Beverly Hills High School was established in the autumn of 1927.  The Track & Field athletic program began in the first school year in the spring of 1928, but only consisted of a boys program.  The Beverly track was inaugurated on March 14, 1928 in a meet against Harding High School.  In the first track season of 1928, the boys team finished fifth out of eight schools in the San Fernando Valley League, but came back the next season in 1929 to take first place and the team title behind the “Two Harry’s,” Harry Smith and Harry Wills, with Dick Weaver and Fred Jackman, the stars of the team.  Unlike track, the cross country team wasn’t established until 1930.   In 1930 Beverly was part of the Western League, but no other team in the league even had a cross country team, so Beverly that year competed in non-league meets.  Coach Ferris Webster, a star 880 yard runner for the Los Angeles Athletic Club (LAAC), started the program at Beverly.  As such, it was Beverly that started the Western League schools to form a cross country competition, which began in 1931. So began the road of the more than 80 years of boys’ track and field and cross country at Beverly, with memorable performances and records.


        Not to be ignored are the great athletes and teams of Beverly’s girl’s program.  However, no girls competed per se in track and field in the first 47 years of the school, as the sport was not designated for girl’s competition in the high schools of California or the nation.   Instead, the school for a number of years had an intramural sports program for the girls under Beverly’s G.A.A. (Girls Athletic Association).  With the 1960’s generation calling for radical changes, sprang a strong feminist movement for more equality between the two sexes.  In 1968, girls Coach Mari-Ann Strandwall began the “sponsored” girls program for certain sports, which included girls track, which competed in AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) type competitions, as there was no CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) competition for girls. In the early 1970’s the G.A.A. at Beverly changed to the G.I.A. (Girls Interscholastic Association).  Girls competed in this type forum with very little recognition up until 1973. The movement for equality finally led to the 1972 Title IX Amendment under Federal law that there should be no reverse discrimination among the sexes, which included the need for equal athletic programs for women across the nation, and as such, the girls high school track and field program was implemented statewide in California in 1973, with girls allowed to compete in the CIF Southern Section in 1973 and the CIF State meet in 1974.  From 1973 to 1975 the girls competed against other schools separate and apart from the boys.  By 1976 the girls’ team began competing against other girl’s teams in the same track and cross country meets as the boys.  


        What is included in this website is a compilation of records, statistics and data regarding the athletes and teams of boys and girls track and field and cross-country at Beverly.  This includes where applicable, school records; state, national and international records set by Beverly athletes; all-time lists in each event; athletes who attained All-League, All-CIF Southern Section, All-CIF State, and High School All-American honors.


Over the years Beverly has been in a number of Leagues, including San Fernando Valley, Western, Bay, Sky, Pioneer and Ocean.  It is currently in the Ocean League.  Regionally, Beverly has been part of the Southern Section (formerly known as the Southland Section) of the State of California under the auspices of the CIF (California Interscholastic Federation), which is the largest and most competitive section and comprises nearly one-half of the high schools in the State of California.  In 1935 Beverly in the Western League broke off from the Southern Section to join the newly formed Los Angeles City Section of the CIF, but in 1936 came back to the Southern Section when it joined the Bay League.  Beverly is currently in Division III of the CIF Southern Section.  In track and field top performers qualify from Division III and the other Divisions of the Southern Section to the Section’s Master’s Meet, where the top performers in the entire Section qualify for the CIF State Meet.   In cross-country top 6 teams in each of 4 preliminary meets and top 6 individuals qualify for the Division final, where both teams and individuals qualify for the CIF State Meet.


There have been many changes in track & field at the high school level.  Today there are artificial track surfaces, foam pits for the high jump and pole vault, fiberglass poles and state of the art track shoes.  The days when runners were not allowed to run two events at 800 meters and above (up until 1973), of loose cinder and dirt tracks and runways (even the shot put rings were dirt), sawdust pits for the high jump and pole vault, bamboo poles, heavy wooden hurdles and crude and heavy track shoes are gone. The last State Meet where a dirt track was used was in 1979.  For a long time the English/Imperial standard of yards and miles were utilized for running events, but then in 1980, the running events began the change to the Metric system. The lists in this compilation utilize the standard conversions for event changes and times attained from the English/Imperial to Metric races as noted for each event and designated by a “c.”  In addition, the handheld times, which were used exclusively in the past for running events, have been replaced by fully automatic times (“FAT”) (which the CIF instituted in 1977, but handheld times are still being utilized today in many dual meets, whereas FAT times are utilized in important invitational meets, sometimes at the league prelims and finals and always at CIF meets).  As such, handheld times are not reflected on the all-time lists or records as they have been converted to fully automatic times.  Handheld times for distances up to 400 meters are flagged with an "h" and a time penalty is added.  A handheld time is adjusted upward as follows: 0.24 seconds up to 200 meters and 0.14 seconds for 300 and 400 meters.  This includes hurdle races as well.  A wind-aided performance is marked with a “w.”  Relay times for the 800m and 1600m are recognized and are marked with an “R.” The field events have not been affected as the English/Imperial measurements of feet and inches are still utilized today.  Further, some events, as noted in the lists, no longer exist and have been replaced.  Girl’s events, which were limited in the early years, have steadily added events to mirror the boy’s events.  Traditionally, performances in the past were only considered if achieved in a high school meet for record purposes.  This new compilation now recognizes all performances by Beverly athletes while in high school, even if performed at an open meet or all-comers meet, or against college athletes.  In the 1930’s and 1940’s one of the highlights of the season was the dual meet between Beverly and the UCLA Frosh team.  In the 1960’s-1970’s it was common practice for Beverly athletes to compete in the summer at all-comers meets held at various colleges in Los Angeles County.  Those performances are now recognized in this compilation. 

