. The team needed me as much as I needed them,” Thompson said.

Team was the first thing on her mind as she praised senior Ashley Anyakwo for filling in for the injured Breyonna Hunter on the third leg of the 4 x 100 relay, which Serra finished third in to qualify for next week’s state finals at Buchanan High School in Fresno.

It was a different story in the 400 as Thompson pulled away Long Beach Poly sophomore Akawkaw Ndipagbor during the final 100 meters to win. It was a bit of a surprise considering Ndipagbor had dominated the race the last two years, which is why Thompson patterned her race after her.

“I knew how she ran so I was waiting for her and tried to gauge when she took off,” she said. The two had previously trained together under Thompson’s mother, Serra girl’s coach Lori Smith-Thompson.

The Serra boys 4 x 100 relay squad of Marcus Johnson, Devin Spann, Anthony Carpenter and Robert Woods brought some heat to warm up the crowd at the start as they won with the No. 4 time in the nation, a blistering 40.74 seconds. Earlier in the week, the team found extra motivation from head coach David Washington, who turned 50 Saturday.

“That was our present to him,” Woods said.

He went on to finish third in the 400 (a personal best of 47.15) to La Sierra senior Reggie Wyatt. Despite a bad start, he caught up with Wyatt around the 300-meter mark before the state leader pulled away down the stretch with a time of 46.54.

“[Wyatt] pulled away from me way too early but I feel good about catching up to him. It’s let me know where I’m at,” he said.

Fresh off winning the Division IV title, Marlborough’s Carlyle Davis won the 800 with a personal best of 2:10.09. The senior opened her lead in the second lap despite running a slower first lap than expected.

“Every race is different so I had to follow my race plan and keep talking myself through it,” Davis said.

Her teammate, Ashtyn Baltimore, finished second in both the 110 hurdles and the long jump. Baltimore said that her focus may have been off for a reason most can understand – her graduation was the night before.

“I usually keep to myself two days before a race so I was a bit off today,” she added.

A mild upset occurred in the boys 200 meters when defending state champion Randall Carroll of Cathedral finished a close second to Tustin senior Ameer Webb, who caught up and won by a mere .03 hundredths (21.59-21.62). Carroll, the defending state champion in the 100 and 200, did win the 100 with relative ease (10.50).

Dominguez finished fifth in the boys 4 x 400 relay (3:18.98) as they will return to state to defend their crown.Long Beach Poly junior Tara Richmond was a double winner at the Master’s, winning the girls’ triple jump (39-0.25) and high jump (5-7).

Categories: News (Sports)

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