The Los Al Griffins collected their first gold medal at the State High School Track Championships held at Buchanan High School in Clovis on Friday and have a chance for four more on today’s final day of competition.
Sophomore Carson Fox collected a gold medal in the para shot put, hoisting a throw of 33′-0½” inches, bettering his next closest challenger by eight inches. Fox was a Griffin football player who had to undergo a leg amputation as a result of a quick-spreading cancer. Fox will look to add to his medal count today in the Para 100-meter dash, and the Para 200 meter dash.
Two other Griffin entries are also on the medal hunt at the Saturday finals. The Los Al Boys 4×100 relay team posted a 41.33, the second-fastest time of the day and advanced to Saturday’s finals. Running on the squad yesterday was Deondre Moore, Lincoln Marshall, Bryan Arens, and anchoring was freshman sprinter Devin Bragg. Their 41.33 time was also a school record and the best time in Orange County this season.
Bragg posted a time of 10.61 in his preliminary heat, but missed by two one-hundredths of a second from earning the 12th and last spot in Saturday’s finals.
On the girls’ side of the competition, Griffin triple jumper Mackenzie Kirk posted a 38′-1¾”, good for 8th place and a spot in today’s finals. But junior discus tosser Taylor Hofland’s throw of 120’9″ throw placed her in the 15th spot.
In the Unified 100, Los Al tandem of Kailie Nguyen and Kelsey Little finished in third place. Unified teams pair a partner without intellectual disabilities who trains and compete as a teammate alongside Special Olympics athletes on a Unified Sports Team.
Local teams are already heavy into spring football workouts and getting ready for the start of Passing League tournaments, but the Griffins will have to make some adjustments to their usual schedule. Their own Los Al Orlando Scandrick Passing Tournament, hosted for the past five years by former Griffin and former Dallas Cowboy cornerback Orlando Scandrick, was usually one of the first to happen, but with Scandrick taking the head coaching job at St. Bernad’s in Playa Del Rey, the tournament has moved with him. So Los Al is scheduled to play in Edison-hosted Battle at the Beach, on July 9 and then at Mission Viejo’s South County Passing and Lineman Tournament have the following weekend, July 16. Both events will draw many of the area’s better teams – Mater Dei, Servite, Santa Margarita and St. John Bosco. The OC Register has more details.
And of course, Los Al, which features highly ranked USC bound recruits Malachi Nelson, Makai Lemon, and Deondre Moore, will open its season on an ESPN national broadcast on ___. The Griffins who won the Sunset League title and fell to powerful St. John Bosco in the quarterfinals, appear to be even stronger this year with the addition of some impact transfer players, including Vaka Hansen and his brother Hoi, who were key players during Servite’s run to the CIF-SS Division 1 finals in the fall. Vaka earned second-team All-County honors on offense last season, and Hoi, who plays linebacker and running back, was recently offered by Louisville.
Scandrick takes over a program at St. Bernard’s that didn’t play any games last season and was mired in a federal investigation, that led to many players transferring.