2015 LEADER BOARD
Thursday, April 30
SCHOOL RECORDS SET IN 2015
100 Meters - Jonathan Essian - 10.84
4x100 Relay - Saadig Jennings, TJ Noland, Jason Gonzalez, Jonathan Essien - 42.42
1600 Meters - Tyler Janes - 4:10.71
110 High Hurdles - Nick Abboud - 14.23
Pole Vault - Marcos Zavaleta - 14' 03"
Pole Vault - Hannah Chang - 12' 00"
Distance Medley Relay - Carlos Ramirez, Jacob Norys, Andrew Boebinger, Tyler Janes 10:19.64
Tuesday, July 21
BOTH SQUADS FINISHED FOURTH IN RIVERSIDE COUNTY FINAL RANKINGS
Both the Boys and the Girls 2015 track teams finished ranked 4th in Riverside County
Boys 1)Vista Murrieta 2) Great Oak 3) Roosevelt 4) King
Girls- 1) Great Oak 2)Vista Murrieta 3) Roosevelt 4) King
Monday, June 8
A PURPOSEFUL DRIVE ENDS IN CLOVIS AT THE CALIFORNIA STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
The California State Championships is a true championship. There are no divisions. No one cares if you came from a little school or a big school. It doesn't matter if your team had 200 or 20. If you're good enough to pass through the rounds of your CIF Section (there are 12 of them across the state) you're deemed good enough to run, jump or throw on the impeccable and impressive stage at Buchanan High School in Clovis. It is a meet for the best and of the best.
Of course the athletes must have talent, but beyond that there must be a drive and a purpose imbedded inside the hearts and minds of those who would make Clovis the final stop on their spring tour. For Hannah Chang and Tyler Janes, two of King's elites of Field and Track who made the trek north this past weekend, it was the culmination of five months of training, pushing and competing with the purpose of having a shot at Clovis in June.
The meet requires all athletes (save the 3200) to qualify for Saturday's finals during preliminary rounds on Friday night. For both Tyler and Hannah, that endeavor alone would require a mettle and a determination to not allow the temptation of "being at State" be enough of a prize to keep them from the Finals.
Tyler was the first to go in the 1600 and despite some butterflies, he managed the pressure well and ran negative splits on all four laps. He deftly moved with the leaders and finished third, inside the top four auto qualifiers, despite having to run the final 300 meters with one shoe missing. At the bell, he had been "flat-tired" by someone and after trying to navigate the penultimate turn with his heel hanging out, he ended up flipping the shoe off and kicking it in with sock and shoe sharing the work.
Hannah had been here before and while she didn't have to vault without a shoe, she did have to remember that in 2014, she wasn't able to move past the preliminaries. The competition here in 2015 was solid and she cleared the first two opening heights of 11-3 and 11-9 on her first attempt before fouling out at 12-3. Some anxious moments ensued following, as the judges determined the cut for Saturday based on attempts and when a big smile creased her face it was clear she had been passed through.
Saturday's finals were quite a show, with the very best of the entire state assembled in one location. A new national record was set and there were five National Best marks recorded on the evening! Tyler Janes' 1600 meters race was the third event of the night and while it started somewhat tactically with a large group clumped together for the first 600 meters, when the break happened after the 800, Tyler was unable to respond to the charge but would hang on admirably for an 8th place finish and a mark of 4:13. It concluded a breakout season for the Junior, as he left his sophomore season with a 4:24 1600 personal best and would by April of this year drop that down to 4:10.71, setting the school record and moving himself into the State's elite milers.
Hannah would struggle in her final, never seeming to really click and after clearing the opening height would foul out on the second increment at 11-9. Her efforts placed her 11th. She will advance onward however to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where she'll continue to reach for new heights in the vault. In her two quick years at King, she set a new school record at 12-0 and helped to continue the legacy of fine vaulting that Coach Roll has established in our school's 16 seasons.
The night ended with fireworks shot up into the darkened night sky over Clovis. Given the accomplishments of the King kids -- not just on this day but thoughout the season, it seemed a fitting way to conclude the season of 2015
Tuesday, June 2
A COUPLE HITS, A COUPLE MISSES AT THE MASTERS MEET
The TRUE Southern Section Championship is the CIF Masters meet, held one week after the four divisional finals are held. The meet puts the top combined finishers of the Divisions against one-another, head to head. The top finishers are therefore truly, the best of the best in the best and most competitive CIF Section in the state. The Masters meet also serves as a qualifying meet for the State Championships. Needless to say, there's a lot on the line at the meet.
King sent its largest ever squad to the meet, with Ryan Laudermilk in the high jump, Tyler Janes in the 1600 meters, Nick Abboud in the 110 hurdles and Hannah Chang in the pole vault. Only Hannah had prior experience on this stage, having earned a Masters Meet berth in 2014.
Hannah would make the most of her second opportunity at the meet and after passing on the first height, cleared the State-meet qualifying mark of 11-7 on her first attempt. She wouldn't clear the next height at 12-1, but the earlier clearance was enough to punch her ticket for State. Tyler Janes was the next King athlete to compete and he ran a brilliant race, matching the tactical pace and making a definitive move in the last 400 -- which he covered in 60 seconds flat -- to finish third and also move on to the State meet.
Nick Abboud and Ryan Laudermilk had less fortunate outcomes. Nick had a start of his 110 hurdle race that left him in catch up mode from the first hurdle on, and though he made a valient effort, he ended up one place and 2-10ths of a second off the qualifying. Ryan Laudermilk cleared 6-3 quickly, but had difficulty at 6-6 and fouled out, one inch below the cut off.
Nick will be headed to UCR to continue his track and field accomplishments, following his successful older sister, Noelle. Ryan is only a junior and is likely headed to even greater heights in his senior year, now that he's gained invaluable experience. Tyler and Hannah will add one more week to their season, as they'll travel to Clovis in the coming weekend to compete Friday night in the State preliminaries with the goal of competing on the biggest stage of them all, the California State Finals to be held Saturday night.
Thursday, April 30
ZAVALETA FLIES, TEAMS CRUISE THROUGH LAST DUAL
After the fireworks against Roosevelt one week ago, the last Big 8 dual meet of the season against Corona High was anti-climactic at best. Both squads, seemed resigned to let the meet unwind with a predictable finish and get on to the League Finals next week in which "team competition" is sidelined in favor of "individual efforts" for the sake of event titles and CIF qualification.
If only Marcos Zavaleta had been informed, for on a day in which the vast majority of athletes for both the Panthers and the Wolves put out "just enough", Zavaleta unleashed his best pole vault ever ... in fact the best vault ever in King history.
The record had been at 14-0, held by Will Foody and was in it's third year atop the list. Marcos, who has been hovering around the 13-6 mark for most of the year, cleared the bar which had been set at 14-1 to put himself atop the all-time list of King vaulters, which has had impressive results for our entire history. Perhaps just as significantly, of the hundreds of vaulters that have landed jumps at the King stadium, NONE has gone higher. Zavaleta is King of the King vault.
Jacob Norys was the other lone King athlete who had a seasonal best on the day, running 51.1 in the 400 and helping to lead King to a victory that once again gapped their opponents by some 70 points.
The girls had an equally easy time of it, winning almost every event except for Corona's top sprinter who snagged some points in the dashes. The final score saw the King girls win 107-29. The boys won 103-33.
Next week the teams head to Centennial HS for the Big 8 League Prelims and Finals. There, doing "just enough" will not be enough. If anyone needs a refresher course on how to go big, they might want to talk to Marcos Zavaleta.
Sunday, May 24
CIF FINALS BRINGS END OF THE ROAD FOR SOME, NOT FOR OTHERS
With several thousand spectators in the stands at Cerritos College and all four divisions of the powerhouse CIF Southern Section competing on the track and field, the CIF Southern Section Finals is one of the biggest and most competitive meets in the entire country. Earning the right to compete in the meet is a very high accomplishment ... to do well once there is even more so.
For many, the Finals is exactly that, their final race of the season. But for a select few, the Finals isn't the end of the road but rather becomes a stepping stone to even greater heights ... a spot at the Masters meet in one week and from there, a potential spot in the State Finals two weeks hence.
King sent its largest squad in our history to the CIF Finals, with 16 athletes under the King uniform on the day. By the end of the afternoon, the Wolves had earned four All-CIF honors, set two new school records and earned four spots in next weekend's even more prestigious CIF Masters meet. While 12 of the 16 would see their season completed, it wasn't without great effort and competitive spirit.
Hannah Chang was the last of the competitors for King to finish on the day and she did so in such a way that it seemed we saved the best for last. The pole vault runner up in 2014 at 11-9, she needed to pull out an even bigger performance this year to finish in the same spot, which she did. She was the first in Division 1 to clear 11-6, but her nearest rival, Clair Kao, matched the leap. Both then moved to 12-0, which Kao cleared on her first attempt. Hannah would take two tries to make the height which put her in second place, CIF Runner-up for the second straight year. But she improved her own school record and punched her ticket to Masters.
The Masters meet is a truly "masters-level" event, and athletes must finish at the Finals in the top 9 (12 for the distance events) of all four Divisions combined, a tough feat in that the divisions do not compete head-to-head. Athletes can therefore be excused of doing a little "scoreboard watching" as they plot their chances. Tyler Janes was masterful in the 1600. In an absolutely loaded field and against other divisional races that were equally talented, a "go for broke" strategy was in order to not only finish high in his race, but defend against the fast guys in the other three races. Opening with a 62 second first lap and followed up with a couple of 63's, the race was on in the final lap which he closed at 62 to finish 6th in 4:10.71. His own school record dropped by a full second and the effort proved necessary as the results showed that 4:12 was "too slow" to make the Masters meet here in 2015!
Ryan Laudermilk soared into the next round with a high-flying act in the high jump. He cleared 6-5 on his first attempt which sealed the deal but couldn't get over 6-7. Still, he finished third in the division and will leap again next weekend. The final "Master" for King was Nick Abboud who has been masterful all year in the 110 high hurdles. A slow start put him behind by the first flight, but his powerful form gained him precious ground and he wound up in 3rd with a near SR of 14.24; just 1/1000th off his best ever.
The rest of the King contingent performed well at Finals, and the name of the meet became the descriptor of their season despite strong efforts. The 4x100 team of Tia Parrish, Sydney Reid, Larissa Cessena and Khaysa Cunningham ran the #3 time in school history and finished 8th. Freshman Sydney Reid, inspired by the moment, told Tia, "We'll be back next year!" The boys team of Jason Gonzalez, Jonathan Essien, TJ Noland and Saadig Jennings had a bobble in one of the exchanges and finished 9th, a second off their best time. Madison McPeak cleared 10-0 in the vault -- a good performance. Freshman Sarah Ann Frank who has improved mightily this season also finished 9th in her race but threw down a PR of 15.58, the #3 time in school history!
So the 2015 season came to a close, sort of. Well it did for many of the best of King's 2015 squad, and though that comes with some disappointment, the fact they made it to this "Final" is nothing to hang one's head low over. For four others, their "final" is still somewhere out there in the next two weeks. Should they master the nerves and competition one more time, they can be assured their final day will come in Fresno.
Monday, May 18
A BIG DAY FOR KING AT D-1 PRELIMS
Division 1 of the Southern Section is packed with big schools full of big talent. Just getting into the preliminary round is an accomplishment in and of itself. Punching one's ticket to the Final, well, that's a big deal.
King had a big day getting athletes into that "big deal" and it happened seemingly in a flourish as the both 4x100 relay team -- the first running event of the day -- got through the five heats of teams with a top-9 clocking. On the third exchange of the boys race, the outcome looked doubtful as Jonathan Essien took the stick in fifth place. He powered down the straight and overtook all the others and leaned for a heat win by 1/1000th of a second over Great Oak. They set a school record in the event, breaking the old mark from six seasons ago at 42.42.
Tyler Janes was the next to get through, racing the 1600 superbly in 4:13 and cruising to a third place finish in his, the fastest of the 3 heats on the day. Andrew Boebinger raced well in the 800, matching his lifetime best at 1:55, but will have to await a spot on the line next Saturday in Cerritos, as he goes into Finals as an official alternate.
Nick Abboud sits as one of the top-ranked 110 hurdlers in the whole state, and it showed as he seemed to glide over the hurdles and won his event to take an automatic spot. Sarah Ann Frank, who as a freshman has yet to scale the heights of state rankings, didn't allow that to keep her from racing as a seasoned veteran and qualified in the 100 hurdles as well. While she didn't qualify for Finals, the freshman Ashley Chruszcz ran 59.60 for a PR and the KAT#5 mark.
King had a field day in the vault. Hannah Chang took the top spot out of prelims and seeming cruised into the Finals. It was teammate Madison McPeak who had to sweat a bit, as she entered a jump off with an opponent for the last ticket. They both missed on the first attempt, but after one more miss the spot was hers and King will send two vaulters to Finals for the first time in our history.
Ryan Laudermilk concluded the contingent of qualifiers for King as he again cleared his personal best in the high jump at 6-6. He's set up to be a potential scorer and medalist in the Finals if he can clear that height again.
Among the biggest schools in Southern California, the biggest school in Riverside had a big day. Time will tell if they will take that same big spirit of possibilty onto the even bigger stage of the CIF Finals.
Friday, May 8
BIG 8 GIVES KING A BIG NIGHT TO CELEBRATE
With a raspy voice that masked his enthusiasm, Coach Corona stood before the athletes assembled in the stands at the end of the Big 8 League champioships and said, "Coach Peters, myself, and Coach Jones have been here for 16 years and I can't remember having a better night than we did tonight. I asked you to remember who you are, who came before you, and you did just that."
The deep sense of satisfaction that comes from a season of hard work and pushing toward class, character and courage was as much on display throughout the meet as it was in the voices of those athletes at the end of the meet as they basked in the glow of what had just transpired.
It was indeed, a big night for King.
There were two new school records set on the night, both by young men who already owned the mark but nudged them a bit with outstanding efforts. Marcos Zavaleta took his 14-01 vault up to 14-3, to win the individual title by 9 inches! Jonathan Essien, who blasted out of the blocks in the 100 in Tuesday's preliminaries, got off to a shaky start in the Final, but came roaring back over the last 50 to move four places and steal the victory while dropping his own SR to 10.84, down from 10.95 set just 48 hours earlier.
There were many, many personal records (PR) on the night and some outstanding performances.
In the field, Hannah Chang won two events, the high jump and the pole vault. In the vault she led a King sweep as Alexis Boonkukoa and Madison McPeak took 2nd and 3rd. Ryan Laudermilk cleared 6-6 in the high jump to win and also notch his name as the #2 all time leaper at King, only Michael Albrecht has gone higher at 6-8. Destinee Underwood had a sweet PR in the long jump landing 17 feet from the board (KAT #3), but unfortunately finished 4th overall and missed a CIF bid. (CIF berths go to the top 3 in each event). She'd triple jump 34' 8.75" as well, finishing 5th.
The distance runners performed exceptionally well, led by Jessica Ferguson's huge PR in the 800 and spot on the CIF squad. Last season, Jessica was third in the JV 800, but reversed that story by not only placing third in the VARSITY race, but dropping her season PR from 2:25 down to 2:21.15, the #7 time in school history. Her PR in 2014 was 2:35! This girl is figuring it out! Tyler Janes and Andrew Boebinger both punched their tickets to CIF in the 1600 and 800 respectively, finishing second place to Corona senior, Josh Silva who out-kicked both of them in the two races. Emily Sanchez ran a strong tactical race in the 1600 and took 3rd in 5:11.98, while Kathryn Hammar who finished 5th ran the race of her life to finish in 5:21.42, a big lifetime best. In the boys 3200, while the top three spots separated themselves from King runners by lap six, a pack of Wolves ran very well. Daniel Gonzalez finished 4th, while Michael Robinson dropped a 12 second PR to finish at 9:47, one second behind Rolando Phalen who finished with a PR at 9:46. Seth Villanueva finished his career also dipping under 10:00. In the girls' race, Alyssa Haring took 2nd and Emily Sanchez doubled back to finish in 4th.
Led by Jonathan Essien's electrifying win in the 100, the sprinters and hurdlers had quite a night. Freshman Sydney Reid didn't allow her inexperience keep her from dancing on the big stage as she won the 200 meters in 25.16, the King AT #4 mark. She was the 5th seed in the race! This came after the dasher finished 3rd in the 100 with the King AT#3 mark of 12.16! Astounding performances.
Khasya Cunningham had a huge half-lap effort to take third in 25.38, matching her lifetime PR and passing through to CIF Nick Abboud did his usually powerful hurdling act in the 110 highs, winning in a near SR of 14.26. For good measure he doubled back in the 300's and took second. Sarah Ann Frank continued her amazing freshman campaign taking 3rd in the 100 hurdles with mark at 15.77, good for KAT#3. She finished 5th in the 300's behind senior teammate Leighana Weaver who crossed the line in 4th. Mohsin Sabrin closed nicely in the 400 meters to take third in a lifetime PR of 50.36 (KAT #3).Ashley Chruszcz (pronounced "crush") and MaryJane Smith took 2-3 in their 400 race and also got into the CIF rounds.
At the end of the afternoon as darkness descended, the mile relays saw great efforts. Both JV squads won, and then the varsities put on a show for the crowd and teammates alike. With Roosevelt's boys and girls squads well in command of both races, the battle was for second and King and Corona did some great back-and-forth dueling before it was finally decided. Chruszcz took the stick as anchor and paced her attack on 2nd place, perfectly timing the pass in the closing 30 meters of the race. Sabrin did likewise, while making his move a bit earlier and taking it home in 3:23.70, the season's #2 time.
16 years hold the history of a lot of track meets, many of them under the banner of King High have been storied and excellent. But there was something about this one that made it stand out and had athletes, coaches and fans of the team buzzing with excitement. The Big 8 has a way of doing that, and once again offered King Track and Field a big night to celebrate.
Monday, April 27
FROSH-SOPH TEAMS FINISH SECOND AT IE CHAMPIONSHIPS
With many of the upper classmen at the 2015 Prom, the IE Championships gave the frosh-soph squads a chance to shine -- this despite the cold, overcast and raining weather. Both the boys and the girls came away with second place finishes against many of the best programs in the Inland Empire.
The conditions were decidely not conducive to fast sprinting as it was cold and blustery all day. That didn't stop Sydney Reid from exelling in the dashes, as she finished second in the 100 and helped the 4x100 relay squad to a victory. Sarah Ann Frank had two very solid races in the hurdles finishing 3rd in both. The girls 4x400 team was also victorious. Kathryn Hammar PR'd in the 1600 at 5:28 to finish in 6th, scoring on the day.
On the boys' side, Carson Walder ran well in the 100 and 200, finishing in 6th place overall in both events. Dillon Lay and Josh Fisher went 1-2 in the 110 high hurdles, and then came back in the 300's to run 1-4 respectively. Both relays scored in the points with the shorter coming in second overall. Andrew Wilde was the winner of the pole vault at 10-06. Both teams came up just short of the host, Vista Murrieta in the scoring.
The fewer varsity-level athletes that were there did well. Nick Abboud lowered his school record in the 110 high hurdles, winning at 14.23. Michael Robinson was a heat-winner with a very solid 4:31 in the 1600, right at his lifetime best. Marcos Zavaleta and Daniel Mukasa were flying high in the pole vault; Zavaleta for the win and Mukasa in third. Hannah Chang won the vault as well, making that event a clean sweep for King. Alyssa Haring was sixth overall in the 3200 with a nice PR at 11:28.
Thursday, April 23
BEST MEET OF THE YEAR SEES KING COME UP SHORT
There are times when winning leaves a sour taste in ones mouth. Perhaps its a result of poor performances over poor opponents; perhaps it's that the attitude in winning wasn't right. Either way, at times, winning isn't always accompanied by great joy.
While no one likes losing, defeat can sometimes elicit praise and commendation; and against the very strong Roosevelt Mustangs yesterday, King's two losses left the coaches with nothing but praise for how well the King kids competed, battled and never gave up. After a season of lop-sided victories in King's favor, this meet was anything but that and saw the Wolves do great work against a great team, making the final scores seem insignificant in light of the terrific competition that was waged.
For the boys varsity, the meet literally came down to the last event, the 4x400 meter relay. Roosevelt, who boasts one of the fastest foursomes in the state was pushed for all four laps by four King guys that refused to budge. Nick Abboud moved up from his hurdle races to get some skin in the game. He handed to Andrew Boebinger who gave to Jacob Norys who unleashed a furious third leg and actually pulled the team even with 500 meters to go. With Mosin Sabrin on anchor, the team ran within 100th of a second of the school record, finishing at 3:21.94!
The Roosevelt win gave them a 73-63 victory. But they had to earn it. In the penultimate track race, the 3200 meters, prognosticators had King going 1 to Roosevelt's 2nd and 3rd. Daniel Gonzalez didn't get the memo. Trailing in fourth place by some 20 meters at the bell, Daniel unleashed a kick that had the crowd on their feet. It took him :60 flat to circle the 8th lap and in so doing he moved not only into third, but ultimately to 2nd behind teammate Tyler Janes. Janes clocked 9:21.07 which set a stadium record, while Daniel dropped 10 seconds on his PR to finish in 9:25. The two guys now hold the 2nd and 3rd fastest marks in school history! King had four guys break 10:00 in the race, with Rolando Phalen and Kyle Johnson both dipping below the barrier.
It was that kind of effort that King showed the entire meet, allowing the final decision to come down to the relay. The first relay, the 4x100 saw a King "loss" but the boys raced to the King #2 mark all time. Jonathan Essien was part of that relay squad and it was an omen of good things to come for the sprinter as he'd "upset" the highly touted sprint corp of Roosevelt by winning the 100 meter dash with a PR of 11.18! Norys and Sabrin snagged a 2nd and 3rd in the 400 (again, an unexpected "victory") and then the next event saw Boebinger win the 800 while Rolando Phalen ran the race of his life to steal a third place in that event, timed at 2:01. Suddenly those three "upsets" had King in the game and required a redoubling of effort by the 'Stangs to regain their superiority.
"Superior" was the word to describe Roosevelt's David Potts who rulled the rings, and set a stadium record in the discus, tossing it 169' 01". King managed to take 2nd and 3rd in the shot and discus respectively, with Montiel Johnson throwing a PR in the shot put. Deylland Holland triple jumped a lifetime best of 43' 6.25", #5 all time for King. Ryan Laudermilk cleared 6-4 in the high jump, tying the stadium record while earning the win.
The girls lost by 30 points, but like the boys, it wasn't for lack of effort. Sadly many of those marks were shadowed by the strength of Roosevelt. King had two girls dip under 60 seconds in the 400, but it wasn't good enough to even score and were eclipsed by the stadium record setting run of 55.83 by Taylor Smith. Kahysa Cunningham ran within 100th's of a new PR in the 200, but was out of the scoring. Sarah Ann Frank ran a HUGE 100 meters to finish second and at 16.27, she now owns the #5 mark in school history; no small feat for the 9th grade considering the long history of fine hurdling at King. Jackae Yarbrough was a double-winner in the throws.
While the scores reveal the first losses of the season for the King teams and with it a chance at taking league titles, the meet was, without question, the most exciting and well-contested effort of the year. By that measure, the day ended with a win.
Sunday, April 19
MT.SAC GIVES A FEW A BIG MEET EXPERIENCE, JANES RUNS SCHOOL RECORD
A smattering of King's top athletes were entered in the Mt.SAC Relays with the intent of pursuing and gaining some high quality competition. They found what they were looking for and excelled in their events.
On Friday afternoon, the 4x800 squad of Dalton Seckinger, Jacob Norys, Rolando Phalen and Andrew Boebinger raced really well and came with .06 seconds of setting a new school record, one in which Seckinger and Norys are already part of. 30 minutes later, Tyler Janes took to the track in the invitational mile and ran another gutty performance, finishing 4th overall and nudging his own PR down a few hundreths, and like the relay team before him, Tyler just missed the school record in the event by .1 second! The oddity, but nice treat as well, was the meet management had a camera at the 1600 meters (the mile is 1609 meters) and as he crossed that line, he stopped the clock at 4:11.80 which is the school record for that distance!) Daniel Mukasa and Madison McPeak competed in the pole vault and missed setting PR's but still got big-meet experience.
Saturday saw two leapers compete well. Ryan Laudermilk finished second in the high jump, matching his personal best at 6-4. Later, vaulter Hannah Chang cleared 11-6 to finish fourth. Andrew Boebinger was placed in a very crowded 800 meter race where 19 athletes took the line. The traffic and tight pack did it's thing, at 380 meters in the race, AJ almost hit the track and had to recover to run 2:00.
