For the first time in school history the Culver City high school girls track and field team is on top of the CIF Southern Section Division 2 track and field world. The Centaurs scored 62 points last Saturday at Moorpark high school to capture the crown. The second-place team, Golden Valley scored 51 points and JW North placed third with 50 points.
It’s been a 12-year process under former coach Rayfield M. Beaton and current coach LaShinda Demus. Beaton set the table and Demus served the main course. This weekend the Lady Centaurs hope to continue their rise to the top when they compete in the Masters Meet also at Moorpark high school. The Masters meet determines which athletes will advance to State Meet on May 26 and 27. On the boys’ side Culver City’s high hurdler specialist Kaiden Whitt will also try to advance to the State Meet.
The girls that helped the Centaurs score the 62 points were seniors Imaan Minwalla, Sanaa Belleard, junior Morgan Maddox, sophomore Joelle Trepagnier and freshman Leena Powell. The boys scored 16 points, which was good enough for 11th place.
Trepagnier placed first in the 200 with a time of 24.07, first in the 400 at 54.54 and she ran on both of the winning 4×400 (3:44.70) and 4×100 (47.26) relay teams. Maddox placed second in the 200 at 24.20 and second in the 400 with a time of 55.45. She also ran on both winning relay teams. Minwalla ran on the winning 4×400 meter relay team and Sanaa Belleard was part of the winning 4×100 relay team. Although the 4×100 team won CIF Division 2 they missed qualifying for the
Masters meet by one place. Only the top nine finishers out of the four divisions advanced to the Masters.
Coaching the girls this year is first year coach Demus. Demus is the California State record holder in the 300 hurdles and she is a former decorated World class Olympic track star. She is also a former Culver City Middle School student.
Demus is excited about giving back to the Culver City community and she likes the deep athletic talent at Culver City high school. “It’s a lot of fun coaching good talent,” said Demus last Tuesday. “Having the opportunity to coach these girls and boys is really fun. I am super competitive so that makes it even better. It’s been a good first year for me. It’s natural for me to be competitive. Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to be the fastest kid on the block.”
Now she is teaching the track student athletes at Culver City how to reach their full potential on the track. “I don’t expect anything less,” said Demus, who is very serious when she talks about coaching. “This is what it is supposed to be like. I want the same things for my athletes that I was able to accomplish.”