Eric Sondheimer has been covering high school sports for the Los Angeles Times since 1997 and in Southern California since 1976. Get his latest from the field and follow all our prep sports coverage and analysis here.
When the defending state champion in the girls' 400 meters is running, people pay attention.
Kaelin Roberts of Carson was in cruise control Thursday at the City Section track and field prelims at Birmingham. She won her 400 heat in 55.22 while mostly focusing on technique in preparation for the May 25 finals at El Camino College.
Her presence puts the pressure on those running in the boys' 400, where there could be a great race brewing with two sophomores making an impact.
Sophomore Isaac Randall of Hamilton and sophomore Trevor Gill of San Fernando each won their 400 heats. Randall ran 49.62, and Gill was at 49.97. Dorsey senior Mark Nunez stamped himself as the favorite with a winning time of 48.90. Nunez also had the fastest time in the 200 in 21.78.
The boys' 100 is also looking intriguing for next week. Football players Jacques Wilson of Hamilton and Antwone Williams of Dorsey each won their heat. Wilson ran 10.99 and Williams was in at 11.12. Chatsworth's Daivion Barton ran 11.13. Sophomore Charles Mincy Jr. won his heat in 11.49.
Justin Hazell of El Camino Real had the fastest times in the 1,600 (4:26.30) and 3,200 (9:36.37).
Freshman Sarah Bently of Palisades had the fastest time in the girls' 3,200 in 11:27.85.
Here's the link to complete results.