Section track and field: 17 ranked among state’s top 5; 12 league meets this week

As a combination of 12 league meets will be held this week in the Central Section, the region has gathered steam for the CIF State Track and Field Championships in four weeks at Buchanan’s Veterans Memorial Stadium by elevating 17 individual or relays among the state’s top five rankings.

Buchanan senior Taylor Smith leads the state in the boys high jump at 6-10 1/4 after placing fourth in the state last year at 6-8.

That includes three No. 1s in Stockdale junior Blake Haney in the 1,600 (4:10.39) and 3,200 (8:48.58), and Buchanan’s Taylor Smith in the high jump (6-10 1/4).

Smith, in breaking the school record previously held by his brother, Travis (6-10), took over the state lead in Friday’s Reedley Invitational.

It was there that Edison’s girls section a section record by blazing 3:47.95 in the 1,600 relay with twins Tia and Tar Edwards, Nailah Harris-Murillo and Njeri Omawahleh. That broke the school’s own previous section standard of 3:48.08 in 2009 while moving the Tigers to No. 3 in the state this season.

Edison’s girls, also Friday at Reedley, clocked 47.13 for No. 6 all-time in the section in the 400 relay with Jazmen Bunch, Harris-Murillo, Omawahleh and Melese Crozier. That ranks No. 4 in the state.

And yet also at Reedley, Buchanan freshman phenom Hannah Waller zipped a 54.77 in the 400 — No. 2 all-time for a freshman in the section, No. 3 all-time in the section overall and No. 2 in the state this season.

Here are the section’s individuals and relays ranked among the state’s top five:

1 — Boys 1,600, Blake Haney, Stockdale, 4:10.39

1 — Boys 3,200, Haney, Stockdale, 8:48.58

1 — High jump, Taylor Smith, Buchanan, 6-10 1/4

2 — Boys high jump, L.J. Moore, Central, 6-10

2 — Boys long jump, Scotty Newton, Bakersfield, 24-2 1/4

2 — Girls 400, Hannah Waller, Buchanan, 54.77

2 — Girls discus, Nikki Okwelogu, Clovis West, 158-10

3 — Girls 1,600 relay, Edison (Tia Edwards, Tara Edwards, Nailah Harris-Murillo, Njeri Omawahleh), 3:47.95

3 — Girls shot put, Okwelogu, Clovis West, 48-10 1/4.

4 — Boys 400 relay, Edison (Kevin Nutt, Blake Wright, Charles Wheeler, Cooper Neal), 41.55

4 — Boys triple jump, Newton, Bakersfield, 48-5 1/2

4 — Girls 400 relay, Edison (Jazmen Bunch, Harris-Murillo, Omawahleh, Melese Crozier), 47.13

4 — Girls high jump, Maciah Murray, Edison, 5-9

4 — Girls long jump, Rhesa Foster, Clovis North, 19-5

5 — Boys 100, Luis Matos, Golden Valley, 10.67

5 — Boys triple jump, Darius Armstead, Mt. Whitney, 48-2

5 — Girls 300 low hurdles, Morganne Hill, Liberty-Bakersfield, 43.06

This week’s league meet schedule

Wednesday — East Yosemite at Mission Oak; Central Sequoia at Kingsburg; Southwest Yosemite at Liberty-Bakersfield; North Sequoia at Yosemite; All-Sierra Championships at Fowler

Thursday — County/Metro Athletic Conference at Sanger; Tri-River Athletic Conference at Clovis East; South Yosemite and Southeast Yosemite at Bakersfield College; East Sequoia at Sierra Pacific; South Sequoia at Cesar Chavez

Friday — North Yosemite at Roosevelt; West Yosemite at Visalia’s Mineral King Bowl