CIF State Track and Field Championships: Girls watch list

The Fresno BeeJune 5, 2014 

TOP FIVE ATHLETES TO WATCH

1. ARIANA WASHINGTON, LONG BEACH POLY
Look for her in: 100/200/400 relay
The skinny: Should she sweep the 100 and 200 as expected, she'll join Olympians Marion Jones and Allyson Felix as the only females to do so at least three times consecutively since the female division was launched at state in 1974. And Jones pulled the feat four times (1990-93).

2. BETHAN KNIGHTS, NORTHWOOD
Look for her in: 3,200
The skinny: Wonderful that the senior arrives as the national leader; unfortunate that she won't duel three-year reigning champion Sarah Baxter of Simi Valley (injured).

3. STAMATIA SCARVELIS, DOS PUEBLOS
Look for her in: Shot put/discus
The skinny: Will be difficult to deny a sweep to the senior who ranks second nationally in both.

4. KAELIN ROBERTS, LONG BEACH POLY
Look for her in: 400
The skinny: How is it that Poly has delivered a record 13 state female team titles and is the prohibitive favorite to add another? Because there's no bottom to the well, evident in nationally third-ranked Roberts, a freshman.

5. MIKAELA SMITH, CLOVIS NORTH
Look for her in: 800
The skinny: Finding the competition delightful, she PR'd by 4 seconds in winning last year at 2:08.39. Hannah Waller, Buchanan: She placed fourth in the state behind three seniors in the 400 last year as a freshman, when her season-best 54.42 was fastest in the land for a rookie and No. 1 all-time for a Central Section freshman. And her season-best of 54.57 this year is No. 3 all-time for a section sophomore. But, this weekend, she'll have to be at the top of her game to run down Long Beach Poly freshman Kaelin Roberts (53.37) and Menlo senior Madeline Price (53.43), who are ranked Nos. 3-4 in the nation.

OTHER CENTRAL SECTION HOPEFULS
Hannah Waller, Buchanan: She placed fourth in the state behind three seniors in the 400 last year as a freshman, when her season-best 54.42 was fastest in the land for a rookie and No. 1 all-time for a Central Section freshman. And her season-best of 54.57 this year is No. 3 all-time for a section sophomore. But, this weekend, she'll have to be at the top of her game to run down Long Beach Poly freshman Kaelin Roberts (53.37) and Menlo senior Madeline Price (53.43), who are ranked Nos. 3-4 in the nation.

Jazmen Bunch, Edison: After placing sixth in the state 100 last year at 11.83, the San Diego State-bound senior has zoomed to a best of 11.61 — second only to Clovis' Jenna Prandini (11.34, 2010) in section annals.

Asia Chesley, Stockdale: It was this Southwest Yosemite League school from Bakersfield that last delivered a female high-jump gold medalist in the state from the Central Section — Desirae Gonder in 2005. Chesley's season-best 5-10 ranks third in the state and 10th nationally. And her chance for the top of the podium increased significantly when state leader Claire Kieffer-Wright of South Pasadena (6-0) was sidelined by a stress fracture in her ankle.

The reporter can be reached at aboogaard@fresnobee.com or @beepreps on Twitter.

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