SoCal athletes take to Hemet High

The 2018 Janice Kelley Memorial Southland Invitational saw 27 schools descend on Hemet High School for this 47th Annual meet

Photos by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
Young athletes come in for the landing.

■ By Corey Evan / Reporter

It’s been over two years since the death of the late Hemet High School athletics coach, Janice Kelley, but her legacy lives on at the high school’s football field, otherwise known as Von Driska Field. On Saturday, April 7, young athletes from 27 high schools around Southern California participated in the 2018 Janice Kelley Memorial Southland Invitational.

Temescal is out in front!

From Coachella Valley, to the Mojave Desert, to the San Diego coastline, over 1500 students signed up, boys and girls, to do battle at Hemet High. They took part in multiple events throughout Saturday morning and into the afternoon.
Whether it was showing off their throwing skills, clearing hurdles, jumping into what can only be described as a giant pillow…or running for their own personal borders, these kids sure gave it what they had. Having a little cloud cover only helped, since it was a bit warm.
Director of the meet, Bob Summers, coordinated the many young athletes. “The kids did a good job,” he said. “[They] didn’t need to ask the parents for fundraising to do this!”
Aside from vendors and food carts (including Philly Phil’s Italian Ice and Dogodog Mexican Street Food donating proceeds to Hemet’s athletic department), the Invitational had no official sponsors this year. It was all students who gave their time and efforts to make the Invitational event possible, including the famous breakfast burritos at the snack bar!

These are the top athletes from Saturday:
– Boys 100 Meter Dash: Jace MacConnell, Xavier Prep, 11.06 seconds.
– Boys 400 Meter Dash: Ismail Turner, West Valley, 48.99 seconds.
– Boys 4×100 Meter Relay: San Jacinto, 43.67 seconds
– Boys 100 Meter Hurdles: Wayne Thomas, San Jacinto, 15.64 seconds
– Boys Triple Jump: Deondre Ruth, Oceanside, 45-08.75
– Boys 1600 Meter Run: Johan Sanches, Ramona (Riverside), 4:34.39
– Boys 300 Meter Hurdles: Wayne Thomas, San Jacinto, 40.36
– Boys Pole Vault: John Gibbs, Oceanside, 11-06.00
– Boys Discus Throw: Terrance Williams, San Jacinto, 132-10
– Boys 200 Meter Dash: Ismail Turner, West Valley, 22.22
– Boys 3200 Meter Run: Johan Sanches, Ramona, 10:09.55
– Boys High Jump: Albert Jackson, Indian Springs, 6-04.00
– Girls 200 Meter Dash: Hailey Murdica, Palm Desert, 24.98
– Girls Shot Put: Prentice Burris, Ramona (Riverside), 39-09.00
– Girls 300 Meter Hurdles: Lorraine Nance, Temescal Canyon, 48.52
– Girls 100 Meter Hurdles: Nanyori Davis-Arnold, Ramona (Riverside), 16.08
– Girls 3200 Meter Run: Gabriela Rangel, San Bernardino, 12:04.41
– Girls 100 Meter Dash: Hailey Murdica, Palm Desert, 12.03
– Girls 1600 Meter Run: Gabriela Rangel, San Bernardino, 5:29.92
– Girls 400 Meter Dash: Sanaia Woods, Chaparral, 1:00.31
– Girls 4×100 Meter Relay: Temescal Canyon, 52.49
– Girls Triple Jump: Lorraine Nance, Temescal Canyon, 37-04.50
– Girls 800 Meter Run: Kimberly Barrueta, Oceanside, 2:24.26
– Boys 800 Meter Run: Andres Romero, Coachella Valley, 2:00.06
– Girls 4×400 Meter Relay: JW North, 4:18.44
– Boys 4×400 Meter Relay: Temescal Canyon, 3:34.65
– Girls Long Jump: Sydney Reid, JW North, 17-09.75
– Boys Long Jump: Deondre Ruth, Oceanside, 21-00.50
– Boys Triple Jump: Deondre Ruth, Oceanside, 45-08.75
– Boys Shot Put: Howard Matthews, San Jacinto, 45-09.50
– Girls Discus Throw: Kalianna Lesa, SJVA, 116-03
– Girls High Jump Kaaliyah Latson, JW North, 5-00.00
– Girls Pole Vault: Kaelyn McCann, Linfield Christian, 11-01.00
The Invitational only needed ten schools to sign up in order to break even. With 27 on the roster, one has to assume Hemet High is humbled about the turnout.
Summers would like to thank the Hemet High staff for their help in putting together this 47th annual Southland Invitational, as well as one or two coaches from Chaparral (no names given) for helping spur-of-the-moment to keep things running smoothly.
Janice Kelley was among these kinds of athletes herself when she went to Hemet High in the 1970s. Today, one has to acknowledge that her spirit of perseverance still lives on here.

Shot putters await their turn for the toss.

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