Prior to this year, Manual Arts senior Terrence Conway had never run the 400-meter dash as his focus was the 200 and 4 x 100 relay.
The adjustment wasn't too difficult as Conway enters the City Section track and final championship as the favorite in the 400 after posting the fastest time in the preliminaries (49.17 seconds).
Â "We had an idea that he had in it in him," Manual Arts coach Rodney Spencer said of the change.
Spencer said that it was a natural fit because Conway, who was accepted to Fresno St. on a football scholarship, had more strength than speed. It's worked as he won at the Mt. SAC Relays and set a personal best at the Coliseum League championships (49.00).
He'll be the only Toiler favored in any event but for a school rich in athletic tradition - seven state, it could be a victory that could add some long-awaited luster to the program...
Last year, Crenshaw's DeAnthony Thomas was just happy to be at the City finals. The then-freshman surprised everyone by finishing third in both the 100 and 200 by a combined time of .07 seconds.
This year, a more confident Thomas is already looking ahead toward a better showing at state. But first, he's got his eye on helping the Cougars win the boys City title.
The sophomore will be a factor in four events: the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relay as well as the 100 and 200 meter sprints - all of which, Crenshaw is favored in. Thomas posted the fastest times in both sprints at the prelims. (10.73 and 21.74, respectively).
"I'm just gonna give it my all in each event," he said.
The last City athlete in position to win four titles was Taft's Jeshua Anderson in 2007. He won his first three events - the high jump, 110 and 300-meter hurdles - but fell short in the 4 x 400 relay as Dorsey won the meet's final event.
Thomas' main competition could come in the 200 where Santee's Tevin Carter tied his time...
Fans may want to arrive on time for Friday's Southern Section Masters Meet at Cerritos College to catch the St. Mary's Academy-Gardena Serra showdown in the 4 x 100 relay.
At the Division IV championship, both squads shattered Serra's week-old division record and St. Mary's won by only .28 hundredths (45.50-45.78) thanks to a strong anchor leg from junior Aijah Urserry.
"Most of the time you would think third leg decides how the race is gonna be but this year, it's all up to fourth leg," Urserry said.
Adding another dimension to Friday's race is that Serra will be without usual third leg Breyonna Hunter, who was injured at the divisional finals.
It's one more reason St. Mary's will enter as the favorite but anything can happen on the track. The relay could set the tone for an exciting meet...
On the surface, Marlborough senior Carlyle Davis appears to be a sweet, well-spoken young lady but when it comes to competition, she has a killer instinct.
After winning the Division IV 800 meters title last week (2:10.82), she had a simple plan entering Friday's Masters Meet
"Embarrass somebody," Davis said, matter-of-factly.
It didn't come across as cocky but it adds more intrigue to the 800 where she'll face stiff completion from Long Beach Poly sophomore Neausha Logan and Valencia senior Aly Drake, among others.
Davis took it all in stride. Before her race at the divisional finals, she was focused solely on running her race and there's no doubt, the plan is the same on Friday.
"I'm just going to show up and blow up," Davis said.
The Prep Report ends on a melancholy note as we send our condolences to Narbonne High School and the family of Daniel Farber, who was killed Sunday in Compton.
Farber was set to graduate on June 19 after completing his prep career as a wide receiver for the City co-champions. Fans may remember that he caught the late touchdown pass against Crenshaw in the City semifinals this past December that helped the Gauchos reach the finals.
Over the past 16 months, this has been a scene repeated at Washington Prep, Los Angeles, L.A. Jordan and - in a sad irony - San Pedro, who shared the City championship with Narbonne and carried the memory of teammate LaTerian Tasby with them.
One can only hope that it's a scene that will get repeated less and less.