Under the lights, King's boys put together two squads of milers for the 4x1600 meter relay. The A team of Rolando Phalen, Carlos Ramirez, Daniel Gonzalez and Michael Robinson finished third, with a very solid 17:59 performance. Though relay splits don't "count" as official records, Phalen still ran well under his best-ever at 4:26, while the other three were very close to their all-time open marks. The B team of Mark Werley, Seth Villanueva, Isaiah Quiambao and Kyle Johnson were entered in the "open" heat of the race and eam guy performed well, closing out a nice day of King efforts at Mt.SAC.
Sunday, April 19
FIRE ON AND OFF THE TRACK MARK THE 2015 RAINCROSS TRADITION
The Raincross Tradition is a celebration to the rich track history of Riverside and the event itself which began in 1970. There were the 5 timers/coaches from the original event that where present to time The Earl Marshall Mile named after the meet's founder.
There was the naming of the various events after Riverside Olympians and international competitors. the Riverside Sports Hall of Fame was present with Riverside athletic royalty like Poly great Art Gilmore handing out medals to the athletes and then, of course, 1964 Olympic hurdler Rosie Bonds and sister of major leaguer Bobbie Bonds, was present not just to hand out medals but to offer her advice, her encouragement and her opinions.
That history can now include the fact that the 2015 edition of the meet was cut short by a fire in the Corona area that deposited its smoke and ash unto the King High stadium as the meet entered into the early evening. In deference to the health of the athletes and spectators, meet management decided to suspend the remaining three events, the 200; 3200 and the 4 X 400 relays and send everybody home.
Before that occurred however, the track and the field were afire with great performances; solid efforts and competitive greatness, led by the King High Wolves. King dominated several events while numerous other school's claimed their share of city championships in this, the sixth re-running of an event which had disappeared for some 18 yearsl; Leading the way for the Wolves was the boys and girls hurdle groups. The boys swept the first four places of the boys 110 hurdles (Nick Abboud-Ryan Moussad, Dillion Lay, Josh Fisher) while the girl's had Leighanna Weaver win the 100 hurdles followed by Sarah Ann Frank in second and Karla Lemus in fourth. The same group did virtually the same in the 300 hurdles except senior Jennifer Gutierrez nabbed third place. Both the boys and girls 4 X 100 teams defended thier championships from a year ago. Tia Parrish won the girls 100 in a wind aided 12.23 followed by Khaysa Cunningham in second at 12.5. PR's for both . Jonathan Essien won the boys 100 in 11.28 followed by Jason Gonzales in second and Saadig Jennings in third. Emily Sanchez won the top spot in the girls Mile and also picked up a third in he 800. Jesscia Ferguson finsihed 4th in the 800 with a solid- 2:25. Sissy Underwood won the long jump in her second best jump of the season at 16-0 and the aforementioned Leighana Weaver won the triple jump in a PR 34-5, giving her three championships for the evening. Devin Moeller on the long jump at 20-6 edging out teamate Deylnn Holland by an inch.
Alexys Boonkukoa in the vault and Jackae Yarbrough i the discus also were city champs. Other schools in the meet had their share of city champions Poly dominated the field events as both high jumpers-Abigail Burke won at 5-0 and Ricky Adams took top honors at 6-2. Dakoata Ramsey improved almost 3 feet from his entry mark to win the boys shot put by two feet over King's Montel Johnson at 47-5. Jeff Robbins soared to 13-6 defeating Marcos Zavalata of King in a spirited battle at 14-3. The Bear's Kalea Ibarra and Christina Winn went 1-2 in the 800. Michael Conant of Woodcrest Christian and teamate Justin Reynolds "ran with the big boys" and aquitted themsevles well runnng 4:31.6 and 4:34 respectively. Conant won the city championship with this effort. Sandwiched in between those two was Erick Jaurez of Norter Vista and he came back to win the 800 in 1:59.89. Farrah Bassey of Hillcrest ran an impressive 59.58 in the 400, holding off the late charges of King's Maryjane Smith (59.93) and Ashley Chruszcz (1:00.25). Tevin Bennett of Moreno Valley won the boys 400 in 50.76. Daniel Rodriguez was the winner in the discus at 131-1
Small Schools champions included the CSDR boys 4 X 100; Woodcrest;s Lindsey Schwartz i the 800 and the mile. Her teamate Owen Milligan got the victory in the mile at 5:10. Jason Pena was a double winner for Sherman Indian in both hurdles. Jayda Gainer of Woodcrest was the girls SS 100 winner and later added the long jump title to her resume. Vicente Perez of Notre Dame won the boys 800. Double winner in the throws for CSDR was Revelin Young
Saturday, April 11
ARCADIA INVITATIONAL PULLS KING KIDS TO HIGHER LEVELS
With 28 states and four nations represented at the annual Arcadia Invitational, it goes without saying that the stage upon which the competition was waged was a big one. High quality entry standards filter in only those who have earned the right to compete. For King, we had one of our largest groups over both field and track compete and almost to a person, they allowed the big platform and national-quality athletes pull them to higher levels.
On the Friday portion of the meet, Ryan Laudermilk and the boys shuttle hurdle teams came home with victories! Laudermilk tied his personal best in the high jump at 6-4, and in so doing earned an invitation to return on Saturday to compete in the elite "night meet" in which the very best athletes are entered in all events. Quite a leap ... from a win on Friday right on into the highest ranks of Saturday!
For the third time in our history, a boys shuttle hurdle team captured an Arcadia victory. Coach Bracey's boys were the dominant team in the "invitational heat" of the event in which four athletes go back and forth over 110 meters and 10 flights of hurdles. Their time of 1:01.64 was just two-tenths off the school record!
The girls 4x800 team was made up of four girls -- from ninth grader Allison Janes, to juniors Hannah Johnson and Jessica Ferguson, to Senior Emily Sanchez -- who were all "rookies" to the Arcadia stage. They raced with poise and performed well. The boys 4x1600 team finished off the night with individually mixed results, but was highlighted by Andrew Boebinger's opening leg in which he moved his personal best over the distance from 4:35 down to a very sweet 4:22!
On Saturday, the competition continued to do it's trick. Tia Parrish, racing in the 100 meter dash, improved on her best-ever, running 12.31, still the #4 time in school history. Andrew Boebinger came back for more after his Friday night heroics and ran a super 800 meter open, dropping his PR by over 1 second to finish at 1:55.55 and pull that school record he desires a bit closer to ownership. Nick Abboud improved in the 110 high hurdles, finishing 4th in the "seeded" heat. Leighana Weaver had a season-best mark in the 300 meter version of the event. The boys 4x100 squad of Saadiq Jennings, TJ Noland, Jason Gonzalez and Jonathon Essian ran the school's second-fastest mark in our 16 year histor, finishing at 42.99.
The final highlight fittingly came at the end of the two long days that make the meet special, putting an exclamation mark on the Arcadia sentence. In the Invitational Distance Medley, (1200 meters, 400, 800, and 1600) the boys team firmly had the existing school record (10:26.95 set in 2012) in their sights and were going to use the big stage and loaded field of teams to pull them to that goal. Carlos Ramirez opened it with a bit of redemption to prove after a sub-par leg in the 4x1600 the night before and got the stick to Jacob Norys with a very good 3:13.52 for three laps. (each split was auto-timed by episports.com, a nice feature of Arcadia!) Norys circled the oval in 50.95 and gave it to Boebinger who was 8 hours removed from his stellar 800 and ran 2:01.37. Tyler Janes was the anchor and is enjoying a breakout season and showed why as he picked up four places and finished the team in 8th place with a remarkable 4:13.85 carry! It was the second fastest anchor of the 28 teams in the race, second only to the 4:10 put down by the event winner Dana Hills. Wow! The time read 10:19.64, dropping the record by seven seconds and into a lofty realm ... it was announced that the mark was the 9th fastest mark in the country this season. With fellow Big 8 school Corona HS just in front of them at 10:13, King's mark is now the 11th fastest time in Riverside County history!
What a couple of days it was! In a meet where half the nation shows up to compete, King represented itself well and almost to a person, went home at a higher level than the one they arrived with.
Sunday, April 12
SOUTHLAND INVITE PROVES TO BE JUST AS SUCCESSFUL AS ARCADIA
While part of the King track team was showing well at the Arcadia Invite--another group of Wolves headed off to Hemet High School for the 44th running of the Southland Invitatonal. Under beautiful blue skies and mild temperatures, it made for a good day to compete. King was one of 20 teams to take part and thier mixture of varisty veterans and youngsters from the JV team did an admirable job. When the dust settled, the girls had finished 6th behind meet champions Chaparral while the boys team managed a 3rd place finish behind Hemet and Tahquitz .
The boys were led in the distances and that effort was headlined by Dalton Seckinger's first place in the 800. Dalton ran one of his best tactical races in a long time and finished in his usual hard sprint to win at 2.00.77. ...just missing a sub two minute effort. The 1600 finsihed a third palce finish from Rolando Phalen (4:36), Mike Robinson in fourth (4:36.3) and Kyle Johnson in fifth (4:40). In the 3200, Daniel Gonzalez finished third in 9:46 and Seth Villanueva, in only his seocnd race came across in fourth in 10:01. Other performances of note were the 4 X 100 relay which clocked a 45.07 for second place with Steve Griffiths; Elijah Jackson; Cardell Walder and Jalyn Moore doing the honors. Speaking of that bunch, Moore (100) and Walder (200) both clocked PR's in their individual events. Noah Poole got third place in the pole vualt with a 12-0 effort and Bryant Jones snared a 4th place in the shot put.
For the girls, sophomore Charizma Guzman put forth two PR's in the 100 (13.03) for fifth place and the 200 for sxith (26.88). She was also part of the 5th place effort of the girls 4 X 100 which was clocked in 52.02. Other team members for that relay included Janai Thompson, Angelina Cervantes and Jericka Roshell-Carson. Alyssa Haring and Rebekah Pendleton finished second and third respectively in the 3200. Kathryn Hammar got her PR in the 800 at 2:28.32 good for fifth. Karla Lemus PR'd by .5 seconds in the 110 Hurdles while Sissy Underwood nabbed a third in the 300 Hurdles and Jennifer Gutierrez picked off a fifth place in that same event. Haley Grove picked up a medal finishing third in the pole vault. The girls 4 X 400 of Roshell-Carson; Taylee Holtrop; Alyssa Drake and Breanna Fatten nabbed a third place with a time of 4:19. Clarrisa Dalton also managed her PR in the discus with a 80-2 toss.
Southland proved to be a good proving ground for many of the King athletes with a number of PR's and/or medals garnered during the day and the meet was over at about 1:30 pm. Add the weather and it was almost a perfect day!!!!
Thursday, April 9
AVOIDING SHARK BITES MAY NOT BE ALL GOOD
The first half of the 2015 season has shown King that scoring 100 points in a dual meet isn't that "hard" To point, every meet thus far has seen the King boys and girls run away from their opponents scoring in excess of 100 points when only 69 is needed to secure a victory. It wasn't predicted to another lopsided day yesterday against the Santiago Sharks, but it did. The danger now lies in thinking this could be the norm for 2015, that swimming with sharks is, in fact, easy and safe. It's not, and while the teams emerged unscathed yesterday, the risk of thinking the rest of the season will go as the first half has is palpable. No promises.
The relative lack of competition left some of the King marks less than they could have been. That said, there were still some quality performances. Ashley Chruszcz continued her fine improvement in the 400 meters, dropping a whole second off of her personal best and sneeking under 60 seconds for the first time. She's now just a couple-tenths off the number 5 time in school history. That 400 race saw a bevy of PRs on the season besides Ashley's, as Mary Jane Smith, Breanna Fatten and Ashley Drake all set seasonal bests! Frank won the 100 hurdles, while Leighana Weaver had a season best time in the 300 hurdles to take second place in that event. Daniel Gonzalez ran a lifetime PR in the 1600, running in the lead right from the start and finishing in 4:29! Michael Robinson and Seth Villanueva also PR'd in 2nd and 3rd. Rolando Phalen and Dalton Seckinger had terrific efforts in the 800, dueling with Santiago's lone shark in the distance events with Phalen pulling away in the closing 20 meters to take the win with a PR of 2:03!
Jackea Yarbrough had a fine shot put throw of 32 feet-plus to finish second, while Courtney Klosinski and Areena Zavaala combined to take the sweep of the event for the Wolves. Hannah Chang jumped well, both off her feet and with a pole, winning the high jump and the pole vault! Nick Abboud had his usual double wins in the hurdles, and Bryant Jones and Montiel Johnson went 1-2 in the discus
So while there were some quality performances, there was also a perception of nonchalance that was exhibited by the King squads, a character trait that often manifests itself in the absence of opposition. That lack of competition will likely NOT be the story of almost all of the meets that await the teams. Enjoy the easy victories while they last, but don't let your gaurd down, for they won't last forever.
Tuesday, March 31
AZUSA DOES IT'S ANNUAL MAGIC FOR THE DISTANCE CREW
Every season since 2000, the King distance runners have been competing at the Meet of Champions, hosted at Azusa Pacific University. We've long contended that it's track is "Magic" as the number of PRs and all-time list performances run on that surface every season is astounding. The 2015 version was no different and almost every one of the juniors and seniors who raced came home with a PR.
The accomplishments were headlined by Tyler Janes and he came within less than a half-second of the school record in the 1600 meters, notching 4:12.09 for the four lap race. It was 12 seconds faster than he'd ever run before for the distance, but it also won him the "rated" heat -- the night's second-fastest race. By the time the "Dream Mile" was finished - it being the fastest heat of the day -- Tyler's mark would settle in at the 8th fastest this season in the State and the #12 mark in the nation!
His good friend Andrew Boebinger moved himself up King's all-time list in the 800 with a lifetime PR of 1:56 -- the second fastest mark in the school history. It was the fourth fastest time of the entire day and he handled the studded field quite well. Just outside the top five was Dalton Seckinger's 2:00, also a career best for the senior. The 800 was good for fellow senior Emily Sanchez who ran 2:20, her best ever, while Jessica Ferguson and Hannah Johnson both raced to 2:26 and 2:27 marks respectively. EJ Soholt matched his season goal at 2:08! Good stuff!
The mile was the place to be it seemed for fast times. Carlos Ramirez ran the #4 time in school history at 4:22, truly remarkable effort that puts his name among the list of King greats, all time. Kyle Johnson who has improved so much in four years ran his best ever at 4:37 as did Isaiah Quiambao and Rolando Phalen at 4:35! Isaiah Curtner put down a stellar 5:03 to make his improvement in three seasons almost exactly one minute over the distance! Emily Sanchez took a page out of Tyler Janes' playbook with a huge drop in her lifetime best, finishing at 5:10, the #6 time in school history.
In the 3200, Alyssa Haring ran her best race of the season, leading through part of it and agressively taking herself across the line in 11:29. Michael Robinson went 9:59, and Daniel Gonzalez ran well under the lights, going 9:38.
Whether the track is actually possessed of some kind of magic is probably nothing more than the imagination of fools. What we know for sure is that year afte year, the King kids come home from Azusa Pacific with a new understanding of how fast they can actually run.
Wednesday, April 1
RANCHO VERDE, KING SPLIT TOP BILLING AT 11th ANNUAL FROSH SOPH CLASSIC
Rancho Verde's boys and King's girls dominated the day in the 11th running of the King Frosh Soph Classic. With 16 schools competing, the two teams' dominant performances made the victories a bit of a runaway on both sides.
Rancho's boys sprint crew was just outstanding. Rasam House, Tyler Kennedy and Carson Walder went 1,3, 5 in the 100 and House doubled back to win the 200. In the 4x100 relay, they won that event as well over Heritage and King squads. Rancho Verde's 4x400 relay group came within a second of taking the meet record with a very impressive 3:32.69 victory. Their talented 400 meter runner, Isaiah Robertson did set the meet record in the 400 running 50.81. Cameron Samuel won the 300 hurdles in 40.81, with his teammate Henry Banks coming in third.
A second meet record was set by Rancho Verde's Bryan Thompson who skied in the long jump, landing at 21-04, 8 inches past the old mark set back in 2010! Alijah Holguin was fifth in that event to score as well.
King's boys finished second in the race, but with the dominance of Rancho Verde, the scores were not close. Solid performances were turned in for the Wolves in a number of events. Carson Walder finished fourth in the 100 meters, going 11.91. Dillon Lay and Josh Fisher ran really well in the 110 high hurdles, finishing in 2nd and 3rd respectively, and they came back to match that in the 300's, finishing 2nd and 4h. Blake Gelinas couldn't match the record-setting mark in the 400, but did run 53 seconds to take second place. Jeremy Young scored a point in that event coming in 6th place. Austin Dai ran one of his grittiest performances ever in the 3200, finishing 4th in 10:34. Noah Gutierrez finished fourth in the high jump while Andrew Wilde won the pole vault at 11 feet.
Where the boys of Rancho Verde ran away with it, the girls of King returned the favor and ran away from Rancho Verde, finishing with 156.5 points, to Rancho's 89. The Lady Wolves seemed to have mastery over almost every event. Rebekah Pendleton won the 3200 in a hard-fought battle, while Allison Janes and Kathryn Hammar went 1-2 in the 1600 meters. Sarah Anne Frank did really well in the hurdle races, winning the 100's and placing third in the 300's. Sydney Reid dashed her way to second in the 100 meter dash and first in the 200. She was followed in the point scoring by Larisa Cesena and Charizma Guzman, both of whom scored in the 200 meter final. The Wolves 4x100 team was victorious. Freshman Ashley Chruszcz was second in the 400 meters.
In the 800 meters, Tayelee Holtrop and Hammar finished 4th and 5th with solid performances, but they were outshined by the freshman phenom from Riverside Poly, Kalea Ybarra who went wire-to-wire unchallenged and still managed to set the meet record at 2:16.98. King's Areena Zavala won the shot put with a heave over 30' while Keiana Turner scored in 4th place. Turner would double back to win the discus, however, with a toss out over 88'.
So it was a day for sharing the top 2 spots of the day, as Rancho Verde and King went 1-2 and 2-1 in the team scores.
Tuesday, March 31
11TH ANNUAL, 2015 KING FROSH SOPH CLASSIC RESULTS
Thursday, March 26
BEAR MEET TASTES DIFFERENT THAN EXPECTED
Both head coaches assumed the revival of the Poly-King rivalry would turn out differently than it did. Both looked at the stats in preparation for the meet and told their crews to be prepared for a battle that could ... and perhaps should ... have turned out to be a close contest, fitting for a cross-town rivalry. What actually happened wasn't was expected, as King found themselves in command right from the first gun and never looked back, amassing over 100 points in both the boys and girls divisions. While no one planned to use it, "overwhelming" was the word both teams used to describe the King victories.
For the boys, the onslaught came from all corners of both track and field. Winning the 4x100 relay to get it started, King capped it off with a sweep of the discus, as Montiel Johnson, Bryant Jones and Bret Wolf were the last three King scorers in the score book. Delynn Holland won the long jump with a seasonal PR of 21-06, just four inches short of the #5 spot on the King all time list for the event. Holland, Devin Moeller and Neal Karadoy swept the triple jump. Ryan Laudermilk won the high jump at 6-0.
Rolando Phalen, Carlos Ramirez and Kyle Johnson swept the 3200 meters, while Tyler Janes and AJ Boebinger won the 1600 and 800 respectively. In his first 800 of the season, Jacob Norys ran a fine 2:03 to battle for third in the event. As he usually does, Nick Abboud won both hurdle races. TJ Noland won the 100 in 11.39 into a 3 meters per second headwind and doubled back to win the 200 in an even stiffer head wind. It was that kind of day for the Wolves as the head winds appeared to be a bigger challenge at times than their opponents.
Three seconds separated the girls 400 relay team from Poly's and that large gap would be indicative of the final score by the end of the meet where King would score 104 points to Poly's 32. Emily Sanchez had a HUGE performance in the second event of the day, the 1600 as she stormed back from 4th place in the first lap to win it with a lean, running a PR in the process at 5;19.42. Leighana Weaver was a double-winner in the hurdles, and freshman Ashley Chruszcz took second in the 400 but ran a sweet PR of 1:01.12. Tia Parrish was the winner in the 100 meters. While Sanchez came back in the 800 and snagged a third, it was the 4th place finish of Jessica Ferguson that had those in the know exclaiming, as she raced aggressively and put down a huge PR at 2:26.98. While running JV 200, Charizma Guzman won with a mark that would have placed her second in the varsity heat! Rachel Hales won the long jump with a 15-01 mark, while Lexi Opoku, Gabriela Sanabria and Nataly Vasquez combined to sweep the triple jump. Kiara Ginwright was the victor in the high jump, while pole vaulter Hannah Chang crossed to the other end of the field from her normal hang out to take third. For good measure she also won the vault and lead the sweep with Alexys Boonkokua and Madison McPeak both clearing 10-0 to make it quite a day for the King vaulters! The last track event win for the Wolves came courtesy of Alyssa Haring who amazed all with a uncharacteristic burst of speed to catch her opponent in the last 100 meter in very thrilling fashion.
Indeed, it was quite a day for King track in the renewal of it's rivalry with the Bears of Poly. The wins were sweet tasting and full of flavor, even if it wasn't quite what was expected.
Thursday, March 19
TEAMS PUT UP A CENTURY AGAINST CENTENNIAL
Big 8 action opened up on the road for the Wolves as they traveled to Centennial in Corona for the first of 5 league contests. Centennial lacked the depth to counter the Pack attack and King's boys and girls teams notched victories in excess of 100 points against the Huskies.
Centennial's girls won only three events and two of those were notched by their strong freshman distance runner Rylie Penn who out-kicked Emily Sanchez in the 1600 and 800. The third event win for Centennial was the high jump which had only two competitors entered. King's 800 runners, despite being outdone for the win, had the three fastest marks of the season with Sanchez, Allison Janes and Jessica Ferguson all running 2:30 or under. Ashley Chruszcz won the 400 in 62 seconds, Tia Parrish won both the 100 and 200 and contributed to the 4x100 relay win. Event sweeps happened for King in a host of events.
The boys notched 109 points on the way to the win, and like the girls, "lost" few events. In fact, Centennial's fine sprinter, Michael Cummings, took 10 points all by himself, winning the 200 and 400! Centennial also won the 4x100 relay and the 100, but the rest of the meet belonged to King. Montiel Johnson won the discus at 126', and doubled up in the shot at over 42'. Dalton Seckinger won the 800 and the 3200 for King. Nick Abboud, as per his usual, won gold in both hurdle races.
Cruising to a century is not the norm in track and field, and given that 69 points are necessary to secure a dual meet win, that threshold was achieved by the mid-way mark of both contests. With Poly next week (non league) and the likes of Corona, Santiago and Roosevelt off in the distance, the teams best enjoy the big numbers while they last as the remainders of the Big 8 will put up a stronger challenge.
Monday, March 16
ABBOUD'S BIG WEEK LEADS WAY FOR KING'S FINE DAY
Nick Abboud has had quite a week. At Hemet on Thursday, he broke the 8 year old school record in the 110 high hurdles while winning two events. Then on Saturday at the competitive San Diego area Bronco Invitational (held at Rancho Bernardo HS), he won two more hurdle races against some very fine compeition.
It's been a few years since King competed at the Rancho Bernardo meet but they used the reunion as an opportunity to step their game up and demonstrate a level of proficiency, if not just try to keep pace with their talented senior teammate. The day proved to be a very good one for all involved which bodes well for the future of the 2015 season.
In the distance events, the girls 3200 went first and Emily Sanchez - usually an 800 runner -- stepped up for a nice sub 12:00 PR at 11:37. Alyssa Haring also dipped under 12:00 and Rebekah Pendleton was at 12:03, also a PR. Tyler Janes took second in the 3200 with a fine PR of 9:27, the number-two time in school history!. A bevy of King multi-lap specialists followed him with fine marks despite abnormally warm temps. Janes and AJ Boebinger doubled back in the 800 and both went sub 2:00. The girls 4x800 ran really well with all four girls running season bests. Loveless Ramos, Jessica Ferguson, Hannah Johnson and Allison Janes did the work. The boys 4x800 team of Michael Ramirez, Kyle Johnson, Isaiah Quiambao and Dalton Seckinger finished third. In the freshman 1600, jonathan Moncada ran a big pr of 4:46. At the end of the day, with temps in the 90s the boys DMR finished second behind a stellar anchor mile by Rolando Phalen who picked up three places and split 4:33.
In the 300 hurdles that Abboud won, it was a race that resembled a NASCAR event as two contenders crashed out in the final 100 meters. Sara Ann Frank won the freshman 300 hurdles. The sprint medley teams both medaled; the boys fs group winning in come from behind style. Jacob Norys ran well in the 400 to medal third and helped the 4x400 team to a second place finish. Marcos Zavaleta had a huge PR of 13-01 in the vault to finish second in the open division. Ryan Laudermilk cleared 6-5 in the high jump to medal. The girls 4x400 team finished third with a solid early season mark of 4:08.9. The girls frosh soph sprint medley team (a race that runs 100-100-200-400 meters) also did well, coming in 2nd place; whereas the boys' counterpart squad won their medley race.
