Pasadena Games Picking Up Speed as Major Track Meet

Once regarded as one of the premier prep invitational track meets in Southern California, the Pasadena Games have been overshadowed by other meets in recent years.

But with the help of meet organizers Paul Bodenshot, Mark Evans and Carlos Clayton, the annual event is starting to look like a major meet again.

The 43rd Pasadena Games are at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Occidental College in Eagle Rock and it will feature many of the top performers in the state, including the state champion Hawthorne boys team and girls state title contenders Muir and Hawthorne.

The meet has been held at Pasadena City College in recent years, but Bodenshot said interest in the meet has skyrocketed since it was moved to Occidental's all-weather Olympic training track for this season.

"The meet has really escalated into a quality meet like the Arcadia (Invitational) Meet," Bodenshot said. "As soon as Hawthorne committed, things just started to escalate."

Heading the list of prep stars is Hawthorne High sprinter Henry Thomas, who led his school to the state CIF title with victories in the 100- and 200-meter dashes last year.

Other top competitors in the boys division are state mile and two-mile champion Roman Gomez of Belmont, state high-jump champion Ken Burke of Westlake and 50-foot-plus triple jumpers Terrance Strong and David Sanders of Bakersfield.

Bodenshot said the best boys' event may be the 800 meters, which has 12 sub-two-minute performers entered, including state leader Shawn Langer (1:51 top time) of Bakersfield.

The meet, which will have athletes from Calexico to Bakersfield competing, also will feature strong boys and girls relay teams from Muir and Hawthorne.

One of the top girls events may be the 1600 meters, which will match freshman standout Tracy Williams of Mountain View (El Monte) against state finalist Laura Cattivera of Mira Costa.

Other top distance runners entered in the meet are Kim Ojeda of Eagle Rock, Nicole Nugent of Torrey Pines and Lisa Williams, Tracy's older sister.

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