High School Track : Birmingham Leaves Blocks in Big Way

After guiding Poly High to seven East Valley League track titles in the past eight years, Coach Scott King came to Birmingham in September with a reputation as a winner.

If Birmingham’s 110-16 romp over Grant in a Valley Pac-8 Conference opener Friday is an indication, King could be headed for another championship season.

Led by Rodney Burt and Brian Gastelum, the Braves won 14 of 15 events, including every running event.

Burt, fifth in the 400 in last year’s City Section championships, won the 100 in 11.1 seconds and the 200 in 22.8. He also anchored the Braves’ 400-meter relay team to victory in 45.5.


Gastelum, a junior, won the 1,600 meters in 4 minutes, 36.5 seconds and the 3,200 in 10:35.0.

Teammate Steve Weinberger added victories in the long jump (20-2) and the triple jump (37-3).

In other boys’ meets:

Taft 67, San Fernando 63--The Tigers won seven of 13 individual events, but Taft’s superior depth prevailed in the Northwest Valley Conference opener at Taft.


Howard McCrary and Ibed Aguirre were double winners for San Fernando. McCrary won the 110-meter high hurdles in 15.5 and the 330-yard intermediate hurdles in 47.5. Aguirre, fourth in last year’s City cross-country championships, ran 4:51.3 in the mile and 10:00.0 in the two-mile run.

Jonathan Hart led Taft with win in 100 meters (11.2) and 220 yards (23.7). Hart also ran on Hart’s victorious 440 relay (46.0).

Other top performances were turned in by Taft’s Cornell Hill in the high jump (6-2) and San Fernando’s Sean Williams in the long jump (20-3).

Monroe 71, North Hollywood 51--Chris Harvey and Mario Armijo each won two events for Monroe in the Valley Pac-8 Conference opener at home.

Harvey won the 100 meters in 11.4 seconds and the 220 yards in 23.4 and anchored the 440 relay in 45.4. Armijo won the 110-meter high hurdles in 16.6 and the 330-yard intermediates in 42.7.

Teammate Derril White-Fleming won the long jump at 20-3.


Taft 64, San Fernando 43--Sophomore Jane Kim won three events for Taft in the Northwest Valley Conference opener at Taft.


Kim won the 220-yard dash in 28.7, the 100-meter low hurdles in 17.3 and the long jump at 15-4.

Sophomore teammate Sarah White won the high jump at 4-10.

Birmingham 63, Grant 46--The Braves’ dominance of the distance events powered them to victory in the Valley Pac-8 Conference opener at Birmingham.

Freshman Heather Ballard won the 800 in 2:31.0 and senior Cheri-Lee Segal was victorious in the 1,600 (5:43.1) and 3,200 (12:36.0).

Another Birmingham freshman, Montoya Johnson, won the 400 in 65.1.

North Hollywood 61, Monroe 41--The Vikings dominated the sprints, but North Hollywood won both relays and swept the distance events in the Valley Pac-8 Conference opener at Monroe.

Kynna Wright won the 100 meters (13.1) and 440 yards (1:10.3) for Monroe, and teammate Tamika Stewart won the 220 yards in 27.8.

However, Joy Preston (880) and Shelby Serpa (mile and two-mile) won events for North Hollywood.