Out in the vertical events, King had quite a day. Besides the aforementioned open-division winner Zaveleta, Hannah Chang won the invitational section of the vault. Kiara Ginwright cleared 5-02 in the high jump to finish second. Ryan Laudermilk PR'd with the 3rd best HJ in school history at 6-4, finishing 2nd.
Lexi Opuku was second in the triple jump.
It turned out to be quite a day, not only for Nick Abboud who had quite a week, but for the whole squad. Against a number of San Diego's finest, King held it's own. A nice place to be in mid March.
Friday, March 13
BIG GAPS TELL THE STORY AGAINST HEMET AND CHAPARRAL
Nick Abboud, the talented hurdler who is bound for UCR next Fall, faced a headwind and little competition in the 110 hurdles but he didn't allow those realities to keep him from going big. Really big. Slicing throught the gale, he cleared all ten flights with nary a scratch and crossed the line in 14.48, taking down Sam Jeter's record from back in 2007! That big effort became a symbol for the day for the Wolves who ended up winning big against their annual opponents of Chaparral and Hemet.
King was hardly pressed in most events, save an individual here or there that donned a different uniform. The distance kids had a good showing, with Tyler Janes winning the 1600, AJ Boebinger the 800 and Rolando Phalen running smooth 10:05 to take second in the 3200. Montiel Johnson was the runner up in the shot, Ryan Laudermilk cleared 6-2 in the high jump to finish second. Daniel Mukasa led the vaulters at 12-6 taking first there. Brandon Burton won the long jump at 20-9.
The girls had the biggest margin of victory, amassing 115 points by the time the meet was mercifully over after 5 hours and 30 minutes. Sissy Underwood won the triple with Lexi Opuku right behind her. Tia Parrish ran easily to the win in the 100 and 200 and helped secure the victory in the 4x100 relay. Jackie Yarbrough won the discus with a near PR at 109 feet. Leighana Weaver won both hurdle events and newcomer, 9th grader Ashley Chrusczc took second in the varsity 400, going 62 seconds. Very nice debut so far for the freshman! Emily Sanchez looked very strong in her two distance events, winning the 1600 in a PR of 5:24.99 and taking second in the 800 with a great early-season mark of 2:27.81.
Monday, March 9
WOLVES CAN'T CHASE DOWN BRONCOS AT WILDCAT RELAYS
Invitational Relay meets are often the source of flying batons; flying elbows and show of team depth. All of that was evident in King’s first excursion to the Paloma Valley Wildcat Relays this past Saturday. Situated in Division 1 of three completive divisions, the Wolves found themselves up against traditional track powers like Chaparral High, Rancho Verde; Paloma Valley and the Vista Murrieta Broncos. As far as team depth-go no further than Vista Murrieta High School. The Broncos, winners of 4 of the past 5 Boys CIF Championships proved to be, not just deep (they had an A and B team present at the meet and over 400 athletes o their team); they were extremely difficult to catch . They not only won the overall team championship winning both the boys and girls sides of competition…they were just plain fast. During the day they put together at least two state-leading performances in the sprint relays and easily outdistanced their opponents in most of the other races. It is to the King’s credit that they hung with VM most of the day and finished as the team runner-up trophy for the meet. A huge accomplishment considering the outstanding competition they faced.
As to the flying batons--The boys Shuttle hurdle team got King off to a good start with a near record 62.27 from first place. Nick Abboud, Ryan Moussad, Josh Fisher and Dylan Lay all went sub 16 to make the mark. The boys would continue to fight through the day finishing second the 8 X200: 4th in the 4 X 100; second the Sprint Medley; 4th in the 4 X 200 ; and in the 8 X 100 and a second in the 4X 400, keyed by a vicious third lap by Jacob Norys taking the Wolves from 5th to 2nd before handing off to Seth Tyler. On the girls side; they ran with the Broncos most of the meet but fell short in the end. The girls shuttle hurdles finished 2nd; as did the 4 X100 team the 4 X 200 team and the girls 8 X100. The 8 X 200 made up of Angelia Cervantes, Charisma Guzman, Larisa Cesena; Jericka Roshell; Brianna Fatten; Alyssa Drake; Maryjane Smith and Valentina Sanabria were first place winners as was the Sprint medley team of Sydney Rice; Tia Parrish; Khaysa Cunningham and Ashy Chruszcz . Results came in very slowly from the field events but the Wolves recorded third place finishes in the girls long jump and high jump and a third place finish in boys long jump. Ryan Laudermilk recorded anther 6-0 jump in the boys high jump. Over at the pole vault, which was held at Vista Murrieta High, both the King boys and girls won first place-the girls paced by an 11-6 mark from Hannah Chang.
As to the “flying elbows”—as stated before you’ve got 9 teams running in these relays and in trying to jockey for position sometimes, people get hit. Ask freshman Sarah Ann Frank, who as she took the final exchange for the 8 X 100, took an elbow right to the side of her face. Stunned, she stopped for just a moment; quickly re-grouped, and was able to finish in second place. Such is life in the relay meet.
Monday, March 9
KING RACES PAST MESA MURRIETA IN SEASON OPENER
The 16th edition of the King Track and Field program got off to a flying start this past Wednesday as the teams overwhelmed Mesa Murrieta on all four levels of competition. The Wolves team each scored over 100 points in as impressive an opener than seen in awhile.
“Flying start” is more than a literal term. The Wolves came out hot in the first events of the day- the boys and girls 4 X100 and put down mid-season marks in their victories. The Girls varsity relay of Khaysa Cunningham, Tia Parrish, Leighana Weaver and newcomer Sydney Rice hit 48.98, only 1.2 seconds from the school record and the boys team of Saadiq Jennings; Jason Gonzalez; Jon Essien and TJ Noland hit 43.55—only 7/10’s off the school record!
From those beginnings, the meet became a blur of blue and silver uniforms crossing the line. In the distances Tyler Janes and AJ Boebinger showed well in the 1600 and 800 exchanging 1-2 finishes in each race. Daniel Gonzalez and Rolando Phelan crossed the line in near identical times in the 3200 as well. On the girls side, save the great efforts of state cross country finalist Tayloir Taite of Mesa, Emily Sanchez was the top distance kgirl fo the day for King. Alyssa Haring won the 3200 and newcomer Allison Janes showed well in the 1600 in her first varsity race.
Hurdler Nick Abboud picked up where he left off a year ago, winning both hurdle races while Weaver picked up a win in her 100 hurdle race as well. Freshman Ashley Chruszcz won the JV 400 in 63.08, which was the fastest King time of the day putting a tad bit of pressure on the trio of veterans Valentina Sanabria, Alyssa Drake and Maryjane Smith who swept the varsity 400. Tia Parrish rocketed to a first place finishes in the 100 and 20.
The field events were not to be outdone by their counterparts on the track. . Jackae Yarbrough was a double winner in the throws while Sissy Underwood won the girls long jump. Brandon Burton and Delynn Holland went 1-2 in both the triple and long jump with impressive early season jumps over 20 feet and 40 feet respectively. In the high jump Kiarra Ginwright was the winner as was Ryan Laudermilk on the boys side. The boys had tough sledding in the throws against Mesa but Montel Johnson showed promise with two third place finishes. The boys pole vault swept all three scoring places led by Marcos Zavaleta at 12-6 while the girls did the same led by Hannah Changs 10-6 jump.
Friday, May 9
SCHOOL RECORDS SET IN 2014
Girls 4x100 Relay - Davis, Lofton, Cunningham, Parrish 47.72
Girls Pole Vault - Hannah Chang 11' 9"
Girls Shot Put - Anissa Claiborne 38' 7.5"
Girls 800 Meters - Ruth Wiggins 2:13.51
Girls 100 Meters - Courtne Davis 11.86
Girls 4x400 Relay - Weaver, Fatten, Cunningham, Davis 3:54.52
Boys 100 Meters - Jamal Orme 10.975
Boys 200 Meters - Jamal Orme 22.00
Saturday, June 7
OUR TEAM'S DEPTH CHART
Tuesday, April 15
YOUR INDIVIDUAL SEASON'S PROGRESSION CHART - CHECK IT OUT
Saturday, June 7
HANNAH CHANG JUST MISSES STATE FINAL
In the preliminary rounds of the California State Track and Field championships, Hannah Chang finished tied for 12th place in the pole vault yesterday at Buchanan High in Clovis. Hannah made a first height clearance of 11-3 and then missed three times at 11-9 her PR. Subsequent makes and misses by the other competitors placed her only one spot from moving onto the Saturday finals. The meet management took the 11 girls who cleared 11-9
Her 12th place ends a long post season run where Hannah answered the call every week. From her league championships at Big VIII finals to her second place finishes at the Div. 1 Finals and the Master's Meet. She has left her mark on this 2014 season.
And she has a a tradition now to follow as far as King athletes at the state meet. In 2010 Lane Werley finished out of the money in 9th and in 2011 finished second in the State. In 2012 Tayler Fleming finished out of the money in 10th and in 2013 finished sixth Now in 2104 Hannah finishes 12th and in 2015????
Sunday, June 1
STATE MEET PROVES TO BE ONLY 11-7 AWAY
Hannah Chang earned the CIF Runner Up award in the vault against a league rival, and by doing so earned a spot in the coveted Masters Meet. The CIF Championships is made up of three rounds; a preliminary which sees athletes competing in heats by division, with the hopes of becoming one of the top 9 in their respective division. With four divisions, the Finals has four separate flights and races of all events, as each Division competes against itself.
The Masters meet takes the top marks from all four divisions combined and gives those elites a chance to go head-to-head and qualify for the State meet. Being in the Masters meet is a feat inandofitself. To be the among the best 10 or so of 550 schools is tremendously heady stuff. To qualify for State even more so.
On Friday night, Hannah Chang did all of that wearing the King uniform and will represent herself, her team and school this coming weekend in Clovis, CA.
The vault had 14 athletes from the four divisions with Hannah's PR sitting her near the top of the group. Though she missed on her first attempt at the opening height, she quickly made it and cleared the next two raises as opponents fell out. By the end, she had cleared 11-07, the required achievement to qualify for State, but after missing at 12-01, she and the last remaining vaulter entered into a "jump off" to determine the winner. There, she was outdone and settled for the runner-up spot, this time not just of the Division, but indeed, of all 550 schools in the Southern Section. A "Master of the vault" indeed.
She'll travel this weekend to Clovis, where she'll be entered in the preliminary rounds on Friday night, with the hopes of moving into the finals on Saturday.
Monday, May 26
QUEENS OF KING SWEEP UP MEDALS, CHANG VAULTS TO RUNNER UP HONOR
The "Queens of King" arrived in Cerritos with intent and a seriousness befitting the grand stage that is CIF Southern Section Finals. With a few thousand spectators filling the stadium and the 9 best of Division One entered in each event, the setting spoke loudly of excellence, competition and spirit.
For the seven King girls who toed the line and ran the runway, they rose to the occasion and then some.
For Hannah Chang, it was a coming out party of sorts. "Hidden" for half the season due to rules forbidding competition for 30 days after her transfer from Nortre Dame she made a splash right away in her first contest in early April. Then, it was off ot setting school records and winning the Big 8 League Title a few weeks ago against Corona's Devin Stetson, winning that crown on misses. Saturday, in the Divisional finals, the two found themselves atop the heap again and battled it out to the end. In a reversal of their League showdown, Stetson took the title in this one, winning at 11' 9" over Hannah's 11' 9" but with fewer misses. Hannah's vault was in the top-9 of all four divisions combined, giving her a berth in Friday night's Masters' Meet, which determines who goes on to the state meet.
Hannah was the final event for King on the day, but she was preceded with three other events and six teammate, all of whom went home with All-CIF honors by medaling (top 6) in their event.
The girls 4x100 team of Jordon Lofton, Tia Parrish, Kaysha Cunningham and Courtne Davis were seeded the 8th seed, but ran really well with fine exchanges to close in 6th place. Ruth Wiggins was the next to go in the 800 and ran very near her lifetime best at 2:14.03 and finished 5th overall. Unfortunatley, of the 12 Masters qualifiers the CIF takes from the four heats of the 800, her's was the 13th fastest, just 4/100th's off of the final spot. She'll go to Masters as an alternate.
Leighana Weaver capped off her progressive season with a fine 6th place effort in the 300 hurdles, also running very near her seasonal best.
So it was quite a day for the Queens of King. Never in our 15 seasons of competing at this level have ALL of the competitors returned home with All-CIF honors.
Wednesday, May 21
CIF PRELIMS PROVES TOUGH YET AGAIN AS FEW GET THROUGH
"Welcome to D1". It's a snarky yet partly true remark to those surprised by the talent and depth of the Southern Section's largest and most powerful division. Marks and times that garner one acclaim and attention at the league level or local invites find themselves looking UP at a list that makes what used to appear "good" now just seem "average." That's the high standard of Division 1 CIF. You measure up with the best, or you go home.
King took almost 30 athletes from the Big 8 Finals to the first round of CIF Championships, and when the meet was done, only three and a relay team made it on to the CIF Finals. For some who saw their season end, it was due to a bad day ... their best was spent in just getting to CIF and the fumes in the tank weren't enough to fire the engine to another great performance. For others, they indeed had a good showing, but the quality of the Division gave them an exit despite a strong effort. Consider Ryan Laudermilk's high jump at 6-0 (not good enough), Brianna Jacklin's near PR in the 3200 (not good enough), Courtne Davis' near PR's in the 100 and 200 (just outside the qualifiers) and Nick Abboud's solid 15.11 in the 110 hurdles (good for 16th!) as evidence. With an exclamation mark on the sentence, Melissa McPeak PR'd in the vault but also had to bow out.
It was that kind of day for many. Good efforts, good marks, but in D1, not good enough to move on to Finals. Those who did had have very good days, and they did. Ruth Wiggins was the only heat winner of the King bunch, winning the 800 heat one. Leighana Weaver ran really well in the 300 hurdles and finished 8th overall. Hannah Change soared in the vault to qualify and the girls 4x100 team of Tia Parrish, Jordan Lofton, Courtne Davis and Kahysa Cunningham set the school record in the relay to qualify in 8th and, here it is, sneak into the Final by only 1/10th of a second. Yes, it took a school record to make 8th!
Perhaps the silver lining is that for many of those who didn't make it they'll have another chance next year, as a majority of those who toed the line or hit the boards or boxes on Saturday for King are underclassmen. For 7 of King's best girls, they'll get a chance next weekend to compete with the best of the best. Well earned! For others, whose seasons ended on Saturday, it's the proverbial "Wait 'till next year." Given how tough the Division is, the year should best be spent improving.
Friday, May 9
GOING OUT OR GOING ON, BIG 8 FINALS IS ABOUT GOING BIG
Since King's arrival in the Big 8 League back in 2009, it was clear right away: When you go to the league final, you better be ready to go big or go home. The top end of the Big 8 League is as good as they come in the Southern Section and so even then, "big" may not be big enough and some very fine athletes and relay squads find their very fine seasons coming to an end before the CIF rounds. That in some leagues the story would be reversed is of little consolation. Go big, or go home.
Such was the case for the Wolves on Thursday night at Corona High School. Consider Jamal Orme's night. In the 100 meters, 2nd to 5th place was a micro-sliver 7/100ths of separation. It took a photo to figure it all out and left Jamal in fifth place, despite breaking a five year old school record in the process. Fifth stays home from CIF however, so the feat was bittersweet. But, in the 200, Jamal would come back to finish second and punch his ticket to CIF, but again, it took a new school record of 22.00 to make it happen. In the 4x400 relay that concluded the night, Orme, Jacob Norys, AJ Boebinger, and Moshin Sobrin knocked 5 seconds off their season best but could only manage third place and this one by yet another sliver of a second, thanks to a great anchor by Orme. Corona High, who was the photo's fourth-place team also ran 3:24 and won't advance! It was that kind of day. But all through it, the effort and competitive drive displayed by both track and field athletes wearing the King uniform was exemplary and embodied the spirit of the sport.
Tyler Janes was the sole male King athlete to walk away with a title. It came in the 1600 which turned out to be a great race by the entire field which took it out in a competitive pace. Tyler hung back in the middle of the pack until he made a big move with 300 to go and had to work a 61-second final lap to earn his first-ever league title. His 4:24 time is #3 on King's all-time list! The race saw Carlos Ramirez run really well and Mark Werley ran a lifetime best at 4:38.
The girls had seven athletes leave with titles. Courtne Davis was simply spectacular in both relays and in her specialties of 100 and 200 meters. Combining with Kaysa Cunningham, Leighana Weaver and Brianna Fatton, she anchored the 4x400 relay to a second place finish but more importantly, the group took down the school record from 2012 by two seconds! In the 100, she was behind at 85 meters but closed with a flurry to win with a school record of 11.86! In the 200, she was the winner with a wind-legal 24.63. Quite a day for the quiet warrior who should go deep into the CIF rounds.
Hannah Chang was also a double winner, taking victories in the vault and the high jump! Anissa Claiborne won easily in the shot put, Leighana Weaver took home gold in the 300 hurdles, picking up the torch from King's 2013 graduate, Tayler Fleming. In the 800 Meters, Ruth Wiggins made a move at 250 meters into the race and never looked back, winning by a large margin and lowering her own SR in the event to 2:13.51 ... which doubled as a meet record. Emily Sanchez finished fourth with a lifetime PR in the race.
Beyond the event winners, there were many highlights to note. Brandon Gutzmann ran one of the smartest and guttiest races of his life in the 3200, sticking himself on a PR pace early and hanging on to finish third with a 9:41 mark, the 6th fastest time in King history. Nick Abboud, who two years ago was begging Coach Corona to get on the bus as part of the travel squad, showed that 24 months of hard work and growth can amount to something big, finished second in the 110 highs and ran the #4 time in school history at 14.94. Cameron Brock got through in the vault with a mark over 13 feet. AJ Boebinger qualified in the 800 finishing third in 1:59 despite a race that looked a bit like roller derby sans the skates.
The girls 4x100 squad was second place with a season-best time (and #3 in school history). Lexi Opuko PR'd by over a foot in the triple jump to upset the field and take third! Great leap into CIF for the 8th seed in the event! Also taking third and moving into CIF was Brianna Jacklin who ran a lifetime best in the 3200.
Delynn Holland was third in the long jump and Ryan Laudermilk PR'd in the high jump at 6-2 to take third there and move on into CIF. Sabrina Suarez closed out her high school career with a PR in the 300 hurdles. Myles Gardner PR'd in the 100 and got close to it in the 200, while Brody Rickman and Brett Wolff PR'd in the discus.
It was indeed that kind of day ... a lot of athletes "going big in the Big 8". For some it leads to CIF, for others their season ended in what may seem a premature way. Either way, to go out or go on, "big" is what it's all about.
Monday, May 5
CORONA FS SHOWDOWN SHOWS PEAK INTO KING'S FUTURE
The Corona Soph/Frosh Showdown has become the local traditional season-ender for those youngsters who are not moving onto league prelims or finals which will take place this coming week. Athletes are looking for a new personal record or perhaps a medal in this last chance try for 2014. The young Wolves were on all cylinders yesterday as the PR's came in waves and the medal count was definitely high.
The female Wolves were led by the sophomore duo of May Jane Smith and Jalaiya Jacob as the girls finished in 5th place out of the 15 team invite. Mary Jane and Jalaiya were key members of the third place finishing 4 x 100 and 4 X 400 teams. They both also placed in the top 6 in the 100 and the 200. They were assited in those relays by Ebony Skinner and Jaricka Roshell in the 4 X 1 and Tayley Holtrop and Marijam Akihalili in the 4 X 400. Areena Zavala was the winner of the shot put at 30 feet 1 inch and finished third in the discus. Teammate Elizabeth Curtis was fourth in the shot while Elena Banda placed 5th in the discus and Clarissa Dalton was 6th in that event. Courtney Blanck nabbed 4th place in the pole vualt and Samantha Pondivida got her PR in the vault at 8-0. Sarah Akihalili got 5th place in the 300 hurdles.
The boys finished second in the invitational scoring behind the Roosevelt Mustangs. Brian Payne led the medal count with a third place finish in the 4 X 100; a third in the 100 meters and a sixth place in the 200. The rest of the 4 X 100 team included Kyle Sana, Cardell Wardell and Jon Essien. Steven Griffiths PR'd big time in the 100 and finished 6th in 11.8. He also Pr'd again in the 200 at 24.27. Tanner Sebastian continued his late season improvement as he placed second in the shot put at 40-7 and boosted a ten foot PR in the discus at 113-0 for third place. Though not placing in the medal count, EJ Soholt,(5:03) Mario Machuca( 5:04) and Evan Tinker (5:06) all improved greatly in almost breaking the magic 5 minute 1600 mark. Jeremy Young got 5th in the 400 with his best time of the season. John Litana, who only six weeks ago became a hurdler, finished second in the 100 Hurdles and third in the 300 Hurdles. Brad Kleven nabbed a third in the HJ at 5-2. Noah Gutierrez soared to a PR in the long jump at 19-9 for 4th place and Jonah Leon also PR'd in the triple jump at 36-3 for fifth place.
So the Corona Showdown provided medals; PR's too numerous to recount here and a very positive glimpse into the future of King Track and Field.
Friday, May 2
GIRLS WIN BIG 8 TITLE - 9TH CROWN IN 15 SEASONS!
The last time the girls of King Track and Field finished a season in first place was 2010. Since that time, Roosevelt has captured the top spot and has been firmly in the Big 8 drivers seat for the last few seasons. So, with that backdrop, as
yesterday's meet against Roosevelt unfurled itself and increasingly indicated that King would come out on top, a sense of redemption and accomplishment could be felt among both coaches and athletes.
With a King victory in the opening event, the 4x100 relay, one wondered if the expected battle in the sprints was somehow amiss. Ruth Wiggins and Brianna Jacklin scored six points in the next event, the 1600, and before you knew it, King was up 11-3. While the score would remain close throughout the meet, King continued to amass wins, seconds and thirds and by the conclusion of the 4x400 relay, King had a 72-59 win.
Along the way, there were a number of standouts. The aforementioned Ruth Wiggins earned 10 points with wins in the 1600 and the 800. Courtne Davis won the 100 and 200. Hannah Chang won the vault, increasing her own SR by an inch to 11-7. Breanna Fatten and Valentina Sanabria earned 2nd and 3rd place points in the 400 to dull the impact of Roosevelt's expected victory of that event. Leighana Weaver scored in both hurdles, preventing Roosevelt sweeps. Anissa Claiborne and Jackae Yarbrough placed in both throws, helping to crowd out Roosevelt scorers in all but one place of both events combined. Lexi Opuku was 3rd in the triple jump with a new lifetime best. Jaymei McCray followed her with a lifetime PR as well.
So it was a collective team effort, with every event seeing at least one King scorer and keeping Roosevelt sweeps, which frankly was somewhat common in some events over the last few seasons. It was not to be today and from the sprints, to the distances to the field, the girls of King made the victory theirs.
It was not the same story on the boys side, as Roosevelt found themselves sweeping a number of events, winning many and ultimately besting King by 30 points. It gave King a 3-2 season record in the league and left Roosevelt undefeated. Still, despite the lopsided loss, King's guys could be found giving great effort. It was symbolized best, perhaps, by Jamal Orme's 100 meter dash, in which he ran 3-100th's off his lifetime PR and finished 5th. Daniel Mukasa won the vault with a 13-7 effort. Delyn Holland and Brandon Burton had good days in both horizontal jumps, scoring in both. Tyler Janes had a find, sub 4:30 effort in the 1600 to win. Carlos Ramirez was third.
With a newly minted league title in the bag, the King track and field athletes prepare to enter the Big 8 Finals -- a time to focus on individual goals and qualifying for CIF
Monday, April 28
FROM DAY TO NIGHT, IE CHAMPIONSHIPS PUSH KING KIDS
The Inland Empire Championship (IEC) has been running for near a decade now and while it doesn't rival it's same day Orange County Championships rival, it does produce a bevy of schools from across San Bernardino and Riverside Counties and among them, a host of top-flight talent. Those fields of very talented athletes brought out the best in most of the King Kids who competed.
King's best athletes qualified to compete in the "Day Meet" and the more presitgious "Night Meet", a format that mimics the mid-season Arcadia Inviational. In the night meet, hurdler Nick Abboud had a great meet, finishing in the medals for the 110's and running 15.00, good for #5 on King's All Time list. In the 1600, Ruth Wiggins "verified" her best time in the event. At Arcadia, she ran a 5:03 split time, which doesn't count for list purposes, but here in the IEC, she ran 5:04.82, the #3 official time in school history. AJ Boebinger was sixth in the 800 and Jacob Norys broke 2:00 for the first time in his career at 1:59.80, #7 AT. Courtne Davis was solid again in the 100 and 200, finishing 2nd in the 200. Brianna Jacklin ran a huge lifetime PR in the 3200 with a gutsy battle to finish at 11:23.73, just two seconds off the all-time list. Rayo Soyemi was 4th in the discus with a fine throw of 116' 01".
