Palisades' Marissa Williams doubles up in City track meet

Eric Sondheimer
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Palisades' Marissa Williams lowers her records in the 1,600 and 3,200

Marissa Williams of Palisades, the greatest girls' distance runner in City Section history, came through with two record-breaking performances in her final appearance at the City track and field championships Thursday night at Cerritos College.

She broke her City records set in 2013 when she was a sophomore in winning the 1,600 in 4 minutes 47.88 seconds and the 3,200 in 10:28.30. It was the fourth consecutive year she has won both events. She's also a three-time City cross-country champion.

Her distance coach, Bob Macias, had challenged her to break 4:50 in the 1,600.

"I didn't think I could do it, but I just tried really hard and pushed the third lap," said Williams, who will attend California in the fall. "I'm happy, and I don't say that very often."

Last year, she won the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 in an agonizing effort undertaken simply to try to help Palisades win the team title. This time, she was running to break records and prepare for next week's state championships in Clovis.

Asked about her achievements, Williams said, "It's flattering, but I don't go to bed thinking about it."

One of the City Section's best hopes for a state title in the boys' ranks is Justin Collins of Carson in the 300 hurdles. He won in 37.13 seconds, holding off Crenshaw's Justin Alexander (37.41). Collins also won the 110 hurdles in 14.38. Alexander won the 400 in 49.14.

In the boys' 100, Desmond Crutcher of Dorsey won in 10.85, upsetting Sheldon Arnold of Santee, who ran 10.90. Jeanette Paul of Carson won the girls' 100 in 12.31 and also the 300 hurdles in 43.31.

Junior Michael Merchan of Marshall was a double winner, taking the 800 in 1:55.88 and the 1,600 in 4:15.81.

Carson won both the boys’ and girls’ team titles.

The Southern Section Masters Meet will be held Friday at 6 p.m. at Cerritos College. The meet will decide qualifiers for next week's state championships.

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