Page One

Trio of girls start flood of St. Mary’s track signings

By Jared Green, Daily Planet Staff
Thursday April 11, 2002

Duffy, Johnson and Stokes announce their college plans 


What should be a flood of St. Mary’s High track signings started on Wednesday with three Panthers declaring their college destinations. Bridget Duffy, Tiffany Johnson and Danielle Stokes all signed with Division I programs at a press conference at the school. 

Duffy, who finished fourth in the state in the mile last season, will stay close to home, signing to run both track and cross country with Cal. Johnson signed with Maryland, while Stokes reaffirmed her commitment to Cal State Northridge. 

The trio, who collectively hold 14 school track records, are among six Panthers who will compete for Division I programs next season. 

“We’re very proud of all three of these students, both of they accomplishments in the classroom and on the track,” St. Mary’s Athletic Director Jay Lawson said. “These three girls have been superstars for us in both areas.” 

Duffy, a two-time state cross country champion, had never run competitively until her freshman year at St. Mary’s, when a cross-country coach saw her running laps with the volleyball team. Duffy has gone on to set four school track records. She is currently second in Northern California in the mile and fourth in both the 800-meters and the two-mile. 

Johnson was the North Coast Section champ in the 100-meter dash and triple jump last season, but has come on strong in the long jump of late. She won the event at the Stanford Invitational two weeks ago and finished second at the OAL Invitational this past weekend. 

Stokes, who actually signed her letter of intent at the last minute during the early signing period, is in the top two in both hurdles events in Northern California. Her battles with James Logan’s Talia Stewart in the intermediate hurdles have been electrifying, with each competitior coming out with a close win in recent weeks. Stokes has set school records in both events this season. 

The three runners, along with thrower Kamaiya Warren, have led St. Mary’s to its first North Coast Section girls’ championship, and the Panthers could vie for the state title this season. Not bad for a school that only started admitting girls seven years ago. 

“The class ahead of these girls were the pioneers, but this group has gotten us to the elite level,” Lawson said. “We’ve really arrived with them.” 

Warren, along with Solomon Welch and Chris Dunbar, is expected to sign sometime in the next two weeks. Warren is considering Arizona, Arizona State, Cal and UCLA, while Dunbar is leaning towards UCLA but will visit Arizona State next week. Welch has orally committed to Stanford, but is hoping a solid effort at the Arcadia Invitational this weekend will prompt a better scholarship offer from the Cardinal.