In the day-portion of the meet, there were a smattering of varsity results that were solid. Rolando Phalen had a lifetime best in the 1600 at 4:33 to notch the fastest time of the day meet. Brandon Gutzmann had another solid sub-10:00 race in the 3200 with Kyle Johnson and Parker Gutzmann in tow ... Parker ran his lifetime PR at 10:07. Emily Sanchez had a good double in the 800 and 1600 with times near her lifetime bests in both. Sabrina Suarez was 6th in the 300 hurdles, Jennifer Gutierrez was 7th. Sabrina finished 4th in the 100's. Aimee Martinez and Amanda Haring both had lifetime PR's in the 3200!
The frosh-soph athletes got into the action as well and like their varsity teammates competed in either the Day or Night meet. Sissy Underwood had a truly fine day to remember, winning the long jump with a mark of 16' 00". Jonathon Essian was 4th in the 100 meters. Seth Tyler was the runner-up in the 400 meter dash at 52.97 his PR for the year. Mark Werley ran his lifetime PR in the 1600 at 4:44. Danielle Abboud, Nick's sister, was 2nd in the 400 and also ran a lifetime PR. With school record holder and current UCR standout Noelle in the stands watching, it was quite a day for the Abboud clan! Jalaiya Jacob was 6th in the 100 meters at 13.32. Courtney Blank was 2nd in the vault at 8' 03". Jessica Fergusen had a nice double in the 800 and 1600, running lifetime PR's in both.
When the lights went on there were some great performances by the FS group. Daniel Gonzalez had another stirring effort in the 3200, finishing 2nd despite a great last-lap kick. He led Mark Werley across the line in 5th. Mark ran his second lifetime PR of the day at 9:59. His time is the 6th King runner to eclipse 10:00 in the 3200 meters, a depth the team has never produced in school history. Tia Parrish won the 100 meters in 12.44, an improvement on her #5 time in school history! She came back in the 200 and placed 2nd there in 26.25. Tayelee Holtrop ran a lifetime PR in the 800 at 2:30.02. Alyssa Drake ran 63 seconds for the 400 and Alyssa Haring ran a PR in the 3200 at 11:33. The night was capped off with a FS boys 4x400 relay team that finished in 2nd.
Tuesday, April 22
KING KIDS PAINT THE TOWN RED (AND BLUE, AND SILVER)
The final three weeks of the season can aptly be described as the "championship season" as each week brings a high level, championship competition. Kicking off on Saturday with the 5th "re-running" of the City Championships, followed this week by the Inland Empire Championship and then the Big 8 Championship the next week, there was and will be ample opportunity to raise one's performance to the highest level.
The 2014 version of the City Championship, dubbed "The Raincross Tradition" saw almost every school in Riverside and a few from outside the city proper -- but were part of the original meet back in the day -- descend upon King High to battle it out for event bragging rights. The event led to many athletes responding to the upward call and perform at higher levels. For the host school, there were many highlights, first, second and third place finishes and a few new meet and stadium records thrown in for no extra charge. It was a great night of track and field.
Oft-mentioned Courtne Davis, who's having a stellar 2014 campaign was shining once again in two relays and both sprint events. Multiple trips to the top of the awards platform situated at mid-field made for a busy night for the talented and hard-working junior. She won the 100 and 200 by large margins, while helping the 4x100 and 4x400 relay squads to commanding wins. Her teammates in the 4x400 were Valentina Sanabria, Breanna Fatten and Leighana Weaver and their mark of 3:56.61 now stands as the #2 time in school history, and not too far off the SR! Weaver and Sabrina Suarez were 2nd and 3rd in the 100 hurdles. Both would double in the 300 and along with Sissy Underwood the three would take half of the medals in that event. Sissy won the long jump, Lexi Opuku was the City Champ in the triple, while Hannah Chang not only won the vault but set a meet record at 10-09 in the process. For good measure, Hannah showed she doesn't need a pole to go high, as she entered the high jump for the first time at King and quickly established herself as the season leader in the event and finished second with a leap of 5 feet! Very impressive, and equally so was the loud ovation the Notre Dame team gave her, their former teammate, when she received her award for winning the vault. Out in the rings, Anissa Claiborne and Jackae Yarbrough had good afternoons with two medals a piece. They went 1-2 respectively in the discuss and 2-3 in the shot.
A rarely contested event, the full mile, was held in honor of the long tradition of the meet, one that dates back to when tracks were measured in yards, not meters. So, there was a bit of a "throwback" nature to the event when the athletes lined up 9 yards-or-so behind the finish line. Clarissa Chagolla of North bolted right away to set the pace and never looked back, setting the stadium record at 5:23.43. Alyssa Haring was 4th with a season-best (even for the 1600) at 5:34.49. Haring came back to run a lifetime PR in the 3200, finishing second at 11:38.95.
The boys' mile was a much different story than that of the girls, as a large pack moved in unison for the first two laps before Parker Gutzmann broke it open in the 3rd lap and dared anyone to go with him. Tyler Janes was the first to respond, and would skirt on around the last 800 to win and set a stadium record at 4:34.06, also #2 all time on the King list for the rarely-contested distance. Dalton Seckinger closed well also and ran 4:37.06 for second. Rolando Phalen and Mark Werley were the next across the line with marks that put them on the all-time list. It was a great race for all involved.
Nick Abboud had a couple of very fine races, getting to the podium twice in both hurdle events. He won the 110 highs by a very narrow margin and took third in the 300's. Jamal Orme has been tearing up the track along with his teammate TJ Noland, and the two of them layed waste to the 100, 200 and 4x100 meter relays. In the relay, they helped carry the stick to the #3 AT mark for King at 48.82 to win. Orme took second in the 200 and the 100, with Noland taking third in that event. AJ Boebinger and Jacob Norys went 1-2 in the 800; AJ's 1:58.87 mark makes him only the fourth King runner in our history to dip below 1:58:00 for two laps.
The 3200 meter race was perhaps the best ever collective effort the King boys have ever contested in the school's history. Up against the well-coached Rubidoux Falcons, a squad that was at the State meet last Fall in cross country, King was pulled and pushed to an astounding result that saw four guys run under 10:00 for the distance, something King has never done before. With a lone Rubidoux runner out front by 10 meters for most of the first mile, Carlos Ramirez, Brandon Gutzmann and Daniel Gonzalez hung back in the chase pack until the final 800 when the gap began to close. At the bell, Gonzalez unleashed a furious kick that had him drop all chasers and take him to victory. Carlos Ramirez finished third and Guztmann was fifth. All top five finishers surpassed the previous meet record set in 1979! Gonzalez now stands at #4 AT on King's list, Ramirez #5 and Gutzmann #7. Finishing n 8th was Kyle Johnson who also broke 10:00 for the first time ever, celebrated with a fist-pump to the sky as he crossed the line.
Vince Anderson and Delynn Holland jumped well in the long, finishing 3-4, while Delynn came back in the triple to win there with a leap over 42'. Brandon Burton and Anderson both medaled in that event. Ryan Laudermilk continues to show great promise in the high jump as he cleared 6'0" in competition for the second time in this, his rookie year. Over in the vault, King piled on the podium four of the top six placers, with Daniel Mukasa taking the victory over Cameron Brock, Cody Vallejo and Marcos Zalata, all of whom cleared 12-0 while Daniel toppped out at 13-0.
By the time the meet ended, it could aptly be said it was a "night out on the town" for many of the King athletes who went head-to-head with their cross-town rivals. Given the successful outcomes of so many and the subsequent smiles, high fives and leaps of glee that followed, the 5th re-annual running of the City Meet was and experience for many akin to painting the town red.
Friday, April 18
SHARKS NIBBLE, BUT NO BIG BITES
The Santiago Sharks have improved on their boys' side in recent seasons and in the third Big 8 meet of the year, King's boys were able to outlast the Sharks in a close meet that ended in King's favor, 71-65.
Santiago's strengths were in the field as they took the majority of points in the long jump, triple jump, pole vault, shot and discus. It was signficant to the outcome however that King scrapped for at least 1 point in all of the aforementioned field battles, and collectively, King amassed 10 points over that spread which would make the difference in the final score, despite the supremacy of the Sharks throughout.
The distance runners for King aided in the King victory by counter balancing the field events with a sweep of all three distance races, racing against little opposition except in the 800 where Dalton Seckinger and Tyler Janes had to battle over the last 200 meters to secure the 2-3 spots there. Kyle Johnson won the 3200, his first-ever win and one second off his lifetime best at 10:04. Jamal Orme won both of the sprints, while Nick Abboud took first in both hurdle races, signficantly in the 110's as he had to battle hard to the line for the win. Brandon Gutzman took home his first varsity win in the 1600.
For the girls, they swam in "The Black Sea" (the name Santiago has given to their stadium) and were untouched, winning by over 60 points. Leighana Weaver won twice in the hurdles, Ruth Wiggins twice in the 1600 and 800, and Courtne Davis twice in the sprints. Her 100 meter victory was a jaw-dropping 11.94 to become the only girl in King history to cover 100 meters under 12 seconds. While no wind reading was available, there was negligible breeze and the time was auto-recorded. Anissa Claiborne continued her fine season with a 37-5 shot put win. Hannah Chang won the vault with a mark of 11-0. In total, the King girls swept seven events.
With just Norco and Roosevelt left to go in the Big 8 season, the girls sit undefeated while the boys have lost only once.
Monday, April 14
KING'S QUALIFIED ELITES COMPETE WELL AT ARCADIA
The Arcadia Invitational has risen over the last 20 years to become the premier in-season high school track invitational. It's got entry standards that automatically eliminate most kids from even considering entering. Then this year, there were the reported 3000 entrants who did make the standard for their events but were denied entry by virture there were that many better athletes already entered.
Yea, Arcadia is the premier venue for the best and brightest across the land. Into that arena strode a handful of relay teams for King and a few individual standouts.
Courtne Davis has established herself as King's top sprinter in a season that is becoming her breakout campaign. It was no surprise then, that she would claim a spot in the prestigious "night meet" at Arcadia, which is an even better group of athletes than those who compete in the "day meet" on Saturday. There, under the lights, she held her own in the 200, running 25.16 and medaling in 6th place. Earlier in the day, she was in the 100 meters and won her heat! Not a bad day for the talented Junior. Her sophomore teammate Ruth Wiggins had three distance races over 18 hours. On Friday night in the distance relays, she anchored the 4x1600 meter relay with a stunning 5:03.6 split time. While unofficial, it was a full 11 seconds ahead of her fastest time ever and would be the second-fastest 1600 time ever run by a girl at King. Her race helped put her squad of Aimee Martinez, Emily Sanchez and Brianna Jacklin to a fine 14th place finish. But on Saturday afternoon, she came back and dropped 2 seconds off her own school record in the 800, finishing 3rd in her heat in 2:14.16! Anissa Claiborne, the new school record holder in the shot put this year, competed Friday afternoon and while she didn't have her best day in terms of distance, she was able to finish in the upper half of her flight.
Along with the girls 4x1600 team that raced Friday night, a boys team of Carlos Ramirez, Tyler Janes, Dalton Seckinger and Daniel Gonzalez raced to a 19th place finish. Saturday's relay teams ran well, with the girls and guys 4x100 teams running times very, very near their seasonal bests despite some difficulty with the exchanges. The Distance Medley Relays also had significant outcomes. One of the more popular relays, it combines speed and endurance, as the legs go 1200 meters, 400, 800 and 1600. The girls' team of Brianna Jacklin, Breanna Fatten, Emily Sanchez and Wiggins competed ferociously and their splits showed it and brought the team across the finish line 10th of 22 teams. The boys' squad of Tyler Janes, Jacob Norys, Andrew Boebinger and Carlos Ramirez race exceptionally tough on every turn. Janes led off and passed the stick in the top 5, with Norys taking it a lap in a seaon best split of 51 seconds and maintaining the spot. Boebinger moved King into third with a 2:00 leg and Carlos Ramirez anchored with his best race ever. After falling back to eighth, he rallied over the last 200 and closed his 4:25.5 split finishing 5th.
Getting into the Arcadia meet either requires a ticket -- and with it you get to be a spectator -- or you have to be one of the nation's best in your event. For a group of King's elites, the latter proved to be their ticket and they showed those who were spectating that they belonged.
Sunday, April 13
HEMET SOUTHLAND INVITATIONAL RESULTS
While part of the King Track team headed over to Arcadia, another group of Wolves headed over to the Southland Invitational, one of the area's longest running Saturday competitions. Among the noteworthy performances for King was Hannah Chang's first place in the pole vault at 10-6. Hannah, in only her second competition of the year, set the meet record for the event. TC Wilson also did well in the pole vault for the boys clearing 12-0 and finishing in second place. 10th grader Ryan Laudermilk continues to grow in the high jump finishing in 4th place at 6'-0". Brandon Gutzmann clocked a 4:36.8 in a hotly contested 1600 fishing in 8th place......just three second out of 3rd place. John Litana was the highest 9th grade finisher in the 110 hurdles coming across the line in a PR 18.2 while Rachel Hales scored a third place in the long jump and a 4th in the triple jump.
Friday, April 11
TWO SCHOOL RECORDS MINTED AMID EASY VICTORIES
Hannah Chang, who transferred to King from Notre Dame HS, had to sit out the CIF-mandated 30 day "wait period" before she could suit up and get back to vaulting as she did at her previous school. Lets just say the wait was worth it, for in her first day of competing for King, she got off to a good start ... a very good start. The talented vaulter, who has been practicing with the squad all along, put herself in the record books at 11-6.5, taking the school record by 2 inches. Quite a debut!
Meanwhile, at the other end of the field in the shot put ring, a girl who has been at King for four seasons now was busy recording her own school record. Anissa Claiborne -- who seized the title in the shot put about a month ago -- improved on her own record by 4 inches, taking it out to 37' 11". These two remarkable achievements came amid a dual meet against Corona-Centennial that did not produce a strong competitive environment givng King the victory by over 100 points in both the boys' and girls' contests.
Chang and Claiborne punctuated a dominant King victory on the girls' side; King winning 115-20. Leighana Weaver and Sabrina Suarez went 1-2 in the 100 hurdles, and along with Jennifer Gutierrez they swept the 300's. Davis, Cunningham and Parrish swept the 200 and the 100. Alyssa and Amanda Haring went 1-2 in the 3200. Rachel Hales, Faith Hodges and Jamie McCray swept the long jump, and Rayo Soyemi, Jackie Yarbrough and Anissa Claiborne all swept the discus.
On the boys side, Centennial was able to score at least once in almost every event. However, King swept the 800, the vault, discus and the 3200. In the 8-lapper, Rolando Phalen won again, but great races were turned in by Mark Werley for second and senior Garret Koontz who ran a lifetime PR and is putting the seal on his best season ever! Jamal Orme had a 100 meter dash victory in the low-11-second range. Cameron Brock, Daniel Mukasa and Cody Vallejo swept the vault. The "broomers" in the discus were Andrew Cloud, Brody Rickman, and Xavier Flores.
With the presitgious Arcadia Invitational on tap for Friday and Saturday, along with the Hemet Invitational on Saturday, the meet against Centennial could have been an afterthought. Leave it to the ladies out in the field events - namely Hannah Chang and Anissa Claiborne to turn a tune up into a record-setting day.
19 SCHOOLS, VISTA MURRIETA AND KING MAKE THE 10th FROSH SOPH CLASSIC TRULY THAT
Ten years ago, the King Frosh Soph Classic began. It was perhaps a bit permature to call it a "classic" as time and tradition had a way to go yet. But what the heck, it sounded good and gave the event something to aspire to.
Vista Murrieta opened its doors some 10 years or so ago, and in that span coaches Coley and Karen Candeale have built a track and field powerhouse that has already won a couple of CIF Title and has helped move the "center" of track and field from LA and Long Beach to the Inland Empire (IE). So, when the Broncos showed up at the 10th Annual King High Frosh Soph Classic, their presence was noticed and felt.
Their boys would run away with it, winning by a large margin over the host school, Martin Luther King. On the girls side though, the Wolves of King would mount a stirring effort in the 4x400 -- the last event to be scored -- and after taking first there to VM's 3rd, the King girls were able to snag a 1.5 point victory and keep Vista Murrieta from sweeping the entire day. It was an exciting finish!
Vista Murrieta's boys were strong in almost every event they contested, but were especially strong in the sprints. They set a new meet record in the 4x100 relay, led by Cole Dubots, who tied the meet record of 11.07 in the prelims of the 100 dash and then came back in the finals to win. Teammates Keith Ford and Ricky Adams also advanced to the final and between the three of them, the 'Stangs had 15 points in that one event. Luke Hicks of VM won the 400, but King's Ramces Dufresne and Mohsin Sabrin scored 12 points for the Wolves between their two strong efforts. King's Andrew Boebinger won the 800 comfortably, the event turned out to be one of the few that Vista Murrieta was shut out of. Ricardo Sanchez of Rubidoux was second. In the 1600, Tyler Janes of King put together a fine tactical race and won in 4:29.98. He'd double back in the 3200 to win again in 10:06.33 to score 20 points for the Wolves. Teammate Daniel Gonzalez made the same double and finished second in the 3200 and fourth in the 1600. Melvin Esteva of La Sierra ran a season-best 4:34.72 to finish second in the 1600. Donnie Murray of Murrieta Valley won the 110 hurdles in a fine clocking of 16.90 while Rancho Verdey's Rimes Isaica won the 300 IM's in 43.17.
In the field events, King's Ryan Laudermilk had a breakthrough day and became the first King leaper this season to clear 6-0 in the high jump, regardless of age or class. He won by four inches over Vista Murrieta's Elijah Steward. Poly's Zach Green took home a victory in the vault, winning on misses at 12-6. Vista Murrieta hauled in 18 points in the long jump, going 1-2, with Shane Fitzgerald and Anthony Garcia taking the honors there. Out in the rings, Romea Rosario of VM won the shot with a put of 48-10, and like in the long jump, he was followed by teammate Brock Wallendar who took second by a half-inch at 48-9.5. Brock would win the Discus by a large margin.
On the girls' side of the contest, Vista Murrieta and King waged another great battle, as noted, not decided until the final event. Caught perhaps a bit in the shadows of those big spot light team struggles, was an individual standout that had those in the distance running world impressed. Citrus Valley of Redlands sent a fine contingent of athletes, but leading their charge was ninth-grader Claire Graves who ran both the 1600 and 3200 and scored two meet records in the process. In both cases, she led from gun to tape and wasn't even challenged, making her record-setting runs even more remarkable. She broke the 1600 meet record by some 8 seconds and by over 10 in the 3200! Truly impressive.
For King to set up a meet victory in the 4x400 relay, they had to put together an even attack and that's what they did. Tia Parrish had two victories in the Century and Deuce, two events that Vista Murrieta scored only two points in. King had 3 point scorers in the 400, with Brianna Fatten, Valentian Sanbria and MaryJane Smith all running sub-63 and collected needed points. In the 800, Vista Murrieta wouldn't find a victory as their cross-town rival Mesa saw Alison Ciling cross the line first after Vista's Elise Benner and Alex Wiseman led for most of the two laps. They would finish 2-3 for 14 points. In the 1600, after Claire Graves crossed the line in 5:09.07, the aforementioned Alison Ciling kicked off her two events with a second-place run at 5:27.37, a solid Frosh-soph mark in its own right, though obviously diminshed by Graves' astounding 5:09. King was shut out of that event, thought Alyssa Haring's third place 3200 helped set up the necessary points haul the relay team would gain at the end of the day.
Vista Murrieta looked very strong in the 100 hurdles, with Devony Dettman, Alexis Day, Dehjiah Joseph and Dominque Hernandez taking four of the six scoring spots and earning their team 19 points. In fact, that event was almost entirely taken by schools from Murrieta, only one lane was taken by a school outside their city. Jaylah Walker of La Sierra won the 300's. Vista won the 4x100 relay and was third in the 4x400. Had they finished second in that final running event, the outcome would have been a victory for their girls to match the title their boys' took home.
Hemet went 1-2 in the high jump, with Sarah Hollis and Talia Dixon taking the honors there. Glendora's Audrey Valbuena won the vault with a clearance of -. King's Sissy Underwood had a fine outing in the long jump, winning with a leap of 16-01. Tiya Wodall of Rancho Verde- Moreno Valley won the triple jump by over a foot beyond Riverside-Poly's Desiree Howard.
So, perhaps after ten years, the meet has finally matched its moniker. "Classic" is a word that has multiple meanings depending on who you talk to, but on this anniversary running of the King Frosh Soph Classic, perhaps the 19 teams and the winners of Vista Murrieta and King could agree that the event has lived up to its billing.
Friday, March 28
FIRST GO AGAINST APPLE VALLEY BRINGS MANY FIRSTS FOR KING
There were "firsts" abounding on Wednesday in the dual between King and Apple Valey. In the fifteen years since King opened its doors, not once have the two teams competed against each other. Apple Valley, located in the high desert, traveled south for a mid-season non-league contest, a rarity in its own right. When it was over, King went home with four first place victories, winning both JV and Varsity levels and doing so handily.
The conditions were cool and breezy, not exactly the kind of weather that sprinters love competing in, but that didn't stop Courtne Davis from tearing up the track ... again. This time she set the school record in the 100 meters, going 12.01 with the wind at her back. Finished Results, the timing company we use, actually had a wind gauge on the race (a first for a dual meet at King) which read a tailwind above the "allowable." Since wind readings are rare at most meets, King has never kept a record from the books -- so Courtne's is the new mark! It also lowers her own stadium record, which she also set later in the 200 meters. Nick Abboud had two very nice hurdle races, finishing 2nd in the 110's and 1st in the 300's, continuing his fine season of improvement. Alyxis Boonkukoa snagged her first-ever victory in the pole vault.
So it was a day of firsts. As Apple Valley wasn't able to match King's talent in most events, the first-place wins came easily, at least many of them did. But for a first-ever mid season non-league race it was a good meet and sends the team into Spring Break on a high note.
Monday, March 24
TIME TAKES CARE OF ITSELF AT AZUSA MEET OF CHAMPIONS
A deep marine layer greeted the annual Arroyo Meet of Champions at Azusa Pacific University, bringing with it ideal conditions to run fast times. It's a meet that reminds most who are there of the cross country season, as the vast majority of racers found themselves last Fall racing over hill and dale. While there are no hills in track, in this meet there are no events outside the three distance runs, so the look and feel of the day passes as a bit of that Fall sport here in Spring.
Mark Werley was in the first of 78 heats of the 1600 meters (yes, you read that right, 78 heats!) and kicked off the marathon of miles with a seasonal PR. Wyatt Smith followed with a lifetime PR, going under 5:00, which Brenton Havsgaard And Ryan Orr matched a heat later, running their own lifetime bests. Isaiah Curtner had a really fine race, leading for much of it before finishing fourth with a lifetime PR.
Brianna Jacklin was the first of the ladies to take the line and ran her best race of the season and her career going 5:20. Her wonderful off season of training is really paying off, as she's now 14 seconds ahead of her best from last year!! Aimee Martinez also PR'd at 5:32. Rebekah Pendleton dropped 15 seconds off her previous best with a strong effort that took her across the line in 5:42. Lauren Boydd's comeback season continued apace. Emily Sanchez, who's main event is the 800, stepped up admirably and threw down a truly impressive 1600 going 5:30. Jessica Ferguson, Kathryn Hammar and Iveth gutierrez all broke 6:00 and PR'd.
The varsity boys took the track in the late afternoon and continued the parade of PRs. Carlos Ramirez had a breakthrough race going 4:27, the 4th fastest time in school history to that point. Brothers Gutzmann ran lifetime PRs in the mid 30's despite a heat that didn't go out aggressively. Kyle Johnson ran really well at 4:39, his best ever; Garret Koontz went lifetime at 4:45. Matt Cleland, Isaiah Quiambao all went in the 4:50's and for good measure, 800 runner Gabe Penate put together a very nice PR at 4:52! Like Emily earlier, he shows great range. Every guy who took the track in that segment ran a PR.
Once the lights went on, the elite heats went on too. The meet reserves the two fastest heats of the 800, 1600, and 320 for the end of the day under the lights. King was privileged to have eight runners in those special races. Andrew Boebinger, Ruth Wiggins and Jacob Norys all took on the 800 and each ran a great race. AJ ran his lifetime PR, at 1:58.25, it's the 5th fastest in school history. He also finished second in a loaded heat of frosh soph elites. Ruth Wiggins made a bold move with 300 to go and that effort helped her shave a fraction of a second off the school record she already owns, crossing at 2:16.39. Jacob Norys ran tough and finished with a seasonal best.
