For Mira Costa’s Adam Perez, qualifying for Bay League finals requires mental gymnastics. Though expected to qualify, before the meet Perez said he couldn't take advancing for granted.
“We just want to go out there and take care of business and get everything done,” Perez said. “It’s kind of a tactical (way to think)."
Perez did indeed qualify in the 800 and 1600 meter races for the finals. So did Redondo Union’s Dezhan Bland, who edged out Perez Tuesday for first in those two races.
They will face off again on Friday.
“It’s nerve wracking, but it’s exciting at the same time,” Bland said. “It’s going to be good competition. It’s very serious, and you know it’s going to hurt a lot. But I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to bring out the best in everyone.”
Who won the boys’ Bay League title remains up the air, said Mira Costa Track Coach Bob Fish. As of late Tuesday, Mira Costa, Redondo and Peninsula share the title. However, Peninsula has appealed and Fish expected to know more on Wednesday.
The Mira Costa girls tied for second in Bay League with Palos Verdes, behind Redondo Union.
Among the Costa standout athletes is Ashlee Dotson, the favorite to win the 200 meter title Friday, and J.R. Tavai, the favorite to win the shot-put, Fish said.
Dotson said she has a routine she sticks with, regardless of whether she is preparing for qualifying meets or the finals, beginning with standard warm-ups just like in practice. Then she works on her block starts.
Like Perez, she was conscious Tuesday not to suffer a mental letdown.
“There are some fast girls in my heat, so I have to try my best to make it to finals,” Dotson said.
Dotson finished first in the 200 meters Tuesday with a time of 25.89 seconds. Finishing third with a time of 26.53 was Mira Costa freshman Camille Mills, who also qualified for finals on Friday at Mira Costa. Finals are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.
Editor's Note: Tuesday's results are attached in a PDF.