March is when track and field season starts picking up momentum. Top athletes want to be in shape to show their stuff for the biggest meet next to the City Section and Southern Section championships: the Arcadia Invitational on April 11 at Arcadia High School.
Sherman Oaks Notre Dame is hosting a throwers event Saturday at its new throwing facility. It should produce some top efforts in the shotput and discus.
Sprinters are starting to loosen up. The search is on for a successor to Calabasas’ De’anna Nowling in the girls’ ranks. St. John Bosco sophomore Rayshon Luke starts out as the fastest for boys, having finished fifth in the state last year with a time of 10.59.
Sophomore PJ Ize-Iyamu of Chaminade is expected to make his season debut this week in a dual meet. He ran a 10.69 100 last season and should be one of the fastest.
In the 400, Solomon Strader of West Ranch has been coming close in the state meet and might be ready to win it. He was third last year in 47.68 and figures to be challenged by Everett Steward of Long Beach Poly, the fourth-place finisher.
In the 110 hurdles, Anthony Taylor of L.A. Cathedral finished sixth in the state last year as a sophomore.
But the biggest story in the boys’ ranks will be an attempt by the Gatorade national cross-country runner of the year, Nico Young of Newbury Park, to set a national record in the 3,200 when he runs in the Arcadia Invitational. He was unbeaten in cross-country and will be tough to beat this spring.
Christian Rodriguez of Dorsey is the City Section’s top returnee in the 800.
Tyler Cash of Canyon Country Canyon cleared 6-10 in the high jump and finished second. Namir Hemphill of Upland is the defending state champion in the triple jump.
Among the girls’ ranks, pole vaulter Paige Sommers of Westlake finished second in the state last year as a sophomore and figures to do battle with defending state champion Ashley Callahan of Rancho Bernardo.
Caelyn Harris of Upland won the state long jump as a freshman. The sky’s the limit. Madison Lyon of Woodbridge is back in the triple jump after finishing sixth in the state.