Dalton Seckinger was the last of the King runners to take the line and ran a gutsy effort in a heat that went out at a torrid pace. His time of 4:31 was his second-best in his three seasons of racing and the pedal-to-the-medal tactic was emblematic of how all the King kids raced throughout the day and night. Their collective efforts and outcomes underscored this truth: If you work hard over a long period of time, then take that preparation into an aggressive race tactic, the time will take care of itself.
Monday, March 24
DAVIS PUTS THE SHINE ON GREAT TEAM PERFORMANCES AT BEAUMONT
While the distance squad was off in Azusa piling up the PR's, the rest of the team traveled along the 60 freeway to Beaumont for the Cougar Classic. It didn't seem that long ago in 2001 when a fledgling King team made the same journey. It was a meet dominated by the young Wolves and produced the Athlete of the Meet in Gayle Hunter. Amazingly the results were virtually the same some 13 years later on the Girls varsity - a great team performance and team championship highlighted by Athlete of the Meet-Courtne Davis.
The Girls Soph/Frosh team also won the team title and the boys Soph/Frosh finished second. The boys varsity put up a tough battle finishing 4th overall.
Led by Courtne's two wins in the 100 and 200 as well as her anchor leg on the winning 4x100 team, King Varsity girls came away with the team title after a seesaw battle with RUSD rival John W. North. The Wolves scored from all areas of the track in coming out on top.The Girls's 4x100 of Davis, Tia Parrish, Sissy Underwood and Valentina Sanabria got things rolling 49.65 time. Sissy also scored a second in the 300 Hurdles with a sub 50 time and took third in the long jump at 15-10. The throwers were dominant as Jackae Yarbrough won first place with a 97-0 toss and was followed by Anissa Claiborne in third. in the discus and then turned around with Anissa's second in the shot put and Jackae's third. Madsion McPeak made a big jump in her short pole vault career as she came out a winner at 8-6. She was followed by Alexys Boonkukoa in second and Hannah Larsen in fourth. Sabrina Suarez was a top scorer in the both hurdle races with a second in the 100 Hurdles and a third in the 300's. Rachel hales pulled a second in the triple jump.
The girls Soph/frosh team was also extremely successful on the day. Led by a 1-2-3 sweep of Alyssa Drake, Danielle Abboud and Mary Jane Smith in the 400, the younger Wolves seemingly scored from everywhere. These three girls along with Tayley Holtrop also won the 4 X 400 relay. Holtrop led wire to wire in winning the 800 in 2:34. Courtney Blanck was the winner in the pole vualt and Faith Hodge launched herself out to 14-6 in winning the long jump. Amber Hlyton was the qwinner in the 100 hurdles. Hodge, Abboud, Smith and Jalya Jacob got second in the 4 x 100. Though the boys varsity finished down in the standings compared to thier counterparts, they were in it until the end. The boys 4 x 100 team of Jamal Orme, Kris Ewens; Brandon Burton and TJ Noland nabbed second place in 44.6. and Jamal was a fourth place finisher in the 200. Noland clocked a PR finishing 5th in the 100.
Cameron Brock set a stadium record with a leap in the vault of 13-1 and he was followed by Cody Vallejo in second place. at 12-6. Josh Fisher was the top scorer for the boys Soph/Frosh Team with first in both hurdle races and a second in the triple jump. He got great support from Dillion Lay in both hurdle races and the long jump; Noah Poole's first place in the pole vault; Noah Gutierrez's third place in the long jump at 18-4. Ryan Laudermilk in only his second week on the team skied to 5-10 in the high jump barely missing at 6-0.
Overall, a great day from which to continue to build as we approach the half way point in the season.
Friday, March 21
CORONA JUST CLEARS KING IN BOYS' COMPETITION KING'S GIRLS WIN EASILY
In the penultimate track event of the day, the boys 3200, Rolando Phalen was aware of what was needed. Finish first, and King had a shot at the team victory. With 300 to go in the race, he was 5 meters behind in second but somehow dug deep, showed grit and outkicked Eric George of Corona to snatch the victory with a PR of 9:49. The 4x400 was up next, and with a weakened squad due to injuries, King's Four couldn't outrun Corona's and the Panthers took the win. That turned all eyes to the vault, where Daniel Mukasa was locked in a jump off with a Corona vaulter to determine second place in that event ... the last event to be recorded. Mukasa clears and King ties ... Corona clears and the Panthers win. Despite a valiant effort with both teams gathered around the pit to watch, Daniel's last attempt just missed and the Corona Panthers walked away with a team victory in a well-contested competition by both squads.
Jamal Orme had an outstanding day, running 10.99 with a tail wind in the 100 meters to win, the mark stands at King's #2 all time. He won the 200 as well, improving his own SR to 22.03 and contributed to the relay victory. Andrew Boebinger dipped below 2:00 for the first time in his career in the 800, finishing 2nd with the #6 time in school history. Vincent Anderson won the long and took third in the triple jump. Nick Abboud took second in both hurdle races, showing much improvement. He was just 3/100th's off the #5 time in school history. Andrew Cloud was victorious in the discus, going 135-5 to win by 3 inches. Despite these and many other truly wonderful efforts, King came away with the loss.
For the girls, it was the opposite outcome, as they were able to handle the Panthers with some breathing room. Courtne Davis continued her barnstorming tour of the 2014 season, winning the 100, 200, 400 and helped to secure the 400 meter relays. Her 400 was a rarity, but she made it look like she's been at the oval for some time. Her mark of 57.47 just narrowly missed the school record in the event! Alyssa Haring and big sister Amanda Haring went 2-3 in the 3200. Sissy Underwood won the long jump while Opoku, Hales and Mackay swept the triple jump. Sabrina Suarez was second in the 100 hurdles, followed by Leighana Weaver. Anissa Claiborne and Yarbrought went 1-2 in the shot.
So it was a bitter sweet outcome. The boys fought well, but came up short, literally, as the vault made the final difference. The girls notched their first Big 8 victory of the season.
Friday, March 14
GIRLS NOTCH HISTORIC WINS, BOYS MISS VICTORY BY TWO
The Chaparral/Hemet double-dual meet that's been held yearly between the three fine programs yielded an historic victory for the girls from King. In beating the Pumas and the Bulldogs handily, the Lady Wolves notched their 100th and 101st victories since the school opened back in 2000.
Courtnee Davis had a standout day to lead the way, winning the two sprints and helping in the relays. Her 12.17 in the 100 was the #2 mark in school history! Ruth Wiggins had two wins in the distances and Anissa Claiborne continued her outstanding season in the throws, winning the shot with a fine mark of 37-0. King swept the top three places in the triple jump and discus and all four places in the long. Leighana Weaver took the victory in the 300 hurdles. Brianna Jacklin and Alyssa Haring ran side-by-side for 8 laps in the 3200, going 1-2 with PR's. Courtney Blanck vaulted to second place with a clearance of 8-6. By the end, the girls had 109 points to Chaparral's 39 and Hemet's 22.
King's girls program has produced league, CIF and State stars, multiple college and scholarship athletes and now an astounding 101 victories in dual-meet competition over 15 seasons. Outside of Becky Gagnon's tremendously successful tennis program at King, the girls of the track and field can claim ownership to one of the winningest programs in King High history!
The boys were in a dog-and-cat fight with the Pumas of Chaparral and despite a great 4x400 victory -- closed out nicely by Jacob Norys on the anchor -- the 5 points earned in the final event were not enough to win. Both teams had split 10 points in the penultimate race, the 3200, as Chaparral went first but their distance runner pulled Rolando Phalen and Daniel Gonzalez across the line with sub-10:00 PR's -- a rarity in dual meets. Brandon Gutzmann finished 5th, but with a 38 second PR at 10:02 making the three-man effort of King recorded the best 3200 marks we've seen in a long time. With such a close score, it goes without saying that Chaparral and King shared the scoring in every event, while Hemet sprinkled a few in to make it interesting. Jamal Orme won the 100, but Chaparral snagged the 3-4 spots to dull the impact. King went 2-3-4 in the vault, but Chaparral won it. The same was true for the Discus. Perhaps Vincent Anderson had the best individual result on the day -- and it was a day in which collectively King's athletes competed very well -- as he launched himself into the second-spot on the all time long jump list, winning with a leap of 21-11.
101 victories ... it's quiet an accomplishment and a sweet taste to be savored. Not for long however, as next week the Wolves head into Big 8 competion and another "cat" awaits in the form of the Panthers of Corona High.
Wednesday, March 19
PALOMINO RELAYS BRINGS OUT THE TEAM IN KING
The first Saturday Invitational of the 2014 season shone bright and clear as teams from all over the inland Empire converged on Ramona High School and the 23rd running of the Palomino Relays. Relays meets are usually of a mixture of controlled chaos with arms and legs and batons flying everywhere and this meet would be no different. The King High Wolves, absent numerous team members off to SAT testing and various other responsibilities and commitments, battled traditional track powers San Gorgonino and Redlands down to the wire eking out team victories in both the Boys and Girls Divisions. The female Wolves, based on Valentina Sanabria’s ability to hold off a charging Vista Del Lago anchor in the 4 X 400 defeated Redlands 100-99. On the boys side King was able to hold on for a 115-112 over the Spartans of San G. It is the first time since the 2006 Chet Nicholson Relays that the Wolves have pulled off a double victory.
The girls got off to a great start behind the Shuttle Hurdle team of Sissy Underwood, Jennifer Gutierrez; Sabrina Suarez and Victoria Hall who despite all being relatively new to the event finished second. After that first places came fast and furious. The 4 X 100 team of Mary Jane Smith, Jaliya Jacob;Tia Parrish and Khaysa Cunningham clocked a 51.25; the 4 X 1600 team of Alyssa Haring; Briana Jacklin; Lauren Boydd and Ruthie Wiggins came across the line in 22:44-almost a full minute ahead of second place. The distance medley which included Boydd, Guttierez, Wiggins and freshman Tayley Holtrop tallied a gold medal as did the 4 X 400 tea of Smith, Sanabria, and newcomers Breanna Fatten and Alyssa Drake. The pole vault relay of Hannah Olobri; Alexys Boonkukoa and Hannah Larsen totaled 45 feet in their team victory. The girls long jump relay of Jamie McCray; Rachel Hales and Underwood also tallied first in their event.
Thursday, March 6
PHEW! FIRST MEET TAKES ONLY A FEW HOURS TO GAIN VICTORY
The last time Murrieta Mesa and King met at Ram Stadium in 2012 their dual meet took well over 6 hours to complete. Naturally, there was some trepidation among many yesterday as they wondered if the Wolves were heading toward another agonizing prolongation of a competition that should take half that time. Fortunately, there were few delays and few heats and after a few hours, the teams were done and King had a few victories to start the season.
The field events had some standout accomplishments to aid in the victories. Anissa Claiborne threw the shot put 37-6 ¾; setting the school record. Elizabeth Curtis heaved the shot over 30 feet , and, only a 9th grader, she’ll be moving up next week to the varsity level! Andrew Cloud went 126-0 in discus, just two feet from his PR. Dylann Holland had a two- foot PR in triple jump to win the event. Four male vaulters went over 12; Cameron Brock, Marcos Zavaleta, Daniel Mukasa, Cody Vallejo. All could have gone higher if not for the meet having to finish up.
On the track, things were going smoothly even after two dropped batons in the first relays of the season and the meet. Daniel Gonzalez and Tyler Janes ran 2-3 in the 1600, with Daniel running his fastest time ever. He’d come back with another scoring effort in the 3200 along with Rolando Phalen who had a stirring effort and race to finish 2nd in the 8-lapper. AJ Boebinger won his first-ever varsity race in the 800 and his leg of the 4 X 400 got us into first place where Norys hung on for the victory to close out the win for the varsity boys. In his first real go at the 800, Dalton Seckinger ran a solid race for second place. On the girls' side, Courtney Davis ran 12.31 in the 100 and 24.65 in the 200, the second-fastest time in school history for the half-lap. Amanda Haring had two distance wins on the JV level and Alyssa Drake won the 400 with a 1:04.5. Brianna Jacklin ran a great 3200 to finish second with her personal PR
With memories of that six-hour marathon back in '12, the more reasonable 3 hour time span between start and finish to the '14 version was a welcome start to the season. Winning made it even better.
SCHOOL RECORDS SET IN 2013
Monday, June 3
KING'S QUEEN OF THE HURDLES PLACES AT STATE
A year ago, Tayler Fleming made the trip to the California State Track and Field Finals at Buchanan High in Clovis full of enthusiasm and hope. That 2012 trip ended in frustration and heartbreak as she finished 10th overall in her speciality, the 300 Hurdles, missing the Finals by one place. It was this disappointment that drove Tayler through her senior season in 2013. Getting back to state, despite how tough it might be, was the goal. Getting back; redeeming herself (as if she had to ) and maybe earning a medal was the mission.
With a senior year full of accomplishments that could very well have allowed her to settle short of her goal, Tayler kept "her eye on the prize." Despite a shaky two weeks in the early post-season rounds at CIF Prelims and Finals, she found her stride at the Master's Meet, smashing two school records and qualifying in both hurdle events to State. The first King female athlete to go to back to back state meets.Goal accomplished.
In Clovis, among the very best California had to offer, she preformed brilliantly in the preliminary heats. She finished 10th in the the 100 hurdles despite running her second best time ever at 14.34, missing the Finals by a single place. Rather than see this as a sign from last year or give in to panic, Tayler came out in the 300 Hurdles running tough and finished 7th overall with a time of 43.08 giving her that much coveted spot in the Finals; the first King female athlete to make it to finals since 2004. Half of The Mission accomplished. The next Saturday, under the lights and with electricity in the air, Tayler settled into the blocks of the 300 Hurdles for her final race in a King uniform. The familiar cry "Let's go Flem!!" came from Hurdle Coach Ken Bracy. Go, she did. Out fast and finishing strong, Tayler grabbed 6th place in 43.14 and a CIF medal-only the second King female to ever earn hardware. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
Up to this final race, to this final race, Tayler had a career full of accomplishments; awards; league titles; invitational titles; and CIF appearances. She has had the admiraton; respect and love of her teamates. As she prepared to run Saturday night, a sign, crafted by the UCR coaches who will be overseeing her progress next season, appeared in the stands. It said-"Tayler Fleming-Queen of the Hurdles at King." That CIF medal was the final jewel in the crown.
Monday, June 3
ONE FINAL RACE AND RECORD FOR TORRES
"I've got one more race in me!" Nathan Torres declared after he finished his CIF rounds at Masters. There, he missed qualifying for State by one place and a quarter of a second. His hunger unsatisfied, Nathan wanted one more chance to prove his mettle. to put out one more great effort. So, while his 800 meters compatriots were duking it out in Clovis at the State meet, Nathan entered himself into the Jim Bush invitational at UCLA's Drake Stadium on Saturday to find out what he could muster up over 1500 meters.
Consider the quest for one more great race accomplished. In a heat that fielded other high school runners plus a sizable sampling of current collegiate athletes, Nathan raced to an impressive performance. While the meet may not have had the intensity of a State championship, it certainly proved worthy with quality competitors and Nathan used the field to race to a school record for the distance. While the event has never been contested before by any King runner, making whatever the outcome of his race a SR, more importantly for Nathan was that his mark of 3:59.45 for 1500 meters -- with a conversion to factor to1600 meters -- would have been a personal best for him. Exactly what he wanted.
The race went out fast, and Nathan went by the 400 split at 63.7. The next two laps were even better as he split them at 63.9 and 63.8 and was able to close with a time of 3:59.45. He finished in 4th in his heat and 20th out of the two heats of a combined 40 runners, most of whom were college runners. After catching his breath, he proclaimed, "I'm ready for college running."
We agree. It will be fun watching as this talented senior takes on that collegiate goal next year at UC Santa Barbara. If he races and trains there with the same mentality that took him to UCLA last weekend, it should turn out pretty good for him.
Saturday, May 25
FLYIN' FLEMING IS ON TO FRESNO
The CIF Southern Section Masters Meet serves as a qualifying meet for the State Championships to be held one week hence in Fresno. It's a stage upon which the best 9 athletes from all four Southern Section Divisions (which includes over 500 schools) compete for one of the coveted spots to State. Earning a spot at the Masters Meet is a huge accomplishment in its own right ... to perform well in that talented arena is even more so.
Both of King's athletes, Tayler Fleming and Nathan Torres, competed well on the big stage.
Tayler Fleming put together a masterful performance in both hurdle events and will travel to Fresno to represent King High in the 2013 State Championships.
Of the two events, one could make the argument that the 100's are her "lesser" event, as she's been a pretty dominant force for a couple years in the 300's. In the shorter race, she was the last one into the Masters meet and was relegated to lane 9. There, out on the fringe and away from the "action" reserved for the fastest seeds in lanes 4 and 5, Tayler quietly rocketed along the path and straight into the record books. She finished third overall, but more significantly to King's history, she broke the 11 year old record in the event held by the very talented Gayle Hunter. Her time of 14.31 was significantly faster than the 14.44 that Gayle had held since May 10, 2002.
Tayler then came back in the 300's perhaps a bit lighter knowing her trip to State was already secured. In lane 8, she got out well, and coming off the turn was in 5th. She finished even better than she started and by the time she'd crossed the line, she had set yet another SR (42.84 - this time breaking her own at 43.03) and finished third again for the chance to race the twice next weekend in Fresno.
Nathan Torres was also competing in the 800 and after a scintilating 1:52.63 which he put down last weekend at CIF Finals, he was hard-pressed to match it here at Masters. The top six finishers (or those who surpassed the auto-qualifying time of 1:52.90) would qualify for State. As it turned out, though Nathan was in fine position with 200 go, the kickers found their big gears and a pack of nine guys went four-wide down the straight. Places 2-6 all finished within 3/10s of a second of each other and Nathan was nipped at the line, missing 6th place by .28 seconds! It was a bit of a heartbreak but doesn't diminish the incredible season Nathan has achieved.
So Tayler Fleming will return to Fresno. In 2012, she missed making it out of the Friday night 300 prelim rounds by one place and had to sit in the stands Saturday watching and wondering what it must be like to race in the State Finals.
Perhaps this year, she'll find out. She's not only faster than she was last year, but thanks to that incredible 100 meters, she's got twice the chances here in 2012.
Womens 100 Meter Hurdles
Mens 800 Meter Run
Saturday, May 18
FUN TIMES AS KING EARNS THREE ALL-CIF HONORS AT D1 FINALS
There isn't anything easy about the CIF Southern Section D1 Track Finals. Everyone in the meet is among the best in the state at their event. King sent four athletes, Niarobi Watson, Tayler Fleming, Blake Bergstrom and Nathan Torres. Of those four, three came home with All-CIF honors (and fancy medals to commemorate it) and two, Fleming and Torres, punched their tickets to compete next week in the CIF Masters meet.
Nathan Torres spent much of the winter mired in a persistent and serious fight with bronchitus and it would have been understandable had he dismissed thoughts of racing at CIF Finals in May. But he didn't, and despite losing valuable time in preparation, he has timed his ascent just perfectly and raced his best race of the season to finish as the D1 Runner-up! It was a brilliant race, so well executed. He split at 400 in 56.0 and closed with a 56.6. Even splits, yes, but he had his fans with their hearts in their throats as he was in sixth place with 200 to go and a good 5-7 meters off the lead. The last 70 meters saw him weaving through traffic and across the line in second place. His 1:52.63. lowered his own SR by more than a second. It's the sixth-fastest time run in California this season and #11 in Riverside County All Time! Given that after that lengthy illness, his first race this season was a modest 2:10, this was a crowning moment for the likable senior. "That was fun!" he beamed at the end as family, friends, teammates and coaches were high-fiving and hugging.
Indeed it was.
Tayler Fleming has been down this road before, as she competed at the State Championships in 2012. Racing in both hurdle events, she took lane two in the 100's and parlayed it into a fifth place finish and 9th overall when all four divisions were combined. (Top 9 finishers in the combined four divisional races qualify for CIF Masters). Later, she moved to her specialty, the 300's. There she finished fifth again (43.21) for her second All CIF honor on the day and another event to contest next Friday at Masters.
Blake Bergstrom's season has been nothing short of spectacular and he finished it in fine form with a sixth place finish (and the last All-CIF honor in the race) in the 300 hurdles. His time equalled his best this season. Nairobi Watson has shown great improvement over the last month of the season, and that improvement would have been on display today except for a fraction of a foul on two of her attempts. Both of those disputable fouls, which Coach Corona eyeballed at less than a half-inch beyond the board, took her out well past 36 feet. Those leaps, had they been measured, would have had her finish one place higher than the 9th place legal finish she went home with.
So it was a very good day for the Wolves. Among many of the state's best, King's kids put their names amidst the elites and competed with poise and purpose. Two will represent King High School next Friday night in Cerritos at the most elite meet in the state short of the actual State Championships. It will be that meet that both Nathan and Tayler will gunning for.
Should be fun.
Monday, May 13
CLOSE CALLS AND ALMOSTS BECOME THE NAME OF THE GAME AT PRELIMS
There is an old saying in coaching that says that "close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades." The meaning behind that cliche is that despite the fact you may come close to victory, close doesn't necessarily mean success. After the results were made on Saturday at the CIF prelinaries, for the King Track and Field Wolves, "close" didn't count for the CIF Division 1 Finals either.
REDEMPTION FOUND AT BIG 8 FINALS
After a rocky beginning to the 2013 Big 8 League season, in which both varsity teams lost to Roosevelt and Corona, the King squads found themselves in a deep, competitive hole and looking at a long climb out. On thursday night, the Big 8 League Championships were held at Santiago HS in Corona, and given the stirring performances by so many of King's best on the track and in the field, one could well assert that the teams had found redemption of sorts for a season that appeared to be all but over just five weeks ago.
There were numerous standouts throughout the afternoon and evening, as King crowned itself with six individual titles, four for the girls, two for the boys. There were numerous medal finishers and CIF qualifiers as well. For good measure, the all-time lists were altered greatly and three new school records were minted. It was quiet a competition.
Blake Bergstrom emerged from the competition having qualified for CIF (top three finishes) in four different events. He helped to win the night's final event, the 4x400 relay. Along with Travis Thomas, Nathan Torres and Romalio Cosey, Bergstrom's carry helped them to the #2 time in school history and take a little of the sting out of the loss to Roosevelt back in March. He finished second in the triple jump with a two-foot improvement over his previous best and the #4 mark in school history. He literally jumped out of his shoe as his gear ripped in mid-flight from the force of his plant. He also took second in the long jump but won his specialty, the 300 hurdles. Consider the lad tired after a night like that!
Tayler Fleming, who signed with UCR the day before, finished third in the 100 hurdles, but ran a superb last 110 meters in the 300's to win her second-straight title in that event, matching to the hundreth, the SR she set at the State meet in 2012. (43.03). She anchored the 2nd place 4x400 team and helped to set a new SR in the 4x100 relay, where Jordan Lofton, Tia Parrish and Courtnee Davis combined to finish second and go 47.86. In the 300 hurdles, the most competitive event in the night, teammate Leighana Weaver ran her first ever sub :45-second split but finished fourth. She qualified for CIF nonetheless by meeting the very rigorous qualifying time for finishers outside the top 3.
In the distance events, King's kids really shined, and not just on Thursday but in Tuesday's preliminaries as well. Alyssa Haring won the JV 3200 in a lifetime best and also won the JV 1600. Ruthie Wiggins finished third in the varsity 1600 to qualify for CIF in this her freshman season. Bayleigh Porter, after a very frustrating season in which she struggled to find her stride, showed that tenacity and never giving up has its merits as she ran a lifetime best, the #2 time in school history and qualified for CIF in third place. It was a great performance for the senior. Perry Elerts ran a very gutty race in the 1600 and held off hard charging competitors after a scintilating 4th lap to finish second in 4:30.50 In that race was Tyler Janes who qualified for the final in just his freshman season. Joe Casco qualified for CIF in the 3200, finishing third in a negative-split race. Raelyn Werley won the 3200 as well, leading all the way, but was almost upstaged by Lauren Boydd who ran a gigantic PR and snagged 2nd place with a terrific kick. Very impressive and gutsy race by the relative newcomer to the event! In the 800 meters, Nathan Torres finished second (behind the current state leader) with a fine race. Jacob Norys and AJ Boebinger were 6th and 7th respectively, AJ finished the season with the #3 All Time freshman mark in school history for the 800 at 2:02.52.
