Southern California's High School Sports Blog

Girls Track: Turley-Young Steals The Show At Beach Cities Invitational

Canyon's Alexis Turley-Young heads for victory in the 100. Photo courtesy of Gene Leon Guerrero.

Canyon’s Alexis Turley-Young heads for victory in the 100. Photo courtesy of Gene Leon Guerrero.

HUNTINGTON BEACH- The 2015 Beach Cities Track and Field Invitational played host to several standout efforts, but one athlete left no doubt as to who would be remembered for turning in one of Orange County’s premier all-around performances in recent memory.

Canyon junior Alexis Turley-Young took home victories in the 100 hurdles, the 100, the triple jump, and the long jump Saturday at Huntington Beach High.

She became the county’s wind-legal seasonal leader in all four events and set two school records in the process.

“It was a pretty successful day for me,” Turley-Young said. “It’s about building confidence for the rest of my season.”

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Canyon’s Alexis Turley-Young battles Newport Harbor’s Hope Bender during the 100 hurdles at the Beach Cities Invitational. Photo courtesy of Gene Leon Guerrero

Her extraordinary day began in the 100 hurdles.

In a race that featured the top three hurdlers in the county, Turley-Young used a strong burst midway into the race to pull away from Newport Harbor senior Hope Bender and win in a time of 14.60.

“I went into that race trying to stay aggressive and wanting to attack every hurdle,” Turley-Young said.

Bender finished second in a school record time of 14.97, with the Mission Viejo duo of sophomore Olivia Teegarden (15.16) and junior Hannah Duarte (15.34) rounding out the top four finishers.

Turley-Young’s next victory came in the triple jump, where she leaped to a wind-legal, state-leading mark of 38 feet, nine inches.

Her performance surpassed the previous school record of 38-4½ set by former Comanche standout Allison Franke in 1989.

Turley-Young was back to the track for the 100, where a strong start out of the blocks and a well timed burst midway down the straightway propelled her to a wind-legal lifetime best of 12.15.

That time lowered her previously held school record and is the fastest wind-legal time in the county this season.

Capping the day in the long jump, Turley-Young produced a lifetime wind-legal best of 18-0.5 to complete her four title day.

Comanches sophomore pole vaulter Rachel Baxter put herself into exclusive company Saturday.

Baxter cleared a lifetime best 13 feet, 1 inch to win the competition.


Canyon’s Rachel Baxter joined elite county pole vaulting company at the Beach Cities Invitational. Photo/Jason Eichelberger

In the process, she becomes the third county vaulter this season to surpass the 13-ft mark and is the seventh in county history to do so.

Entering the meet with the pole at 11 feet, Baxter worked her way past 12-0 and 12-8 before a first attempt make at 13-1.

“I had already PR’ed at 12-8, so I was just trying to have a good day and have fun with it,” Baxter said. “I felt good coming down the runway.”

Her vault is the second best in the state this season, trailing only Santa Margarita senior Kaitlyn Merritt’s national outdoor leading mark of 13-6.

“I’m super impressed and happy with the way the season has gone so far,” said Baxter, who entered the season with a lifetime best of 10-6. “

She now has the county’s second best clearance ever by a sophomore, trailing only a 13-8 jump by Merritt at the 2013 Arcadia Invitational.

A pair of Los Alamitos standouts put on an impressive display.

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Los Alamitos junior Ashley Willingham heads toward victory in the 400 at the Beach Cities Invitational. Photo courtesy of Gene Leon Guerrero

Griffins junior Ashley Willingham, who set the 400 meet record and established a school record in last year’s invitational, bettered her performance.

Aggressively racing in front for most of the race, Willingham powered down the final 100 meters and crossed the finish line in a county-leading time of 56.51.

“I just tried to get out of the blocks really hard and work the curve,” Willingham said. “As soon as I hit the last 100, I just gave it all I had.”

Mission Viejo junior Kennedy Gillian (56.99) and Newport Harbor senior Hope Bender (school record 57.52) were second and third respectively.

That same trio once again battled for first place in the 200, with Willingham (25.24) outlasting Bender (school record 25.40) and Gillian (25.42).

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Los Alamitos senior Katherine Izzo leads the pack during the first lap of the 800 race at the Beach Cities Invitational. Photo courtesy of Gene Leon Guerrero

Griffins senior Katherine Izzo, competing in her first open invitational 800 of the season, topped a strong field with a controlled effort from the start.

Izzo, who transferred to Los Alamitos this year after winning the Division 2 800 state title at Catalina Foothills High in Arizona last year, surged out to the front of the race during the final lap and held strong down the stretch to win in 2:15.77.

“I wanted to get out there and show people what I could do,” Izzo said. “I was boxed in at first, but on the second lap, I felt a lot stronger and went for it.”

Diablos junior Taylor Arco (2:18.22) and San Juan Hills junior Katie Camerena (2:18.71) rounded out the top three.

It was another victorious 300 hurdles race for Mission Viejo sophomore Olivia Teegarden, who clocked a seasonal best, county-leading time of 45.65. Junior Diablos teammate Hannah Duarte was second in a seasonal best time of 46.05

Huntington Beach senior high jumper Taylor Eddleman produced her third invitational title in the season’s first month.

The county’s current high jump leader, Eddleman cleared 5 feet, four inches to win the competition for the second straight season.

“I just tried to keep my confidence up, and being on my home track, I wanted to perform well,” Eddleman said. “I just had to remember to get the speed going and I felt like I did the best that I could today.”

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Dana Hills junior Camille Perkins battles Esperanza’s Katherine Gallagher (right) and Shannon MacKellar to the finish line in the 1600 at the Beach Cities Invitational. Photo courtesy of Gene Leon Guerrero.

Dana Hills junior Camille Perkins (5:13.42) edged out Esperanza senior Katherine Gallagher (5:13.83) and sophomore Shannon MacKellar (5:14.05) to win the 1,600.

The Griffins posted a seasonal best 48.78 to win the 400 relay, while Mission Viejo (3:57.05) accomplished the same feat to win the 1,600 relay.

Dolphins sophomore Joy McArthur (lifetime best 38-5) won the shot put with Diablos junior Ciera Willams (37-7) placing second.

Diablos junior Emma DeSilva (lifetime best 132-11) edged McArthur (129-0) to win the discus, as both throwers enjoyed their best throws of the season to date.

For complete results, please click here.

Results courtesy of EPI Sports.

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