NORWALK, Calif. - For the fourth year in a row, and fifth time in the last six seasons, a member of the Cerritos College women's track and field team won the Southern California Heptathlon Championship. Sophomore Michaela Banyi (Valencia HS) posted the fifth best point total in school history, as she amassed 4567 points to claim the title. The top four finishers were Falcons, and all reached the A Standard of 3661 points to qualify for the CCCAA State Championships, which will take place at Bakersfield College on May 18-19.
Joining Banyi in the top four were sophomores Davina Pham (Fountain Valley HS), who had 4314 points, Amani Briggs(Lakewood HS) with 4221 points and Kymberlynn Jackson (University Prep HS) , who finished with 4048 points. They were the only entries to reach the 4000-point total.
Leading after the first day, Banyi had 2733 points and easily pulled away for the title after turning in the best performance in two of the final three events, which were held Wednesday. In the javelin, Banyi recorded a distance of 115' 10", which netted her 578 points and was 112 points more than the second best throw of 96' 9" by Moorpark College's Ashley Brown. Banyi capped off her day, and the title, with the best 800 meter time of 2:27.38, earning her 20 more points than Pham and her 2:28.98 time. On the first day, Banyi pulled into the lead with the best 100-meter HH time of 15.42, as well as the best shot put, 10.96 meters, which netted her over 100 more points than the second best result submitted.
Pham, who entered the final three events in second place, slipped into third place when Briggs registered a long jump of 4.98 meters, which earned her 554 points, with Pham's 4.88 meters netting 527 points. But that didn't last long, as Pham came back with a javelin throw of 89' 2", a good eight feet farther than Briggs and 42 more points than her teammate. She locked down second place with her 800 meter time, which turned out to be six seconds faster than Briggs.
Jackson stayed in the top four with her performances in the long jump (4.73 meters), javelin (82' 3") and 800 meter time of 2:34.41, which allowed her to finish over 400 points head of fifth place finisher, Tyra Jackson of El Camino College.
Sitting in fifth place after the first day, freshman Darlena Robinson (Schurr HS) slipped to ninth place with 3442 points, while freshman Mikaiella Vargas (El Rancho HS) posting 2229 points to finish in 13th place.
(John Van Gaston, Cerritos College Athletics)