In the field events, Kiarra Ginwright won a huge contest with Roosevelt's best high jumper as the two matched misses and makes over several pole placements and jump off, until the Kiarra finally pulled out the victory at 5-04. Niarobi Watson was the other league champion in the field with a fine leap and PR of 34-05 in the triple jump.
Travis Thomas was all over the place on the day, competing in the relays but also in the 400, where he finished 2nd in a photo finish! His PR and #2 AT mark of 49.58 took some of the pain out of the picture. Hannah Blache was third in the 400 with her own quality race, running a PR as well at 57.81. In the 200 on Tuesday during the prelims, Jamal Orme scorched the track for a SR in the event at 22.24. His 11.09 in the 100 was the #5 time in school history, so it was quite a haul for the speedster. Tia Parrish finished 4th in the 100, and she's just a freshman! Cournee Davis was a split second behind her in fifth, and Courtnee is a sophomore so there is a bright future in store for King! Kiazha Ginwright was third in the triple. In the vault, favored place-finisher Cameron Brock pulled a hamstring during competition, and had to bow out. TC Wilson won the JV vault at 11-06, but King wasn't able to place any vaulters in the top five of the varsity contest. Finally, Anissa Claiborne threw the shot to a PR distance of 36-5.5 to finish second in that event.
The lesson of 2013 then, could perhaps be the one that say "it's not over 'till it's over." It seemed like it was over back when the squads were 0-2 and showing the life of something slightly warmer than a corpse. But the last three league meets went to King and the championship rounds showed a couple of groups with more passion and competitive fire than we've seen all season long. It was therefore a very rewarding night and not for only those mentioned here. It was, in the end, an indicator that no matter how dark the valley, redemption is still available.
You just gotta keep going till its over.
Monday, April 29
CORONA FS SHOWDOWN TURNS INTO LAST CHANCE PR PARADE
The Corona S/F Showdown is billed as a "last chance" for Soph/Frosh athletes to earn a PR or get a medal or just get a tune up for the coming week's League Prelims and Finals. On all three counts, the Showdown would fit that bill for a great number of King Track athletes, especially in the PR department.
The Boys team, which finished third in the 17 team competition. was paced by 110 Hurdle winner Nick Abboud, who got his PR at 15.88 as well as a 6th place in the 300 Hurdles. He was joined in the winners circle by Marcos Zavaleta who won the pole vault at 12-0. Zavaleta was followed in the pole vault by Daniel Mukasa who got second with his PR of 12-0 and Noah Poole (4th at 10-6) Ryan Moussad got his PR in the in the straight hurdles finishing 4th at 17.12. The duo of Daniel J. Gonzalez (4:43) and Mark Werley (4:49) also joined the PR parade in the1600. Brett Wolff and Tristan Fortier recorded their best marks of the year in the throws and Ronnie Rhodes IV recorded his best marks of the year in the 100 (11.8) and in the 200 (24.03) Though PR's were not in the offering, Andrew Boebinger raced to a 3rd in the 800 (2:06) and Rolando Phalen (2:08) finished 6th. The 4 X 400 team of Seth Tyler, Moshin Sabrin, Jacob Norys and Boebinger recorded a 3:43 for 4th place.
The King girls finished sixth in the final point tally but were also enjoying the PR parade.Alexys Boonkukua skied to second place in the vault with her 9-0 jump and Hannah Larsen tie her best jump of the year at 8-0 for 4th. Rachel Hales improved significantly in the long and triple jump recording a 3rd and 4th place respectively. Both Mary Jane Smith (13.58) and Leah Bantum (13.88) dashed to their PR's in the 100 as did Jaylai Jacobs in the 300 Hurdles at 51.6. Jacobs got 6th place overall as did Emily Sanchez in the 1600. The 4 X 400 Relay of Hannah Davidson, Danielle Abboud; Destiny Gardner and Smith nabbed third place.
Thursday, April 25
KING WINS IN FINAL BIG 8 MEET OF THE YEAR
With some of King's "A-teamers" training through or resting, the last Big 8 contest of 2013 against Norco HS allowed for different faces to see time at the front of races and winning points in lopsided victories at all four levels agains the Cougars of Norco.
The JV teams rounded out undefeated league schedules, while the varsity teams ended the season 3-2 in the league.
For the boys, Cameron Brock had the highlight of the day out in the pole vault. Brock set a lifetime PR of 13-7 to put him in a tie for #2 all time in King's history. He tried three attempts at 14-1 and the school record, but came up short. Hopefully next time it will happen. Vault-mates Vallejo and Zavaleta helped King sweep the event, helping the overall team to win by a 77-59 margin.
The 400 relay team got it rolling with a victory by a full second. Then in the 1600 meters, Carlos Ramirez continued his fine racing of late, with a wire-to-wire win and a solid 4:33 mark despite gusting winds. Tyler Janes was 2nd and Daniel G. Gonzalez was third for the sweep. Nick Abboud continued to show strong growth in the hurdles, winning the 110 highs over the second-place Norco athlete. Blake Bergstrom won the 300's as he has so often. Norco had its main points come in the 400, 100, 200, shot and high jump. In the 3200, King swept as Jacob Enriquez, Tyler Janes and Matt Cleland combined to take the top three spots. There was a King sweep of the 800 as well, with Jacob Norys, Romalio Cosey (normally a 400 runner) and Tyler Janes doing the honors. Janes used the day to score three times.
On the girls side King's team won very easily, amassing over 100 points. The day could have been dubbed, "The Sister Act" as siblings took the stage and earned points. In the 800, the Sanchez sisters, Ashley and Emily, were first and third respectively, while the Haring sisters, Alyssa and Amanda were first and third in the 3200. The Ginwright sisters, Kiazha and Kiara took first and second in the high jump. (Kiazha also placed second in the long jump with a leap of 14' 8".
Lisa Garside took the victory in the 1600 with a very nice 5:25 effort.In the sprints, Tayler Fleming ran a 15-second 100, all while hurdling ten flights of barriers. Pretty impressive. Jordan Loften did the same distance without the barriers, going 13.05 for the win. Sacha Bowen won the 200 meters, and Leighana Weaver took first in the 300 hurdles.
So after losing the first two meets of the Big 8 season, the teams took home victories in the remaining three and are now set to enter the championship season.
Monday, April 22
THE CITY MEET CREATES A MAGICAL NIGHT OF TRACK AND FIELD
The fourth "re-running" or "re-annual" of the Riverside City Championships was held at King High School on Saturday and turned out to be a great event that brought the track community from across the greater Riverside area. Almost every school was in attendance and the meet ran smoothly and with great competition and fanfare.
For the host school, King, it was a very special night of track and field. In almost every event, the King runners, jumpers, vaulters and throwers were present and more than accounted for, with a sizeable contingent finding themselves on the victory stand at the end of their event; earning "City Champion" titles or attractive medals for their accomplishments.
Senior Travis Thomas and freshman Ruth Wiggins had performances that were especially noteworthy and will no-doubt create indelible memories in their lifetimes. For the hard working and likable Thomas, he found himself climbing the victory stand numerous times and subsequently climbing King's all time charts as well. It started in the 4x100 relay race in which he teamed up with Dylan Holsey, Brandon Hubley and Jahai Scott to win the event title while clocking a very impressive 43.20, good for the second fastest all time mark in school history. Thomas came back in the 400 with a PR of 50-flat, the second-fastest time in school history and winning again over Galloway of North. Then at the end of the night, he ran a sterling effort in the 200, clocking at 22.73 (#3 all time) to finish second, then for good measure, anchored the victorious 4x400 team. What a night for the talented senior and one in which you may give him a pass for finishing it tired!
While one exits, another enters, and so introductions are in order for 9th grader Ruth Wiggins who had a stunning "quadruple crown" in her only event, the 800 meters. Ruth's PR going into the meet had stayed stationary for a few weeks at 2:20.08, and a tantalizingly close half-second off the school record. The SR wast her goal for the evening and did she ever reach it! Racing with aggressiveness and poise, the rookie ran nearly even-splits for the two lap race, crossing the finish line in 2:16.85. It was the school record that she wanted, but the mark was also a King High 9th grade record, the King Stadium Record and the Riverside City Championships Meet Record! A race with consequence!
Wiggins and Thomas may have captured the biggest spotlight, but there were numerous King stars that shined brightly. The boys pole vault swept their event with Cody Vallejo winning at a PR of 13-0. Cameron Brock was second, Maros Zavaleta and TC Wilson medaled in third and fourth. Blake Bergstrom, who won the 300 hurdles, was third in the long jump but won the triple in a fine 41' 11.75". Steling Hampton was the lone Wolf to medal in the throws, taking third in the discus. Dylan Hosley, while aiding in the 400 relay victory, was third in the 100 meter dash. Brandon Berz, a night after running his lifetime PR in the 1600 meters with a relay split of 4:18.7 at Mt.SAC ran the 800 here in Riverside. He took on the field and led from the gun to notch a 1:57.57, the #3 time in school history. Jacob Norys, just a sophomore, was third in 2:00.33, a lifetime PR and good for the #7 time in school history. Joe Casco won the 1600 and Perry Elerts won the 3200, bringing a clean sweep of the distances for King High. In the 1600, Carlos Ramirez had a lifetime, breakout performance, dropping his PR in the race a full ten seconds to 4:30! Tyler Janes improved on his own SR for 9th graders, running 4:31.
The girls 1600 saw a very big broom being used by King, as the Lady Wolves took all five medal places. Raelyn Werley, Lisa Garside, Lauren Boydd, Emma Jaramillo and Rachel Rosales did the duties in that one. King's ladies had five of the top seven places in the 3200, led by Boydd's PR of 11:48.16.
Hannah Blache was the winner in the open 400, with a PR of 58.64, but it was Courtnee Davis who was sparkling in the sprints. She ran 12.83 for third in the 100 (followed by Jordan Lofton in 4th and Tia Parrish in 6th). In the deuce, she threw down King's #4 all time mark of 25.49 winning the race by less than 2-10ths. Katy Fatten took fifth in the 800. In the hurdles, King's Queen was over at Mt.SAC taking on some of the state's best, so the event was open for Leighanna Weaver to take on Riverside's best. Weaver took 4th in the 100 meter hurdles, followed closely by Katherine Domenici and Sabrina Suarez. Weaver's 300 saw the talented sophomore winning easily. Domenici and Suarez were fourth and sixth respectively.
Becky Collier of Woodcrest Christian set a new stadium record in the high jump, with a State-level leap of 5-8. She doubled her pleasure by winning the long jum at 1604, leading all "big school" opponenets. Nairobi Watson was third in the long jump with a mark of 15-01. Hannah Olobri was third in the pole vault with a season-best of 9-0. Jaymei McCray, Watson and CAitlin Smith were all medalists in the triple jump. Anissa Claiborne shot put to 35-0, good for second in the event. Breanna Collins and Rayo Soyemi both medaled in the event, with Rayo taking third in the discus.
The 4x400 relays proved to be a fun and electric way to end the night. The girls kicked it off with a great victory, setting the meet record in the process at 3:59.55. Leighana Weaver, Blache, Davis and Jordan Lofton were the stick-carriers who made history. The boys' squad won as well, capping off a great night of competition.
The City Meet will be renamed in 2014 as "The Raincross Tradition" but on this night it was pretty clear that no matter what you call it, the stage and the event brings out the best in town.
Sunday, April 21
MT.SAC RELAYS BRINGS OUT THE BEST FROM KING'S BEST
One of the most prestigious meets on the yearly calendar is the famous Mt.SAC Relays which draws high school, college and professional track athletes from across the country to race upon its storied track. King entered on Friday night, four of its best distance runners, all seniors, to circle that track as a team one final time in the 4x1600 meter relay. To a man, Nathan Torres, Perry Elerts, Joe Casco and Brandon Berz raced with ease, poise and competitive fire and the result was simply amazing.
The result was a shattering of the school record for the event, taking down the old mark by 31 seconds! Their mark stands as the third-fastest ever in Riverside County history!
Torres took it out first and ran a season-best 4:23.9 and gave the stick to Elerts in 5th place. Perry ran a terrific leg, notching his fastest 1600 split ever at 4:26 and gave the stick to Joe Casco in 7th of a very fine field. Casco, who's been nicknamed the "Flyin' Fillipino" put down another terrific performance, moving up two places and splitting at 4:24, also a personal best. Berz had a breakthrough race in his own right, dropping his PR by 8 seconds and closing the race in 4:18.7 and moving the team into fourth place to medal and secure the school record of 17.33.53. The old mark, set by the very same guys last year was 18:04.68 ... dramatic improvement!
Nathan Torres and Tayler Fleming returned to Mt.SAC for the Saturday session, seeking competition that the city of Riverside could not, perhaps, match. They were not disappointed.
In the 800, Torres ran just 3-10ths off his lifetime PR in the 800, matching to the second his CIF Finals time from last year at 1:55.62. He finished fourth in his heat. Fleming threw down another superb effort in her specialty, the 300 hurdles, and finished third in the invitational heat that included competitors that will likely be next to her in the CIF rounds and, hopefully, the CA State Finals. Her time of 43.25 was, like Nathan's mark, just a fraction off her lifetime best in the event and currently sits as the third-best mark in all of the Southern Section of CIF!
So, while their teammates were lighting up the city of Riverside, these select few were making the most of their moment under the stars and the sun of one of the nation's premier relay meets.
Thursday, April 18
KING NOT TROUBLED BY SHARKS
After getting tossed around by Roosevelt and Corona in the two opening meets of the 2013 season, King was stumbling a bit and looking for traction or some sign of hope that the season would not be a complete misstep. The Beaumont Invitational, the Azusa Meet of Champions and the the IE Championships all breathed life in the team and gave a sense that the train was still rolling. An expected and easy win over weak Centennial one week ago, while satisfying, was so expected that one could forgive the Wolves if they had had their sights set on the Sharks of Santiago.
Surprisingly, what most assumed was going to be a strong contest, the meet yesterday turned into something of a route. The Santiago Sharks - usually a solid opponent, who's girls pushed Corona to the final event last week before losing - could barely nibble on the Wolves and King won handily and easily at all four levels.
King's varsity boys won by a margin of 86-50, this while resting out some key scoring athletes. The majority of Santiago's points came in the field events where they were scoring twice in seemingly every event. While King's throwers scored 10 of their 18 available points, the big damage was done on the track where a number of sweeps were in orer. Joe Casco, Nathan Torres and Perry Elerts did the brooming in the 1600, while Bergstrom, Abboud and Carlson swept the 110 high hurdles. Berz, Jacob Norys and Tyler Janes swept the 800. Near-sweeps came in the 300 hurdles where Bergstomr and Carlson wen 1-3 and the 200 where Jamal Orme and Travis Thomas went 1-2.
For the King girls, their mastery over Santiago was unchallenged, winning by a score of 102-34. Santiago took first in only four events, and King's ladies swept three events and won both relays. Raelyn Werley, Ruth Wiggins and Lauren Boydd took the 1600 to kick off the meet and the girls never looked back from tehher. Tayler Fleming closed out her stellar career on King's home track with her final two hurdle events ever to be run at home. She won both, winning the 100's in 15.74 and the 300's in a modest 45.36. When told she didn't need to run the 300's near the end of the meet and the King victory already secured, she responded, "I have to, it's my last 300 on our track!"
Hanna Olibri, Courtney Blanck and Justine Petty swept the pole vault while Katy Fatten had the fastest time of the day while running the JV 800, a quirk of being misplaced in level. She ran 2:31, while newcomer Ashley Sanchez, in just her 2nd 800 ever, won the varsity race in 2;32. Lauren Boydd came back from the 1600 to win the 3200 in a really solid time of 12:02 - just seconds off her PR -- despite pretty significant winds. Courntee Davis won the 100 dash and took second in the 200.
Sunday, April 14
A HAPPY DAY LEADS A GOOD NIGHT AT IE CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Inland Empire Championships is broken into two sections, "Day" and "Night" and in both sections frosh soph and varsity athletes from across Riverside and San Bernardino go head-to-head. The Day Meet isn't quite as competitive as the Night Meet is, but both provide stages for kids to shine. For King, it was a day for happy athletes which led to a very good night ... in fact, Coach Corona remarked that this may well qualify as King's best ever overall showing at the annual affair.
At the Frosh Soph level, King's girls took second and the boys took 3rd. The boys varsity finished 4th and the girls varsity 5th -- this against over 30 scoring squads. Indeed, it was quite a day.
In the pole vault, King's FS boys stacked the upper scoring ranks, with Marcos Zavaleta winning the title. Daniel Mukasa and Noah Poole finished 3rd anf 4th. Zavaleta was only one of a handful of "IE Champions"; a siginficant accomplishment in the face of the region's solid track culture and talent. Lauren Carr was the winner in the day heat of the varsity 3200, with a lifetime PR of 12:06. In fact, the 3200 crew was in fine form at both ends of the long day, as Raelyn Werley and Brandon Berz won the nighttime meet in the same event, some 7 hours after Lauren took home her title. Both seniors ran quality performances. Hannah Blache ran a lifetime PR in the night FS 400, improving her #3 all time school mark to the low-58's. Leighana Weaver had a championship run in the FS300 hurdles at night, running a lifetime PR of 45.61, the #2 time in school history.
Blake Bergrstrom ran a terrific 300 hurdles that had to be decided by a photo to determine his second-place finish after a hard-charging last flight brought him to the line a sliver into silver. It was a great display of his drive and talent and capped a great week of competition; he won four events on Wednesday against Centennial.
Jamie McCray was fourth in the day portion of the long jump, with a leap of 14-4, but Lexi Opuko was 2nd overall in the Day FS long jump with a leap of 15 feet. Rachel Hales was second in the FS Day triple jump. In the night-time FS long jump, Sissy Underwood was 4th with a fine leap 15-2.75. Grant Higgins was 5th in the day FS long jump.
Lauren Boydd ran the 1600 in the morning hours, and just as she didn in 2012 at the IE Championships, she used the track at Vista Murrieta to deliver another breakthrough PR, this time going 5:24. She and Brianna Jacklin would come back at night and run excellent 3200 meter races, with both girls dropping below 12:00 for the first time ever and becoming King's second and third runners this year to eclipse the significant barrier. (Werley is the other). While out of the medals, Bayleigh Porter had her fastest time of the year in the night-meet 800, going 2:22. Similarly, Ruthie Wiggins missed out on a medal, but still threw down King's #6 all time 1600 mark in 5:10.89 - a mere 4-tenths off the #5 spot! Tyler Janes dropped 5 seconds off his best-ever in the 800, going 2:05 in the day meet for third. He came back later and made a huge move over the final 100 meters of the 1600 to finish second in 4:38. In the 3200 that Berz won, his teammate Joe Casco was right on his heels and finished in third with another gritty performance.
Tayler Fleming, who's having another very special year while entertaining numerous college scholarship offers for her talent, was the runner-up in the 100 hurdles with a seasonal best at 14.71. She was a bit off her game in the 300's going 44-plus and finishing third behind two Roosevelt rivals. Tia Parrish had a very fine outing in the FS100 dash under the lights, going 12.60 for King's #5 all time best mark. She finished third. Courtnee Davis was the runner-up in the FS200.
The meet finished with a sterling effort in the 4x400 meter relay by Fleming, Blache, Porter and Weaver ran the #2 time in school history and for only the second time dipped under 4:00 for the race (3:59.42). What made it a bit more exciting was the side-by-side dual Fleming had with a JW North runner on the anchor leg; a battle that was reminiscent of six years ago when North and King track meets were fraught with epic clashes. Tayler pulled away strongly in the last 100 to secure the championship for the foursome.
Given the lack-luster perfomances King has put forth in recent weeks, the meet was a day and night of competitive spirit for King that has been sorely missed. Whether it was the grand stage layed out Vista Murrieta or the thousand-plus fellow competitors that brought it out, one can only guess at the cause. Whatever it was, the day's competition brought smiling faces and the night duplicated the day.
Friday, April 12
EASY WINS AND FIELD EVENT HELP STAVE OFF EARLY SEASON LOSSES
Preparing to compete the week after Spring vacation is never easy. The awareness that the end of the school year is upon us and the weariness of day-to-day work sometimes takes away from the team competing at peak form. Sending less than a full squad to the starting line against Centennial, the Wolves proved they are ready to finish off the season with success, defeating the Huskies convincingly winning 104-32 for the girls and 94-42 for the boys.
On the girls’ side, the Lady Wolves walked away with 12 victories and swept in seven events. For the distance squad, Lisa Garside and Hannah Johnson ran away with personal bests for this season in the 1600 in a closely contested race. Alyssa Haring, Brianna Jacklin went 1-2 in the 3200 easily defeating all Centennial runners who toed the line. The hurdle squad swept in both the 100 and 300 contests with Tayler Fleming and Leighana Weaver winning handily in both of their races respectively.
Off the track, the jumps and throws were equally as successful, sweeping both long and triple jumps with Nairobi Watson scoring in both. Breanna Collins, Anissa Claiborne and Rayo Soyemi had equal success on the field, flipping places and sweeping in both the shot put and discus.
For the boys, the team had more competition against the Huskies, but was able to find the same success as their female counterparts. Blake Bergstrom earned victories in the four events he contested, earning victories in both hurdles and the long and triple jump. Bergstrom led the way for the Wolves in his events, with sweeps in the 100 and long and triple jumps, including an all-time top 5 mark in the long.
The throwers outscored Centennial 15-3, with Anthony Calvillo scoring in both. Although the meet could have proven to lack the intensity and atmosphere of a highly contested battle, several King Wolves chose to compete with something to prove, setting a goal to finish out their season with class and commitment.
With the dust of vacation fading, the team can look forward to renewing its goals and individuals can set their minds to competing with intensity to finish on top.
Thursday, March 14
WILD HORSES PROVE TOO MUCH TO TAME
When the girls 4x400 team took the line to close out the meet against Roosevelt HS yesterday, all they were thinking about was perhaps, get the stick around and get it there first. If they did, then victory would be theirs and their teammates who battled valiently throughout the warm afternoon to bring the meet to its dramatic closing.
They may well have been thinking they were on the same line with one of California's fastest mile-relay teams and the challenge would be daunting. But, as the Lady Wolves had done all day, this group of four put out a great effort, running 4:01 (the fourth-fastest mark in school history). Sadly it wasn't quite enough to surpass the talented Roosevelt crew and the meet would close with King 8 points from the victory and a potential league title.
Roosevelt's girls were the defending champions of the Big 8 which made for an exciting meet from start to finish. In the 4x100 relay that launched things, the King girls ran the 2nd fastest mark in school history after three great exchanges but it was still not enough to take the win. Ruthie Wiggins and Raelyn Werley were 2nd and 3rd in the 1600 - again, great efforts and times ... but still short by just enough for it to matter. In the hurdles, Tayler Fleming and Leighana Weaver made up 8 points by going 1-2, but Roosevelt stormed back by winning the 400 and the 100 despite great efforst by Hannah Blache and Tia Parrish respectively. Ruthie Wiggins went wire-to-wire to win the 800 in a PR and the third-fastest mark in school history, while Raelyn Werley and Aimee Martinez went 1-3 in the 3200 to lead up to the exciting 4x400 that closed the tightly contested meet.
In the field events, Kiarra Ginwright had another fine outing in the high jump, winning at 5-0. Anissa Claiborne had a sweet sweep of the throws, scoring 10 points in the process. In fact, the discus was swept by King as Claiborne, Vanessa McCullough and Rayo Soyemi all cleared the 73 feet Roosevelt's best was able to muster out there. In the Triple Jump, Kiazha Ginwright went 34-2 for the win and the leading mark for King on the season.
On the boys' side, it was never really close as the Mustangs ran away with it early and never looked back. Even a raucous celebration by the King kids over the win the team took in the 4x400 relay that ended the affair couldn't muffle the fact that the Wolves were outdone by over 30 points. Kyle Warrick did a lot of damage with two wins for Roosevelt in the 1600 and 800 despite great races by Joe Casco and Nathan Torres who gave chase. Perry Elerts was third for King in the 1600 with his best time of the year at 4:31.49. Blake Bergstrom and Kyle Carson combined for four placings in the two hurdle races; Blake won the 300's. Cameron Brock, who has been vaulting so well this year, cleared 13-0 again, but was outdone by two competitors in the blue and orange of Roosevelt. Sterling Hampton was the only King thrower to score points (2nd in the discus) as Roosevelt held the fort out in the field.
In the end it turned out to be - despite the losses - a series of events that saw strong efforts by the King kids. Unfortunately, it was not enough to tame the Mustangs who ultimately rode out of town victorious and in the saddle for the 2013 league crowns.
Sunday, April 7
TAYLER FLEMING LEADS KING KIDS AT NATION'S MOST PRESTIGIOUS MEET
Nobody said that for the King High Track program, in trying to bounce back from the disappointments of mid-March, the road would be seamless; that there still wouldn't be obstacles to overcome. After encouraging and positive movement forward at the Meet of Champions; the Beaumont Invitational and the King Soph/Frosh Classic, the Arcadia Invitational proved to be a roller coaster ride of elation to frustration and back again.
