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WEEKLY ATHLETICS RECAP

Chabot Track stars set for Norcals

Conner Mckinnon, Jaskaran "Jazz" Singh and Leroy Elliott all figure to play prominent roles on their home turf when Chabot hosts the CCCAA Northern Regional Track and Field Trials and Finals on Friday and May 14. 

The three runners, each with unique backgrounds, looked fit and ready to go before Monday's practice – on a sun-splashed May afternoon at Gladiator Stadium. 

Mckinnon, a freshman out of Amador Valley High, is ranked ninth in the country and fourth in the state in the men's 800 meters in the JC Track and Field Top 10, with a best of 1 minute, 52.32 seconds.  

Elliott, a tremendous all-around athlete from West Anchorage High-Alaska, is tied for 10th in the country and third in the state in the 110 hurdles, with a best of 14.55.  

Singh, a 2011 Kennedy-Fremont graduate, is enjoying a stirring comeback season, two years after suffering three cracked vertebrae in a motorcycle accident. He ran another PR of 10.76 to finish second at the Coast Conference meet. 

Indeed, Elliott, Mckinnon and Singh all seem like fast-moving advertisements for head coach Kyle Robinson's program.

 Elliott also credits assistants Ken Grace and Jerry Craft with playing key roles. 

"They're like really good head coaches," said Elliott, who wants to win a state championship in the 110 hurdles after finishing third last year.  "My first year coming here I was going to be a decathlete, and coach Grace showed me a bunch of techniques for certain events. Coach Kyle has always been helping me, not only in the sports aspect but also in life as well. If I was ever hungry or needed a ride, he would help me out a little bit." 

Chabot's gift from Alaska

With a goal of playing in the NFL, Elliott will play wide receiver for Chabot in the fall.  

During a brilliant senior year in high school, he won Alaska state titles in the 110-meter hurdles, 300 hurdles and the triple jump, after earning state championships in wrestling and football. He was Gatorade Player of the Year in football. 

"It was a really good year," the muscular Elliott recalled. "That's what kind of pushed me to come out here and be excited for this competition (in California). I knew if I could do well in Alaska, I could come out here and have competition with other, greater athletes. … I feel like a small fish in a big pond now. I like that. I want to work my way up to the top." 

Singh's great comeback

Singh's life course turned on a dime when he was riding on motorcycles with his friends on Highway 1 near Palo Alto two years ago. After a deer cut off his path, he swerved, caught some gravel and was thrown into a ditch. 

The bike was totaled, and his body was damaged too. 

"Luckily, I didn't feel anything there," he recalled of the crash scene. "I carried my bike; picked it up back to the highway. Called my cousins. We picked my bike back up, went to his house, and that's when I figured out, 'Dude, I can't breathe.' They took me to the hospital, where I found out I had three cracked vertebrae. I shouldn't be walking around or running at all." 

After having surgery in November 2014, Sing was on the shelf for six months and forced to redshirt last season.

So Singh, 23, who ran as a Chabot freshman in 2014, is giving it one more go. Considering what he's been through, it's not surprising that he really appreciates the journey this spring. 

"I do. I really do," he says. "It's great to be here, especially since I've done this for my whole life. Coming back and finishing strong, it's just a great feeling." 

Mckinnon on record pace

The Gladiators consider themselves blessed to have two 800 runners of the caliber of Mckinnon, who finished third in the state as a high school senior, and Rhomel Clarke, who is ranked 11th in the country (1:53.14). It's almost like having a WWE two-lap tag team. 

Mckinnon took first place in the Chico Twilight Invitational with a 1:52.32, and Clarke's time was less than a second slower. 

"It's almost like every 800 we run, I'm a second right there in front of him, but he's right there with me," Mckinnon said of Clarke. "I think we're both probably both going to run some pretty good times (at NorCals). I know we're both more focused on state. NorCal is pretty packed this year." 

Mckinnon enlisted in the marines after high school, but things didn't work out, so he returned after a year away. He had no interest in running at a community college initially, but things are unfolding beautifully for him at Chabot.  

His marks have steadily improved. 

"They have," he said. "I started at 1:54, which was my opening time this year, and I haven't really run a competitive 800 since the Chico Twilight Invite. … So I'm looking to run pretty good next week."

Indeed, the Gladiators will have storylines aplenty at the NorCal meet, which will be followed by the CCCAA State Championship in San Diego on May 20-21. Jason Intravaia, a San Ramon Valley graduate, has a best of 4:03.03 in the 1,500, and the Chabot men's relays are formidable.

 


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    Phone: (510) 723-6600 | Last updated on 5/4/2016