   

        The CIF Southern Section has also gone through a number of changes over the years.  To understand the CIF listings in this compilation the history of the qualifications are required.  Up to and including 1972, the CIF Southern Section had no separate Divisions.  All schools participated in one CIF sectional competition.  The top 3 in league would advance to the CIF Southern Section Prelims, which were held in two locations with two heats in each running event.  Up until 1947 only the top 8 performers would advance to the Section Finals, where only the top 3 would advance to the State Meet.  After 1947, the top two in the CIF prelims in each of three heats (six from each of 4 locations), plus the top six in each field event from each location, would proceed to the Semi-Finals, where the top 24 in the entire Section in each event would compete, narrowing the field to the top 9 in each running event and top 8 in each field event, that would then proceed to the CIF Southern Section Finals.  By the 1960’s the top 5 in the Finals would then proceed to the State Meet, rather than the top 3 performers.  Beginning in 1973, Divisions were put in place dividing the Southern Section into four (4) divisions, with 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A Divisions, which then was replaced by Divisions I, II, III and IV.  Under the Division system the top finisher in League advances and 2nd and 3rd place advance if they meet a minimum performance standard, as well as at large qualifiers who meet a more rigorous standard.  The Section is divided into four (4) Divisions based on size of school, with each Division having its own Prelims and Finals.  From the four (4) Division Finals combined, the top 9 performances in each event, top 12 in the 800, 1600 and 3,200 meter run, then go to the Masters Meet, which qualifies the top 5 to the State Meet, and at large finishers if they meet the State qualifying standard.  Under the old system the select pre-1947 Qualifiers and the post 1947 Semi-Finals in the Southern Section were the equivalent of making the CIF Division Finals today (even better, as the Qualifiers and Semi-Finals was limited to the top 24 performers in the entire Southern Section, whereas the combined four (4) Division Finals today constitute a minimum of 36 performers).  Today’s Masters Meet is equivalent to what used to be the pre-1973 CIF Southern Section Finals.   


        In addition to the all time lists in each event, Frosh-Soph statistics are separately provided for each event in track and field.  No Junior Varsity statistics are provided as Juniors and Seniors are only eligible for the all-time lists.  Prior to 1973, each school had a Boys Varsity team, “B” team and “C” team.  Roughly speaking the separate Boys “B” and “C” records and performances of the past are now combined into the single Frosh-Soph statistics.  The Girls had a Junior Varsity team (now Frosh-Soph) in addition to Varsity.  Girls Frosh-Soph statistics are provided.  For purposes of Frosh-Soph statistics—boys and girls--- an athlete must be either in the Freshman or Sophomore class to qualify for records or all-time lists. Juniors and Seniors are not eligible for listing on the Frosh-Soph all time list or records, even though they may have competed on the “B,” “C,” or Junior Varsity teams.  However, even if an athlete competes at the Varsity level as a Freshman or Sophomore the performance will be recognized for Frosh-Soph listings.


    One of the unique features of Beverly’s track program is its infamous square track. The track was originally soft dirt, but then in 1999 the track was reconstituted as an artificial track, with the first track meet on the new surface held on March 2, 2000.  However, its’ shape has remained the same throughout the years.  Unlike all other tracks that are oval with two straight-aways, Beverly’s track is rectangular with four straight-aways!  Known affectionately through the years as the “square track,” it has been a conversation piece among high school track athletes in Southern California for decades.


    In cross-country Beverly began cross-country with its home course at nearby Roxbury Memorial Park at 1.7 miles, which then expanded to 1.8 miles.  There was a short period of time in the late 1950s and early 1960s where Beverly had no home course, but then established its home course at Rancho Park in nearby Cheviot Hills.  The course was 2 miles up until 1968.  In 1969 Rancho Park underwent major construction which necessitated a change of course, which resulted in a 2.2 mile course, but toward the end of the season it was shortened to 2.1 miles.  In 1970 to 1976 the course was changed back to 2 miles.  In 1977 the course was lengthened to 3 miles to conform to the new CIF implementation of the 3 mile cross-country competition, except that girls continued to run the 2 mile course up to 1980, and in 1981 began to run the 3 mile course. 


Although Beverly has had a number of distinguished High School All-Americans in track & field (48 in all), we would be remiss not to mention probably the single greatest performance by a Beverly athlete.  In 1938, only eleven years after the formation of the school, Gilbert (“Gil”) LaCava was the State Champion in the high jump.  At the State Meet he leaped 6 feet 7⅛ inches to set a new United States and World High School Record, which stood for 17 years.  His school high jump record of 79 years is the school’s oldest and longest existing school record in any sport at Beverly, and it still hasn’t been broken.


In Cross-Country Beverly has had only two athletes since 1927 who were High School All Americans and ranked in the U.S.    Simon Langer in 1969, 26th in the National Postals on the boys side; and Sydney Segal on the girls side taking 32nd in the National Foot Locker Championship in 2011 and 35th in the Nike Nationals Championships in 2012.


The focus of Beverly athletics has never been just the attainment of great athletic performance, but to also emphasize sportsmanship, character, athletic camaraderie, and scholastic performance in the classroom.  The scholar-athlete is the cornerstone of Beverly athletics, the development of both the mind and body.  That is the reputation that this National Blue Ribbon school builds upon.  We at Beverly are most proud of our athletes who have gone on to the finest universities and have attained great achievements in life.  We hope that the track and field program is merely one-stepping stone, for you the athletes, towards those goals.

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