Arcadia - the nation's most prestigious and competitive high school meet - boasts athletes from across the country (some 25+ states were represented) and foreign countries. Entry is highly selective and to get a lane or a spot on the line is an achievement in its own right. The meet will highlight the strengths and weaknesses of those who take the place there over two nights and a day.
The distance crew for King ran a combined total of 13 miles in six different races and kicked off that half-marathon on Friday night with a sweet school record in the boys 4x800. They went 8:07, eclipsing the old mark by 4 seconds and did it with only seven shoes. On the second leg, Jacob Norys was spiked at the end of the first turn but gutted out nonetheless a 2:05 with only one shoe. Brandon Berz, Dalton Seckinger and Nathan Torres rounded out the SR-setting crew with both Berz and Torres dipping under 2:00! Not to be left off the all-time lists, the girls 4x1600 team of Ruthie Wiggins, Lauren Boydd, Emma Jaramillo and Raelyn Werley cut off 28 seconds from the old mark in that event set back in 2008.
While Friday night featured those school records and some outstanding racing, the Saturday day portion was one of uneven performances. Though running hard, the 4 X 100 relay teams; the 4 X 400 teams and the girls DMR had results that disappointted. The day, perhaps, can be capsulized in the running of the boys and girls 300 hurdles. First, sophomore Leighana Weaver went down midway through her heat having hit a hurdle on the turn. Then Blake Bergstrom, one of King's most competitive athletes, charged hard through his best event and was in second place of his heat until the final hurdle when he clipped it too and crashed. Before he could right himself, the field had passed him to the line. But later, in the same event, King's most decorated athlete - 2012 State Qualifier Tayler Fleming - pranced around the track in the elite night meet and finished third overall and dropped her season-best mark by 1.5 seconds. It demonstrated her "re-arrival" at the level she finished her amazing 2012 season. Falling and rising, the 300 hurdle event seemed to be emblematic of King's two days in Arcadia.
On Saturday, Nathan Torres proved he's pretty-much back to 2012 form after battling illness all winter. He ran in the "day meet" portion of the Arcadia Invitational in the 800 and went 1:57, just a couple seconds off from his season-best 1:55 he ran in last year's CIF rounds. The Distance Medley Relay on Saturday night was crazy, as 33 teams left kids with blood on their legs and exchange zones that looked like NASCAR pileups - bodies and baton bouncing off each other in mad exchange zones. The boys' team of Perry Elerts, Travis Thomas, Berz and Torres were placed in the heavily talented "invitational" heat during the elite night section of the meet and held their own against many of the best in the state. Though they were about 10 seconds off the school record set last year, they battled gamely with some pushing, shoving, bleeding and wild baton exchanges that made for an exciting conclusion to the meet for the Wolves.
A rollercoaster of 16 hours is perhaps the best way then to describe the King experience in the nation's finest and most competitive high school meet. There were some really exciting highs, but some lows too that seemed to indicate there is still more to grow on as the season enters its final month.
Monday, April 1
HERITAGE BOYS WIN THEIR FIRST, KING'S GIRLS WIN AGAIN AT 9TH ANNUAL CLASSIC
The purpose of King's annual Frosh Soph Classic is to stage an event that mimics everything a varsity meet would, just keep the upperclassmen(and women) at home. Let the young ones have their moment in the spotlight.
In the 9th running of the "Classic", the kids didn't disappoint. Glendora, a staple of the meet and the defending champions on both sides, was pushed in a mighty battle by Heritage and King in the boys contest and the three teams finished just a handful of points apart.
In 2012, Glendora seemed to have an answer for every threat any opponent threw at them, but here in 2013, it was a battle at every turn. Heritage saw big points come their way via sophomore Jarett Carter, who scored 18 points in the 200 and 400, winning the 400 in a solid 51.55. Teammate Torrey Atkins took home 20 points by winning both hurdle races, so between the two of them, Heritage's young stars collected just about half of the team's haul. Axel Aveakovi won the shot and finished third in the discus, behind Hemet's CJ Hicks who set a meet record to win at 138' 7".
For their part, the host team King kept chipping away at smaller point totals here and there, including a big push in the 3200 at the end of the day to snag 3rd, 4th, and 5th places and 12 points. Tyler Janes was third in the 1600, notching a King High freshman record for the distance in the process at 4:35.66. The relay team finished second in the 4x400 to earn another 8 points. In the pole vault, the Wolves took in a haul, winning 1, 2 and 6 - 19 points! Marcos Zavaleta and Daniel Mucasa were the winner and runner-up respectively, with Noah Poole taking the final point in sixth. Grant Higgins scored in the long jump, finishing 4th, while Montiel Johnson went 46' 6" in the shot to finish second behind the aforementioned Uveokovi. Jacob Norys was the runner-up in the 800 at 2:04, taking 8 points and earned a point in the 1600 finishing sixth overall.
Glendora was persistent and tenaciously fought for a repeat win but came up just short. Jeff Kirwin was masterful in the distances, grinding out a sub-10:00 3200 (and meet record) along with a well-timed attack in the 1600 to score 20. James Reyes was second in the 400, Daniel Castro won the 800 with teammate Parker Seale in 5th. Seale would "seal" 18 points for Glendora in the 1600, taking 2nd behind Kirwin. Glendora also won the 1600 relay as mentioned earlier, but also scored twice in the long jump and once in the triple. While one could point to their multi-lappers as their MVP's on the day, it took concerted effort by many that got them within 2 points of Heritage's 75. King had 70 to make it a close battle for the victory. It was quite a meet.
On the girls' side, it was not close as the King girls ran away with the victory, winning by 28 points over Rancho Verde and 58 points over Yorba Linda and Glendora who tied. (Their 95 points combined with the boys' 70 made King HS the Sweepstakes winner).
Courtnee Davis led the way for King's ladies with a very busy and productive day. She scored in both short sprints and the 4x100 relay in which she helped the Wolves go to victory. In the 200, she finished in 3rd during the preliminary rounds, then came back to win the event in the late afternoon. Ruthie Wiggins scored 18 points by taking 2nd in the 800 and winning the 1600. Alyssa Haring won the 3200, after sprinting out to a big lead in the opening lap and never relinquishing it. Leighana Weaver scored twice in the two hurdle races, finishing in the middle of the medals in the shorter version but winning nicely in the 300's. Justine Petty and Courtney Blanck scored 12 points in the vault., Sissy Underwood scored in the long jump. King would close the day with a 4x400 victory as well.
In the throws, King was shut out, but Corona's Kayla Zempoalteca won both tosses, setting TWO new meet records. First, in the shot, she heaved it 35' 02" and then in the discus, her 116' 00" was 19 feet beyond her strongest oponent. Aliyah Crawford of Citrus Hill set a new meet record in the 400, going 58.01 and distinguishing herself as the only sub-60 second quarter miler on the day.
For almost a decade now, King High Track and Field has been throwing out the welcome mat for schools near and far to show up with their "young-ins" and treat them to a first class, "varsity" meet. Given how well so many of the competed this year, that welcome mat could very well be seen as red carpet.
Sunday, March 24
DISTANCE RUNNERS ROMP IN P.R. PLAYGROUND
We are hard-pressed to remember an Azusa Pacific (APU) Meet of Champions that went as well as the 2013 edition did for the King distance runners. While the meet is always a place to run fast, there seemed to be something even more magical about the track this time around as the PR’s (personal records) started early and just kept coming throughout the long, 14 hour track meet. By the end, with King well represented in the elite “invitational” sections under the lights, there was a sense that no one wanted the parade of personal improvements to end.
After running dozens of heats of the 800, 1600 and 3200 throughout the day, the meet reserves the fastest two heats of those distances to be run under the lights at night. It’s an electric setting as many of the elite distance runners in So Cal are present. King was well represented in each of those. AJ Boebinger and Rolando Phalen kicked it off in the 800 with both dropping big PR’s and medaling. They ran 2:07 each, AJ’s was the 5th fastest freshman time in school history! Jacob Norys was next and ran incredible 2:02.63 lifetime best. Ruthie Wiggins equaled her all time best in the 800 at 2:20, despite getting shoved by an opponent with 150 to go. Katy Fatten was also under the lights but her smile was illumination enough after running a huge PR of 2:21.55, the #6 time in school history!
In the 1600’s Tyler Janes moved to #2 on the Frosh all time list at 4:38 while Carlos Ramirez raced well for the first time in a loaded and hyped race! Dalton Seckinger had a very special 1600 in the same race, and put himself at #5 on the all time list with a 4:28 gem. It was the 3200’s that seemed to scream that the best was saved for last, as the long-lappers finished off the night in tremendous fashion. David G. Gonzalez and Mark Werley were the first up and ran text-book 32’s moving steadily through the field to finish in the top 6 overall. More significantly, the crushed the 13 year old freshman school record of 10:23, as Gonzalez ran 10:04 and Werley 10:09! Sophomore Kyle Johnson was next and cooly laid down a lifetime best of 10:04 – 56 seconds faster than he was last year!
Then came Raelyn Werley who dropped her lifetime best of 11:34 to 11:07.51. It’s the 5th fastest mark in school history and was without doubt, the best race the senior has ever run. Joe Casco finished the PR’s for King with another stud-like effort, racing to the second-fastest 3200 in school history and running 9:29 – 15 seconds faster than his all time PR.
But there were PR’s in the daylight as well, and a few of them stood out in attention grabbing ways. Brenton Havsgaard won his heat in 5:01.62, earning a coaster-sized medal for his efforts. Michael Robinson lowered his 6th-fastest freshman 1600 mark by 3 seconds. Daniel Gonzalez put down the 7th-fastest freshman time in the 1600 some 8 hours before breaking that 3200 record. What a day for the freshman! Wyatt Smith, Daniel J. Gonzalez, Garrett Koontz Joe Quiambao and Isaiah Curtner all took home PR’s in the 800. Emily Fajardo and Hannah Huscher did as well. Brandon and Parker Gutzmann, twins, ran twin times at 4:50, both were lifetime PRs in the 1600. Emma Jaramillo – who’s not a twin – ran a PR in the 1600 as well, at 5:26. Rachel Rosales had a nice drop of time in the 1600, going 5:36.66 to snag fourth place and a medal in her heat.
Maybe the biggest race though came from Bayleigh Porter who ran superbly to a 5:21 clocking, her best ever. Lauren Boydd equaled her best time at 5:28.35, while Lauren Soholt dropped another 5 seconds from her fastest to go 5:34.57 with Brianna Jacklin coming across also with a PR at 5:38.77. David Huff and Jacob Enriquez became the newest members of the sub-5:00 1600 club with 4:53 and 4:59.46 marks respectively. Nathan Torres won his heat at 4:26.65, a great time in his come back from a lengthy illness. Brittany Saucedo missed getting under 6:00 in the 1600 by a half second – heart breaking a bit, but still another PR.
So there was a lot to smile about and a lot to cheer for as the King kids had a romp in what we were calling a “PR Playground”. It was fun. Now comes the challenge of maintaining that level of expectation in races and meets that may not be as magical as the oval in Azusa.
Monday, March 25
FIRST STEP TOWARD PROGRESS TAKEN AT BEAUMONT
On Thursday of this past week, Coach Corona told his team that "this might be the lowest point ever in King Track and Field history." It wasn't so much losing back to back meets ( a first on the girls side) to tough league rivals Roosevelt and Corona that put the Wolves in this position but the way in which these losses had come. The tenacity; the togetherness and the preparation which have been hallmarks of the Wolves program for years were noticeably absent in those two losses. Corona also said to his charges that once you get to the lowest point, then one has to find their way back to what they know-back to who they really are. " It will not be an overnight process", he said, "but a step by step process".
Saturday, with the distance kids at Azusa Pacific and the rest of the team at the Beaumont Invitational, the Wolves took the first step. With the distance group flying around their PR Playground" the other parts of the team acquitted themselves well at the Beaumont Cougar Classic. The boys and girls varsity and soph/frosh teams all finished in the top three in the team standings carried by some top flight performances. On the boys side, Travis Thomas was the meet winner in the 400 with 51.23 and was a runner-up in the 200 at 22.97-3/100's from the gold. Team mate Jamal Orme was right behind in the 200 for third. Cameron Brock also won an invitational title with a leap of 13-0 in the pole vault. Cody Vallejo got his PR in that event at 12-6 for fourth. Blake Bergstrom won the 300 Hurdles in 40.11. Sterling Hampton continues his discus prowess with a third place finish at a near PR of 131-03. David Gardner jumped a PR 39-9 in the triple jump.
The girls varsity was once again led by senior Tayler Fleming. Tayler won both hurdle races without really being pushed and anchored the 4 x 100 relay to a meet record 48.8. She also anchored a cobbled together 4 X 400 to a second place finsh. Aiding in the scoring was Hannah Blache in the 400 at third place in the 400 and Courtne Davis in the 100/200 as well as Hannah Olobri and Alyxs Boonkukoa in the pole vault. Sissy Underwood and Jennifer Gutierrez stepped up in the girls Soph/Frosh division for the Wolves. Sissy would win the 100 Hurdles in 18.48 while Jennifer finished third in 18.98. Gutierrez would come back and be the meet winner in the 300 hurdles finishing at 50.62. Underwood also got a meet title with a PR long jump of 16-1. Courtney Blanc got a third place in the pole vault. The Soph/Frosh boys were led by meet champion Montiel Johnson in the shot put winning the event by some three feet with a 40-8 toss. Montiel also finished third in the discus with his second best throw ever at 99-7. Not bad for a guy who has just picked up the implements this year!! Another meet champion was Marcos Zavaleta who cleared his PR of 11-6. He was followed by jump-mates Daniel Mukasa in second at 11 feet and Noah Poole in 4th with a PR 10-0. Saddiq Jennings, Grant Higgins, Kris Ewens and Elijah Jackson raced to thrid place in the 4 X 100 and Delynn Holland collared third place in the long jump.
So from Azusa to Beaumont, Saturday was the day the Wolves took their first step on their journey back. There are still many steps to go.
Friday, March 22
DETERMINED CORONA DROPS KING SQUADS TO THIRD
Though the varsity scores were relatively close (the boys lost by only six points) against Corona on Wednesday, the outcomes could have (should have?) been a reverse of what they were and King could have been looking at the remaining part of the season in control of 2nd place in the league. That didn’t happen, for many reasons, and when the day ended the highlights fell to the JV boys who took home the only victory on the day.
The distance teams of both Corona and King have enjoyed friendly and equal rivalries in both XC and Track for some time, and today’s distance races were no exception to that pattern. Carlos Ramirez and Tyler Janes went 1-2 in the 1600 and led a field that saw 6 King runners eclipse 5:00 in the event. Tyler’s 4:40.31 was the #4 frosh time in school history, while 6th place Michael Robinson’s 4:45.18 was #6. Corona handled well the 800 taking the victory from Rolando Phalen who PR’d at 2:10. In the 3200, the boys from King did exceptionally well, taking places 1-4, led by Daniel G Gonzalez’s #2 frosh time in school history (2-tenths off the record!) at 10:23.49!
Seth Tyler , Mohsin Sabrin and Jay Roddie swept the 400, Sam Lumpkin, Saadiq Jennings and Matthew Tarrt swept the 100 while Ryan Moussad won the 300 hurdles. Lumpkin would double back to win the 200 as well, pulling Tarrt and Kendell Moore with him to add another King sweep to the ledger. In fact, sweeping was the Special of the Day, it seemed, as King brought the broom to the Triple Jump as well, while coming close to it in both of the throws. Sueung Lee and Marshall Levine took the 1-3 spots in the discus.
While the JV boys dominated, there were too many lack-luster elements of the varsity contests – both boys and girls – to overcome a motivated Corona program. The Panthers’ girls were upheld by the tenacity of distance runner Alicia Williams and sprinter Cydney Powell who combined for 30 of the whole team’s point totals! Williams swept all three distance races despite quality challenges by Raelyn Werley in the 1600 and Ruthie Wiggins in the 800. Powell was strong enough hold off Courtnee Davis in the 200, despite Davis’s #4 time in school history at 25.78. Powell bested her hard-charging opponent in the 100 as well while also took “gold” in the 400, winning with ease.
On the boys’ varsity level, the efforts for King were a bit more consistent but it still brought them up short by six points. Joe Casco’s brilliant 9:43.25 3200 at the end of the meet – made dramatic as Corona’s David Aguilar went side-by-side with him for all but the last 50 meters of the race – embodied what the coaching staff wished King had displayed throughout the meet. The high points were few, however, allowing the Panthers to move into second place in the Big 8. Brandon Berz won both the 1600 and the 800, running the 1600 in King’s #3 best mark ever. Travis Thomas earned the win in the 400 meters, and Blake Bergstrom took a first and a second in the two hurdle races. Thomas came back to win the 200 as well in a solid sub-23 second effort. To close the meet, the 4x400 squad ran an inspired effort with the fifth-best mark in school history at 3:42.80. The field events turned out to be a dismal affair for King as they couldn’t take a victory in either of the horizontal jumps, both throws and no-heighted as a group in the high jump. Cameron Brock’s 13-3 victory in the vault was the only field event that King could win.
Sunday, March 10
PAST AND PRESENT OF KING TRACK MEET IN FULLERTON
King Track alums - doning different uniforms than they once did - took to Cal State Fullerton's track Saturday night in the Ben Brown Invitational. Alongside them were three members of the current team, all of whom will be wearing a different uniform in the coming seasons for their prospective colleges. It was quite a reunion.
Earlier in the day, Casey Candelaria (Class of '09) and currently running for Fullerton, competed well in both the 800 and 1500. Also in the 1500 was Morgan Sjogren-Gonzalez (Class of '05) who ran for Cal State San Marcos while in college and is now competing semi-professionally also had a fine outing in the 1500, running a lifetime best. Katrina Graham ('10) is running for the Master's College and raced well in the 5000 meters. Tyler Parrish and Chris Miller - along with a host of other King grads - wore RCC's colors and competed well.
On the track for King this evening were seniors Joe Casco, Perry Elerts and Raelyn Werley, all of whom were aiming for quality marks in the 5000 meters, a distance rarely contested at the high school level. For Raelyn it was first try at the distance and she did remarkably well, crossing the line in 18:18 -- all while coming by the 3200 meter mark just three seconds off eher lifetime best at that distance with still another mile to go. Joe Casco and Perry Elerts both ran in the same race a year ago and on this evening they were both able to slice significant seconds off their previous bests and ran 15:29 and 15:32 respectively.
Thursday, March 7
HEMET GOES COLD, KING HEATS UP, PUMAS GIVE CHASE.
King's annual meeting with the Pumas of Chaparral HS (Temecula) along with a reunion with the Bulldogs of Hemet provided some really good competition and at the end of the long, triangular meet, the Wolves came home with victories at all four levels. The day was very cold and with three large teams on the field, it made for an endurance contest that lasted almost five hours. The host Bulldogs of Hemet were never really in the hunt at any of the four levels, but the Pumas of Chaparral made the varsity boys of King sweat with a great contest that went closely untill the final two events.
The girls meet had highlights at several corners of the track and field. Kiarra Ginwright launched herself to the 5th best school mark in our 13 year history, going 5-4 in the high jump. It was quite an effort. In the 1600, freshman Ruthie Wiggins would put down a school record for 9th graders, winning in 5:22. She doubled back to lead a King sweep in the 800 that netted her the #2 fastest 9th grade mark in King's history for that particular race. Right on her heels were Bayleigh Porter and Raelyn Werley who both ran very solid efforts as well. Tia Parrish and Courtney Davis went 1-2 in the 100 while Davis doubled back to snag another 5 points for King by winning the 200 later in the evening. Tayler Fleming did her "usual" victory lap, winning the 100 and 300 hurdles. Perhaps the brightest spot for King were two encouraging marks set in the shot, as Anissa Claiborne and Brianna Collins threw the shot beyond 30' and finished first and second. The girls varsity was never really challenged in the meet and won by a wide margin of 95-40 over Hemet.
For the boys, it was much closer and it took throwing in two "backups" at the end to seal the deal. Joe Casco and Perry Elerts were penciled in for the 3200 as "if needed", and with the gap between King and Chaparral a mere 4 points with two events to go, the two talented seniors were called on. Did they ever "fill in!" Both guys took charge of the race despite the Puma's pesky top 2-miler and with a negative split race, finishing with a 64-second last lap, Perry took home the victory with Joe Casco right on his heals! Brandon Berz took two victories in the shorter distance races on the day and led the distance crew to some really remarkable early-season times. Berz's 800 time of 2:00.48 sits as the #6 time in school history. Dalton Seckinger and Jacob Norys - both sophomores - went 2-3 making a King sweep of both the 1600 and the 800 a reality ... not to mention some serious points.
The sprinter contingent did well on a very cold afternoon and evening. Indeed, they performed as if the temperatures were 30 degrees warmer than the high-forties the mercury was reading. They won the 1600 meter relay and Jamal Orme took first in the 100. Blake Bergstrom won the 300 hurdles while taking second in the 110's. He also took second in the long jump. Cameron Brock had another very fine outing in the pole vault, upping his season best vault to 13-06. R.Cosey and Derrick Johnson were 3rd and 4th respectively in the 400. Sterling Hampton and Anthony Calvillo were the only throwers for King to score on the afternoon, heaving the discus 132' for third and fourth place. In the end, the boys were pushed by Chaparral, but came away with a 12 point margin of victory, 71-59. Hemet was third with 40 points.
So it was, on the whole, a very good day. With the first Big 8 League meet coming next week with the favored Mustangs of Roosevelt, it could be just the kind of momentum building King will need.
Monday, March 4
DOWNEY RELAYS BRINGS INVITE TITLE TO GIRLS TEAM
The King Track program made its way out to the 605 freeway and Downey High School this past Saturday for its first invitational action of the season. The Downey Relays are in thier 13th year and attracts numerous teams from Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Along with Valley View out of Moreno Valley, the Wolves were the only Inland Empire entrant in the meet. The Wolf tracksters have traditionally shown well in relay events such as this and despite the breakdown of electronic timing and the fact tha tthe meet was two hours behind schedule, Saturday would be no exception.King fielded teams at the Boys Soph/Frosh; girls varsity and Boys varsity level and did extremely well in the team standings at the end of the day. In the 38 toal events that had King athletes, King medaled in 29 .
In the boys Soph/Frosh, Peninsula High finished with 92 points; Downey had 62 and King finished with 50. Daniel Mukasa highlighted the day with a first place finish in the pole vault at 10-6 and led the young Wolves to vicxtory in that event. Other fine efforst came from Grant Higgins; Delynn Holand and Ryan Moussad who pulled a second in the Triple jump relay with a total of 107-3 and a second place finish by the 4 X 1200 team of Mark Werley; Mikie Robinson. Daniel G. Gonzalez and Carlos Ramierz who ran 14:20.56. The boys 4 X 100 team of Shadig Jennings; Kris Ewens; Elijah Jackson and T. J. Noland ran to a second in the 4 X 100 despite Noland getting getting run into by a opposing anchor leg who ran out unto the track at the last minute.
Thursday, February 28
CLOSE SCORES HERALD START FOR HOPEFUL SEASON
The girls of King, who have lost only 11 dual meets since the program’s inception in 2000, won for the 93rd time. The victory came by a comfortable, yet competitive margin, 77-59. In many respects, the “stars” of the meet for King were frosh/soph kids making the jump to the varsity level and having an immediate impact. Ninth grader, Ruthie Wiggins scored 6 points, taking 2nd in both the 1600 and the 800. Her times placed her among the top 7 freshmen King runners all time! Sophomore Hannah Blache also shined with relay legs and a victory in the 400. With Tayler Fleming out sick, sophomore Leighana Weaver took two seconds in both hurdle events. Courtney Davis and Tia Parrish – again, 10th and 9th grade respectively – went 1-2 in the 200, Tia took second in the 100. Kiara Ginwright (10th) took second in the high jump and freshman Destinee Underwood won the long jump. In the 3200 at the end of the night, Raelyn Werley, Iveth Gutierrez and Lauren Soholt led a King sweep, with Lauren running a lifetime PR!
Mesa’s men were able to edge King in a tightly contested (65-77) match that saw the track athletes for King doing what they could to stay close. Brandon Berz scored 10 points in the 1600 and 3200, Perry Elerts scored 8 himself winning the 800 and taking second 100th of a second behind Berz in the 3200. (Both guys closed the 8 lap race in a sweet 61 seconds). Derrick Johnson carried the stick in the relay but came back later to finish second in the 200 meters at 23.87. Blake Bergstrom, just three days removed from the soccer season, broke off some rust in the hurdles and nearly matched his 2012 PR in the 300’s where he won. He was third in the 110’s behind two Mesa hurdlers. Perhaps the highlight of the day came in the pole vault where Cameron Brock inaugurated his third season with a very impressive early season vault of 13-0. A nice way to start the season indeed and it bodes well for the remaining 10 weeks of the season. Delynn Holland scored for King in the triple jump with a leap beyond 38 feet.
