They simply don’t lose.
No really, South Pasadena High School’s track and field team at all levels – frosh/soph, boys and girls varsity – won’t accept defeat.
“It’s a pretty good string of victories,” noted the Tigers’ coach, C.B. Richards, who oversees the program on campus that overwhelmingly is far superior to its competition in the Rio Hondo League.
The frosh/soph girls’ team is 50-0 in dual meets since the sport was begun at the school back in 2011, and the boys’ squad is 84-0 since 2005. The girls’ varsity is 54-0 since 2010 and the boys’ unit has a 94-0 mark dating back to 2012. Of course, along the way the Tigers have mounted consecutive league championships.
That’s pretty impressive, if not mindboggling.
Yet, the easy going Richards – pardon the pun – takes it all in stride.
“The kids work hard,” said the modest coach, who has his team licking its chops after strong prelim performances on Tuesday at South Pasadena High as it looks to come away with the title on Friday during the Rio Hondo League finals at the same site.
As expected, the Tigers pushed their share of athletes through the prelims, although varsity members saw limited action. Among those to watch at Friday’s league finals will be TH Wei, a state finalist in the triple jump last year, who will also compete in the 100 meter and possibly long jump.
Senior captain Kai Dettman could grab the title in both the mile and 800 meters, according to his coach, and anchor the 4×4.
Kristina Tayor has been a standout all season in the 100, 200 and anchoring the 4×1 and 4×4, but Richards is uncertain as to how effective she will be at race time as a result of a recent hamstring injury.
Sophomore twins, Ferrel and Terrel Mansano, can fly in the 400, both running under 50 seconds. In fact, Richards said all seven league competitors have clocked under 50 seconds in the sprint around the track.
“Should be a great race,” he said. “That is really going to be a good one.”
Gianna Beasley, another strong talent, is expected to make a strong run for the girls’ varsity 800 title, and will likely run a leg on the 4×4 team.
“We will be pretty well represented in both the distance and the sprints,” Richards said.
A group of seniors recently gathered for a photo to celebrate their perfect 26-0 record in dual meets at South Pasadena High over the past four years.
“We have a tradition after league prelims that the seniors receive appreciation for their time on the track & field team,” explained Richards. “We have their younger teammates give the speeches and speak from the heart. Some speeches are funny, some are serious but all are from the heart, in appreciation for their leadership, hard work and for being a good teammate.”
When you’re winning with the regularity of South Pasadena High, Richards said the bar will always be kept high at the school.
With the streak intact, he said it’s a nice way to celebrate another successful season when younger athletes extend a heartfelt thanks to those about to graduate.
“I’m proud of them,” Richards said of all those who toil on the track to makes South Pasadena High’s program, arguably, one of the best around. “They have all worked hard. We squeeze all the talent we can out of these kids, then hold them to high standards.”