Taft Makes It Real Field Day


If Taft High fails to win the City Section girls' track and field championships in May, it won't be because it was hammered in the field events.

The Toreadors (3-0 overall and in conference), led by triple winner Eboni Grayson and double winner Frances Santin, posted a 66-57 Northwest Valley Conference victory over visiting Cleveland (2-1, 2-1) in a meet Friday that showcased their well-known talents on the track and their lesser-known abilities in the field events.

In 1997, Dorsey defeated Taft, 79-71, for the City title after outscoring the Toreadors, 29-1, in the field events.

Grayson, the defending City champion in the 100 and 200 meters, won the 220-yard dash in 25.6 seconds, the long jump at 17 feet 4 inches and the triple jump at 34-0. She also anchored Taft's victorious 440-yard relay team that clocked 49.1.

Santin, the 1996 City champion in the 300-meter low hurdles, won the 100 highs in 15.0, the 330-yard lows in 45.3 and placed second in the high jump at 5 feet. She also ran the first leg on the 440 relay.

"We'd hate to see what happened last year happen again," Santin said. "[The 29-1 score] was just horrible."

With high school athletes prohibited from competing in more than four events in a meet, Taft Coach Mel Hein and assistants Neil Boggess and Kenny Mitchell are trying to figure out how the Toreadors can score the maximum amount of points in the City meet. Even if that means keeping Santin out of the 400 relay in favor of the high jump and pulling Grayson off the 1,600 relay in favor of the long jump or triple jump.

The above scenarios would seem feasible if sophomore Jayda Bailey regains her academic eligibility next month.

Bailey, the defending City champion in the 800, is faster in the 100 than Santin and quicker in the 400 than Grayson so she could aptly replace them in the 400 and 1,600 relays.

"We're still working some things out in our head," Hein said. "But our relays wouldn't drop off with Jayda in there."

The Taft boys' team started Friday's meet by dropping the baton on the first exchange of the 440 relay, but rebounded to win, 83-44.

The Toreadors (3-0, 3-0) outscored Cleveland (1-2, 1-2) by a 23-4 margin in the 100, 220 and 440.

Senior Larry Jones, defending City champion in the 400, won the 440 in 49.4 with twin Lawrence Jones second in 49.9 and Taft junior Blaine Bussey third in 50.3.

Bussey later won the 220 in 22.7.

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