It has been a roller-coaster school year for Dorsey High's athletic programs.
From a controversial football season that ended with a City title in December to a baseball campaign during which a player killed himself on a team bus after a game and the coach later was arrested on drug charges, Dorsey has had its share of highs and lows.
Now, though, the girls' and boys' track and field teams can end the season on a positive note. They are the favorites in today's City meet at Birmingham High in Van Nuys.
With field events beginning at 3 p.m. and the running events at 4:30, the Dorsey girls will seek to dethrone Wilmington Banning with a strong corps of sprinters, hurdlers and jumpers.
"The team has been looking forward to this opportunity for a couple of years now," Dorsey Coach Ralph Tilley said. "They are ready and are peaking right now."
The Dons will be led by sprinter Kanika Conwright, who was the top qualifier in last week's semifinals in the 100 meters in 12.39 seconds and had the second-best time in the 200 meters in 25.54.
The top qualifier in the 200 was her teammate, Rene Walker, who also is a favorite in the 400.
Conwright and Walker also provide the Dons with a strong combination on their 400- and 1,600-meter relay teams, each of which was the qualifying leader.
Others hoping to score big for Dorsey are Montoya Johnson, the leading long and triple jumper, and Christine Davis, the leading 300-meter low hurdler.
Robin Snowbeck of University is a strong favorite to repeat as champion in the 800 and 1,600 meters. She was among the top qualifiers in both events last week.
In the boys' team title chase, Dorsey might be hard pressed by a deep Birmingham team that will be led by Alvaro Mejia, the top qualifier in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters, and Raymond Banner, the top qualifier in the 110-meter high and 300-meter intermediate hurdles.
"Birmingham has to be the favorite, but we'll be battling right up there with them," Tilley said.
Dorsey will counter with its strong 400- and 1,600-meter relay teams, the top qualifiers inboth events. The Dons will also have Abraham Toomes, who had the best time in the 100 meters, and Dwayne Sanders, who had the best mark in the shotput.
Defending champion Locke will also be in the hunt for the team title. Amado Coleman, the favorite in the 200 and 400 meters after qualifying with times of 21.64 and 48.50, respectively, and Orlando Bustamante, the defending 800-meter champion, are Locke's top competitors.