Standing at the end of the runway, Agoura’s Tara Davis put her hands together as she always does.
It’s quite an accomplishment when those who did not come to see a specific athlete have learned his or her name over time.
Davis is a star with no equal in the state right now. She came close to winning the state meet by herself, pulling in a ridiculous 28 points across her three events last summer.
So when Davis began her slow clap in the long jump at the CIF Southern Section track and field finals, the crowd at Cerritos College knew to join in.
With all eyes in the grandstands and on the infield on her, Davis leaped to a career-best mark of 22 feet, 3 3/4 inches.
She let out an excitable gasp. She folded her arms and said, “I’ve got chills,” as she walked past the jump pit.
The measuring tape was pulled out, and when the mark was spoken for the first time, she screamed with glee.
Davis’ jump of 22-3.75 (with a tail wind of 2.6 meters per second) stands up as the second-best mark all time in all conditions. The record belongs to Kate Hall of Naples, Maine, who jumped 22-5 in 2015.
“I started the hand clap when I was a freshman,” Davis said. “It brings in more energy and attention to the jumps. I want that to change. I want everyone to see the jumps. I want it to be aired on TV more.
“It also pumps me up to do bigger jumps.”
The first attempt for Davis was wind legal, a 21-3 (1.1) effort.
From there, Davis took to the track, where she again fought the wind. She overcame a head wind of 2.7 m/s to notch a Division 2 record of 13.59 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles.
Had the wind cooperated in either instance, Davis could have put herself in the CIF record books.
“The wind gods didn’t like me today,” the Georgia signee joked.
Her day ended with a mark of 39 feet, 11 inches in the triple jump, capping her third straight triple-crown performance in the CIF-SS divisional round.
Isaiah Cunningham had a strong day, too. The Rancho Verde senior, who is committed to Baylor, produced wins in the 100, 200, and both relays.
He anchored a 400-meter relay performance that saw the Mustangs come within five hundredths of a second of the Division 1 record. Hawthorne’s standard of 40.36 seconds has stood since 1989.
Cunningham (10.51) edged out Vista Murrieta’s Javelin Guidry (10.55) in a blazing 100 final.
The sprints had the spotlight a year ago with USC’s Michael Norman (Vista Murrieta) and TJ Brock (Chaminade) going to battle.
For Cunningham, the opportunity to compete in the CIF-SS Finals was a blessing in itself.
“I was excited to be here,” he said. “Last year, I only got to Prelims because I got injured [groin]. To be here, it’s a blessing. I still have more work to do.”
Rancho Verde won the Division 1 title.
Damien’s Zachary Shinnick won the 400 for Division 3 in 46.93.
Upland’s Joseph Anderson traversed the 110 hurdles in 13.85 to win in Division 1.
Follow Andrew Turner on Twitter @ProfessorTurner