Moorpark College, led by sophomores Isaiah Mustafa and Sean McKeown, will attempt to win its second consecutive title at the Western State Conference men’s track and field championships today at Bakersfield College.
Moorpark, undefeated in WSC dual-meet competition the past two seasons, scored 34 points in last weekend’s first round and trails Bakersfield (50 points) and Glendale (37). However, in today’s 18 final events, the Raiders have 42 qualifiers, more than Bakersfield (31) and Glendale (25).
Mustafa, runner-up in the decathlon in last year’s state championships, will compete in the 100 meters, 110 high hurdles, high jump, long jump and triple jump, and run a leg in the 400 relay.
McKeown, who placed second in the hammer throw last week, will compete in the shotput and discus.
“Moorpark definitely has to be favored, but anything can happen,” Glendale Coach Tom McMurray said. “If Mustafa has the same kind of day in the finals as he had for them in the prelims, they’re going to be tough to beat. They should probably be 20- to 25-point favorites going into the meet.”
Other key Moorpark qualifiers are Jason Haley (100 and 200), Scott Schierman (800, 1,500), Dave Kreider (110 high hurdles, 400 intermediates), Keith Kephart (javelin, triple jump) and Manfred Wagner (shotput, discus).
Glendale, led by hurdler Drue Powell, long jumper Mike Wright and a strong distance contingent, should contend for a high finish even without Craig Harzmann.
Harzmann, who runs in the 200, 400 and 1,600 relay, suffered a leg injury in the preliminaries.
“His range of motion has improved substantially this week, but we didn’t want to bring him back too quickly,” McMurray said.
Santa Monica is expected to successfully defend its women’s title.
The Corsairs, led by sprinter Sunny Moore, hurdler Glory Dolphin, and multitalented Vanitta Kinard, lead all teams with 35 qualifiers for today’s finals.
The top local performer could be Auria Roberto of Glendale, who won the 5,000 plus her heats of the 800 and 1,500 last week.
The meet will start with the field events at 3 p.m., followed by the running events at 5:45.