LAKE FOREST: It’s been a long time since King had an athlete qualify for the D1 CIF Finals in more than one event, but Freshman Raykiyat Olukoju did just that on Saturday competing in the CIF Prelims of track and field at Trabuco Hills High School. She will be one of a number of King athletes who punched their ticket to the finals.
The meet got of exceedingly well when both 4×100 relay teams — which are the first events held in the meet — qualified by winning their heats. For the girls that squad included Ray, Sheredyn Pfeiffer, Jade Roberts and Kayla Seldon while the boys were running a “B team” of Kai Sana, Nick Beam, Isac Meza and Ray Cota. Missing from the squad was their normal back-stretch man, Reyte Rash who was held out as a precaution due to a strained groin.
Rash’s injury didn’t seem to hamper his efforts in his main events, both hurdle races, where he qualified in both. It is unknown as of today whether Rash will compete in the relay at Finals.
Pfeiffer was also a qualifier in the long jump where a 17-8.5 was good enough for fifth on the day. Ray would come back to qualify in both the 100 and 200.
Ray’s historic “triple” has few precedents. Orlisha Henlon did it for King twice, back in 2002 and 2003 qualifying in the high jump, the 100 and the relay in ’02 while switching out the relay for the 200 in ’03. Tayler Fleming advanced in both hurdle races and the 4×400 back in 2012.
Nick Beam was 10th in the 100 meters and will head to Finals with a shot at the race as the first alternate.
The exceptionally competitive Division 1 of the Southern Section has a way of filtering out most, and historically, it’s done that for King. But for Ray and for a good group of her teammates on Saturday, they were able to navigate through that crowd and will now move on to the CIF D1 Finals, to be held this Saturday at El Camino College in Torrance.