In the end, under the lights and cold temperatures, the two large teams came to halt in their kickoff contest for 2013. Close scores and spirited competition marked the day and illuminated much on what is a season all hope ends well. .
Tuesday, February 7
RESULTS FOR 2012
Sunday, March 4
School Records Set in 2012
100 Meters - 12.04 - Cydnie Jones
Boys Distance Medley Relay - 10:26.95 Berz (3:11), Thomas (51.8), Elerts (2:02.8), Torres (4:20)
Saturday, June 2
TAYLER FLEMING FINISHES TOP TEN, ONE SPOT FROM STATE FINALS
Track and Field is a sport where absolutely
nothing is guaranteed. A mis-step there; a 100th of a second here; an inch give
or take often spells the difference between victory and defeat. The past does
not dictate the future. In this sport, there is a fine line whether
you reach your goals or not.
Saturday, May 26
TAYLER FLEMING IS ON TO STATE, MEGAN MELTON JUST MISSES
The CIF Masters meet doubles as a "Southern Section Championship" along with a qualifying meet for the California State Championships to be held in Clovis, CA next weekend. With 580 schools represented in the CIF Southern Section, being among the 9 best athletes in your event is a distinction few can claim.
Two from King High Track and Field were able to do that very thing, and represented themselves and their school extremely well Friday night in Cerritos.
For Tayler Fleming, queen of the hurdle events, 2012 has been quite a season, as she's shown tremendous growth and improvement. A year ago she made it as the "alternate" for CIF Finals, essentially the 10th best 300 hurdler in Division One of the Southern Section. Here in 2012, thanks to an amazing performance Friday night in the Masters Meet, she's ready to move two rounds past CIF Finals with her first trip to the State Meet.
She ran a smooth, even race over the 300 meter layout, and even closed over the last 100 meters from 5th place to ultimately 3rd. Her time of 43.03 was 3-tenths faster than her previous best, and 2.5 seconds better than she was a year ago. She'll be heading to the State Championships next weekend.
Pole vaulter Megan Melton just missed the 5th-place qualifying mark for State, finishing 6th overall in a very talented group of 14. Like Tayler, Megan had a tremendous season of improvement, and to be counted the 6th-best vaulter in the Southern Section is no small thing!
As Tayler heads north next weekend, her participation in the State meet will mark the 4th time in the last 5 seasons that King has had an athlete in uniform on the State's biggest stage.
Sunday, May 20
CIF FINALS BRINGS OUT CHAMPIONSHIP MENTALITY
The annual Southern Section CIF Championships is one of the finest and most competitive track meets one can aspire to. There are no entry fees paid for by coaches or administrators. It's not a "come one, come all" invitational.
It's the championship. It's an earned privilege, an honor bestowed only on the talented, the tenacious, the patient and the ones who possess a "championship mentality."
That mind set was present among the King athletes who had earned their place on the Big Stage and it was symbolized the most perhaps, by the boys 4x400 team of Nathan Torres, Blake Bergstrom, Travis Thomas and Josh Jeter. Seeded 9th of the 9 teams, they didn't let what was written on paper determine the outcome. Instead, racing hard to a man, they moved to 7th overall and set a new school record in 3:21.83. It was a great way to finish the meet.
Along the way, others showed the same outlook. Tayler Fleming was very busy, competing in the 100 and 300 hurdles along with the 4x400 relay. In the shorter hurdle race she was just off her lifetime best and finished 7th overall. In her bread-and-butter event, the 300's, she stormed through the lap and finished 2-hundreths below her lifetime best and SR, set at Arcadia in April. Her 4th place finish punches her ticket for the Masters Meet to be held in Cerritos this Friday night.
Noelle Abboud, was velvet and steel on the day. The terrific competitor put out another amazing performance in the 400, finishing with All CIF honors in 6th place. She came back later in the 4x400 and ran a great leg before switching to the "velvet Noelle" and rushed off the track to make the senior prom in style.
Megan Melton continued her steady vault season with a 4th place finish at 11-0. She's All-CIF and also bound for the Masters' meet. Josh Jeter had a fine day in the 300 hurdles, finishing third overall in D1 with an improvement on his own School Record and his first All-CIF honor. As high as his finish was, unfortunately it wasn't enough to crack the top-9 and move on to Masters, so Josh ends his high school career with a school record and a firm place among King's all-time best hurdlers. Nathan Torres had another fine perforance in the 800, despite the 8th place finish. He ran mid-1:55 for the third-week straight and ends what has been a great year of growth for the junior. The girls 4x400 team of Abboud, Fleming, Hanna Blache and Leighana Weaver finished in 7th.
The goal of any athlete, in any sport, is to reach the Championsh game, meet or match. That's the prize. Getting there takes time, skill, determination and maybe a bit of luck along the way. Performing at a "championship level" is a whole other thing though, as it takes a special mentality that embraces the pressure, expectations and the moment. For a handfull of King athletes on Saturday, that championship mentality was clearly on display.
Sunday, May 13
ROUGH START LEADS TO BIG MOVE-ON
It didn't start well.
A couple of bad exchanges in the girls' 4x100 relay race -- King's first race of the CIF Preliminaries -- and a "sure thing" squad was out of the running for a CIF Finals berth. Another "sure to qualify" athlete on the Trabuco Hills track was Josh Jeter, racing in his specialty, the 110 high hurdles. The talented and motivated senior mis-stepped over the first hurdle, crashed through it and it was game over for Josh in that event.
0-2. Not a good start.
But leave it to Tayler Fleming and Noelle Abboud to change things up. Tayler's a recent arrival to the elite ranks of the 100 hurdles, having thrown down some high 14-second efforts just in the last few weeks. She did that again on Saturday and slipped into the Finals in the 9th qualifying spot. In the 400, only 15 minutes after Josh walked off the field, Noelle put down a super effort to win her heat in a come-from-behind style. She improved on her own school record and will advance as the 6th-seed next week.
From there, many on the King team took their cue and the qualifiers started coming, more than King has had in many, many years.
In the vault, Megan Melton looked very strong and moved on, adding her name to the long list of Coach Roll's vaulters who've made it to The Big Dance. In the 800, Nathan Torres ran another torrid race, slicing a couple-tenths off his own school record and qualified. In the 300 hurdles, Tayler Fleming came back with another sub-44 second race to qualify in this, her stronger hurdle race. Josh Jeter redeemed himself with a great 300 hurdle race, full of drama. Out well, he led the field over the third flight, but by the sixth flight he had been caught by three and hit the straight-away in 4th, not the best place to be in a heat if qualifying is the plan. But with resolve, Josh made a huge move over the remaining barriers and crossed the line in first - an auto berth - and set the school record in the process. A GREAT race!
The afternoon ended with both 4x400 squads making their way on to the next round. The girls didn't have their best race and had to hold their breath through the announced list of nine squads who ran marks to move on. 9th! by two-hundreths of a second. It was close, but they'll take it. The boys team ran a school record mark of 3:22, shattering the 2004 school best by two seconds. Nathan Torres set the table with a 49-split opening leg, leading the field at the hand off. Travis Thomas and Aaron Hickman ran outstanding legs and gave to the big man Josh Jeter who showed very clearly that a disappointing first race of the day doesn't mean the day has to end that way. He stormed his way around the oval with a sub-49 split and brought the team their first trip to Finals in almost a decade. Like the girls' before them, the boys made it close, taking the 9th and last spot to Finals by 3/100ths of a second!
It's not how you start, but how you finish. That may be a cliche, but at the 2012 running of the CIF D1 Southern Section preliminaries, King showed that cliches can also hold a bit of truth.
Friday, May 4
THE COMEBACK KIDS OF KING USE BIG 8'S AS REASON TO RISE
Three weeks ago on this very track, Tayler Fleming finished the 300 hurdles a fraction of a second behind Iris Chijoke of Roosevelt and shed tears in frustration and disappointment.
Yesterday, in the annual running of the Big 8 League Finals, there on the same track, Tayler raised her arms in victory and a wide smile of cheer replaced the tears of last month. The rematch was close, but the outcome was reversed and the uber-talented hurdler had a League Title to her name. It was, perhaps, that singular race among the couple-dozen events on the day, that symbolized the nature of sports -- track and field in particular. Rising and falling, falling and rising ... it’s the ebb and flow of a season, the cardiac line that defines an athlete's life. The story of champions is the tale of their ability to win after defeats, to come back from the dead to dance again. Down, but not counted out. It's what draws so many to sport.
Such was the story of the King Track and Field team that competed in the Finals Thursday night at Roosevelt High School. At the end of a league season that had several valleys and defeats, those on the big stage and under the lights Thursday night were resilient enough to fight back and prove in the end that “coming back” just may be part of who they are.
The meet was punctuated by several new school records (SR). The dynamic Cydnie Jones scorched the 100 and 200, winning both with SR’s. The 200 she already owned, the 100 is now hers alone. For good measure, she teamed up with Noelle Abboud, Jordan Lofton and Fleming to lower their own SR in the 4x100 relay, finishing second. Will Foody matched his own SR in the pole vault at 14-0 (set the first time in 2011) and finished third in that event. Perhaps the most dramatic SR on the night came from Nathan Torres in the 800. After finishing a disappointing 4th place in the 1600 at 4:20, he came back in the half and ran an even split effort (58.5, 58.9) to finish second. The drama came in the last 200 meters in which Nathan moved from 7th place to 2nd with a terrific kick that brought him across the line in 1:55.59, two seconds ahead of his prior best.
Tayler Fleming was second in the 100 hurdles, but what was even more impressive was her 14.46 time – a mark that was just 2-hundreths off the school record set in 2002 by one of the most talented athletes to ever wear the uniform. Tayler’s talent is really starting to bloom as she will head into the CIF rounds as one of the State elites in the 300’s and now owning a shot at advancing far in the shorter hurdle race. Noelle Abboud was equally impressive in the 400. The hard working senior won for the second time in her career (hence her nickname, “The First Noelle”) at 58.04, especially gratifying after a year off last season due to a broken foot. Bayleigh Porter qualified for CIF for the first time in the 800, finishing third and even with her lifetime PR. So too did Leighana Weaver, the freshman hurdler (300’s) who threw down a PR in the shadow of Fleming’s win. The 4x400 team (without Jones) ran the #3 time in school history and took second to qualify as well.
Josh Jeter didn’t set any school records, but he did collect a couple of titles in the hurdles while improving on his own personal bests. The very talented senior will head into CIF with a definite opportunity to advance on to Finals. At the end of the night, the boys 4x400 time of 3:25.16 was near the season-best (#3 all time) and was good for third. Jeter, Torres, Travis Thomas and Aaron Hickman all punched their tickets for the next round. Hickman medaled (5th place) in the 400, Brandon Berz duplicated that in the 3200. While not placing in the medals, Joseph Casco had a terrific 3200 meter run, putting down a 9:43:24, the #4 time in school history. Adam Schupp was right behind him with a 10:02, his fastest time ever and a fitting way to end his career. Blake Bergstrom also had a good night, slipping into third place in the 300 hurdles to get himself a ride to CIF for the first time in his career. On Tuesday he had a personal best long jump to medal.
In the high jump, Asia Johnson was the runner up, but in the triple jump she leaped to the victory with a huge personal best improvement at 36-4.25 (#4 all time). Amanda Harrison medaled in 4th in the high jump, leaping 4-10. Out in the discus, while out of the medal group, Marissa Levine threw a huge personal best and the top throw on the year, reaching out to 110’ 4”. Megan Melton finished second in the vault to earn an all-league patch. Anissa Claiborne had a big improvement in the shot put on Tuesday, throwing the season-leading mark of 34-9 to finish fourth overall.
The JV athletes also had a time to shine and a number of King Kids took advance of the opportunity. Freshman Dalton Seckinger took home two wins in the distances, and after a killer kick on the 3200, almost took down the 9th grade school record in the 3200, missing it by a second. Lauren Carr raced well in the same two events, finishing second in both with two PR’s. Kathi Domenici was second in the 100 hurdles and third in the 300’s. It took a photo to prove it, but Brandon Hubley won the 100 meter dash in a time of 11.60. Jacob Norys was second in the 800, earning his first league medal, while Weston Templeton was the runner up to Seckinger in the 1600 with a solid 4:48 time. In the boys JV hurdles, Kyle Carlson earned two top-five finishes. Finally, Caitlin Smith won the JV title in the triple jump.
Winning, oddly, isn’t always about winning. Sometimes it’s about losing, struggling and falling. But if it is also about those things, then we know this for sure, one can’t stay there. The path forward is the path back. Back from defeat, back from injuries, back from adversity, back from those points in time we’d all just as soon wish to forget. At the 2012 running of the Big 8 track and field championships, the meet became a perfect illustration of those truths, at least as much as it concerned the kids from King.
Sunday, April 29
GIRLS FROSH-SOPH WIN THE SHOWDOWN AT CORONA
The Corona/Norco Soph/Frosh showdown is billed as the last chance for younger athletes not headed to this week's league final events. It is meant to give kids that one last shot at a PR or a chance at winning a medal. For about 90 young King Wolves, it was just that. The heat of the day just got hotter with a number of sizzling performances from kids not usually in the spotlight that is reserved for their older team mates.
The girls repeated as Meet Champions as they scored a total of 123 points over second place Corona's 73. Lexi Opoku led the way with two solid first place finishes in the long and triple jumps. She also tied for second in the high jump with team mate Kiara Ginwright. Freshman Courtne Davis continued her late season surge with a varsity like 13.2 for second place in the 100 meters; a 27.09 in the 200 for fourth and she was a member of the winning 4 X 100 relay which also included Jennifer Gutierrez; Celeste Traylor and Erin Webbs. Brianna Jacklin got her PR in the 800 with a solid 2:33 mark and then was called upon to run in her first 4 x 400 relay in which she gave a stellar effort. Leighana Weaver broke away from her morning soccer games long enough to win the 300 hurdles in a new meet record 48.6 and then anchor the 4 X 400 to victory. Sabrina Suarez pulled two fourth places in each hurdle race while Lauren Carr (3rd) and Hannah Johnson (4th) picked up vital points in the 3200.
The Boys team would finish in 4th place behind meet champion Oak Hills but their accomplishments were just as impressive as the girls. Jacob Norys, who is still trying to figure this track stuff out, ran an impressive 4:40.24 for second place in the 1600, the second fastest freshman in school history. Equally exciting was Brandon Gutzmann's 4:59.98 PR. By eclipsing the 5:00 mark, he became the 21st King boy this season to run the 1600 under 5:00-flat! That's a record for our school for sure! Cameron Brock won the meet Pole Vault title and set a meet record with a PR of 12-7 while teamate Cody Vallejo finished in second at 11-0. Brandon Hubley pulled out second place in the 100 with an 11.8 time. Chris Hooks and Andrew Vanni got thier PR's in the 400 despite not placing in the medal count. The Wolves had to cobble together a boys 4 X 400 as there were some no-shows and injuries. Blake Bergstrom, there for just this one event, peeled off an opening leg of 50.7.!!!! He and his teamates (Hooks, Nick Abboud and Norys) would finish third in that event overall at 3:42.75.
As advertised, it was a day of PR's, medals and final performances for the season and that was accomplished by the majority of King Kids. For those kids, 2012 is over-they began 2013 today.
Friday, April 27
FINISHING THE DUALS IN FINE STYLE
Things got rolling in a very positive way in the girls 3200, the first race of the day. Iveth Gutierrez led most of the way and dropped below 12:00 for the first time ever and dragged with her Lisa Garside who also PR’d as well as Lauren Carr at 12:09, Aimee Martinez at 12:11. Madeline Wrathall also PR’d in the race. From there it was a route, as King would win every event except the long jump. Cydnie Jones won the 100, 200. In the 400, all three scoring places were sub-60, a unique occurrence in dual meets. Noelle Abboud won that event. In the 800, Hannah Johnson was third in 2:31.95, the #6 freshman time in school history for that event.
For the boys, things were just as successful and rosy. Blake Bergstrom had another fine day hurdling and jumping, winning four events with solid marks! Nathan Torres dropped from his usual 800/1600 double to test himself in the 400. He proceeded to win it in the #2 time this season for the Wolves. Jesse Cazares nearly PR’d in the high jump, but settled for a win at 6-0. Will Foody won the vault with a crowd-pleasing 13 foot clearance, as that event was the last to close before the pizza was served. The last event on the track saw a very fine performance by Joe Casco and Nathan Meier who decided to push the pace even though the meet had long been decided. Nathan had a huge PR by 18 seconds and dropped below 10:00 for the first time in his life, making him the fourth King runner this season to break the barrier; the first time in school history that has been done. With 800 runner Adam Schupp waiting in the wings with a 10:08 best and scheduled to compete the event at League Finals, 2012 could be the year of the 3200 meters for the Wolves! So the dual meet season closes with a healthy, if not mixed record for both squads. Both varsity teams finished 6-2 overall, 5-2 in league.
Next up lies the “individual” contests of the league championships.
Sunday, April 22
IE CHAMPS CLOSES A WEEK OF VALLEYS AND SUMMITS
An athletic season doesn't run on a plane, it's topography reads more like a mountain range, full of stunning heights and dark valleys.
A week can be the same way and in the span of three days this week, the life of the 2012 King Track season illustrated that point perfectly. The teams muddled through uninspiring victories on thursday at North. The wins tasted more like defeats. But then Saturday, they regrouped and rebounded in majestic fashion at the Inland Empire (IE) Championships. It was as different a display of athleticism as one can imagine and could well have left observors of both days with a touch of whip lash.
The IE Champs are divided into two portions, "Day" and "Night" -- with the night heats being the more elite athletes entered. Either way, athletes had to qualify to enter the meet and so thereby, the meet can brag of bringing the "good" and the "best" of the 50 teams entered. In both portions of the meet - separated by the opposites of sun and moon and heat and cold - the King kids performed wonderfully. The girls varsity finished 2nd behind state-powerhouse Vista Murrieta and the girls frosh soph squad was fourth overall. Both boys squads were in the middle of the pack.
During the day, temps reached into the mid-90's, conditions distance runners loath. Surprisingly, many of the multi-lap runners achieved as if the temps were thirty degrees cooler. Jacob Norys, who has been running distances for all of a month, looked like he'd started last July with the rest of the distance team as he ran 4:45 in the 1600, the 4th fastest freshman time in school history! He doubled back with a 2:04 800 and moved himself to #2 on that list, all time! Amazing. Rookie Sophomore Lauren Boydd dropped a huge PR in the 1600, going 5:28 to post the second-fastest mile time for King all season. Robert Sanchez, Adam Schupp, Tyler Parrish all ran at or actual PR's in the 1600. Nathan Meier ran at his PR time in the 3200, while Dalton Seckinger and Seth Villanueva were very close to their seasonal bests as well. Tough conditions and the tough guys showed up!
Tayler Fleming is rocketing up the state charts in the 300 hurdles and showed again in the 300 hurdles why she may be moving toward a podium finish at the State meet in June. Essentially unpressed, she won going away, dropped her own SR in the event another 2-tenths (43.33) and set the meet record in the process while notching the fifth fastest mark in the state this season. She'd come back later in the 4x400 and anchored that team (Hannah Blache, Noelle Abboud and Cydnie Jones), pulling away from a closing Erika Reddish of Vista Murrieta in the last 100 meters to the IE title. Her carry propelled the group to lower their own SR in that event another two seconds to 3:56, announced as "in the top 5 of CIF Southern Section this season."
Jones was doing her own record-breaking stuff as well, running a wind-legal 24.70 for 200 meters. Drop the asterisk on her old SR of 24.91 set at Corona with a hurricane-like tail wind. This baby was legit! It's the #5 mark in the state this season and the #31 time NATIONALLY! Noelle Abboud continued her fine 400 efforts with a season-best 58.61, followed by Hannah Blache who also PR'd at 59.08. In the pole vault, Megan Melton erraced "thursday" with an improvement on her own SR, going 11-4. Asis Johnson cleared 5-1 in the high jump, a significant improvement off thursday. For good measure she improved in the triple as well, going 34-6. Blake Bergstrom won his own IE title in the 300 hurdles.
Others who climbed out of Thursday's valley were Perry Elerts and Joe Casco who became sub-10:00 3200 meter runners for the first time and placed their names in the top-seven for King all time. Bayleigh Porter had a huge PR in the 800 moving to 2:20:46 and the #3 time in school history. McKenzie Phillips was 2nd in her heat in the 100 with a seasonal PR and Courtney Davis won her heat in the 200. Anthony Calvillo PR'd in the discus.
So it was that kind of day, a reversal of epic proportions from Thursday's valley of despair. Such is the journey that comes with athletics, a traverse through both lows and highs. While one can't escape it, without doubt, the view from Vista Murrieta was much prettier looking the opposite way from North.
Friday, April 20
GIRLS RUN AWAY WITH IT, BOYS TAKE IT TO THE VERY END
The dual with North created two entirely different story lines. For the girls, their win came easily and without much drama. The boys were pushed to the last event - the triple jump - before King could secure the win.
Blake Bergstrom and Jess Cazares came through with two big, clutch performances in the triple, the last event to close and record points. Blake went 41' 1" to win with Cazares passing 40' to take 8 points and seal the deal for the Wolves, who eaked out the victory 71, 65. The points were needed as North made a last ditch run for the win with a victory in the 3200 and taking the 4x400 relay. An expected 9 points for King in that distance race evaporated to four, and with a patch-work relay squad, a hoped-for 5 points there disappeared with the absence of the a-listers. The meet didn't start that way though, as King swept the vault and the 1600. Josh Jeter ran a close race in the 110 hurdles, but the 2-3 scoring by the Huskies began to close the gap. With a sweep of the 100, North was back in the hunt and chipped away at the lead with points in literally every event. Bergstrom had a big hand in the ultimate win. Beside the triple jump, he took second in the long and third in the 300 hurdles.
The story for the ladies was the exact opposite of the boys, winning by 70 points. Megan Melton went back over 11' in the vault for the third time this season. Tayler Fleming, Leighana Weaver and Reina Hutton swept the hurdles, while Noelle Abboud ran a terrific 400, pulling from third to first in the last 100 meters. Bayleigh Porter won again in the 800, and Tiarra Edwards took the victory in the shot and discus.
With one meet left on the Big 8 calendar, the teams will look to close out the league season with two back to back wins. Time will only tell what kind of story line will be written.
Sunday, April 15
HISTORY MEETS MODERNITY IN 3RD RE-ANNUAL CITY MEET
The third "Re-Annual" Riverside City Championships had a little bit of everything. Moreno Valley High School was invited to join the party, as the city and the school, back in 1970, was a part of Riverside and a part of the original meet. Most of the current crop of city schools showed up, as did cold and cloudy weather. The Press Enterprise sent out a reporter and photographer, and for good measure, four of the timers, officials and coaches who were there when the meet started some 43 years ago, were honorary timers for the "Marshall Mile", named such after the meet's founder.
If there was a bit of a nostalgic trip down memory lane, it would have been understandable.
But times do have a way of changing things. The dirt track of old has been covered by a modern synthetic. Heavy leather spikes have been done in by light weight, brightly colored, high tech marvels. Hand held stopwatches have gone away, replaced by computerized, photographic results accurate to the hundreth of a second. Those times the machines record are significantly faster today than they were in yesteryear.
And so the meet began and the spectators were treated to another chapter of the City Tradition. For the host school, King, it was a wonderful day that left Coach Corona saying, "well, we're improving" after the meet was concluded.
Watching, you could not avoid seeing three of King's finest over, and over again. Noelle Abboud, Cydnie Jones and Tayler Fleming were all over the place, not least of which was atop the mid-field victory stand. All told, the three girls amassed 12 titles between them. For the record, Jones won the 100, 200 and played a part in both relay wins. Tayler took both relays as well and threw in City titles in the hurdle races. Noelle Abboud was there as well in the relays, and concluded her night with a victory in the 400. Quite a haul for the good natured and talented trio!
Their teammates were working their own events for medals and PR's as well. Iveth Gutierez, a sophomore who is finding a home in the 3200 meters, ran another terrific race, leading for much of it before settling for second but with a 12:00.28 mark; a time almost a minute faster than where she started the season at! Lisa Garside was second in the 1600 and Bayleigh Porter was the runner up in the 800, with Katy Fatten in tow at 6th. Leighana Weaver was the runner up behind Fleming in the 300 hurdles with a fine 48.68 time. In the field, Asia Johnson placed in the high and long and triple jumps, Lexi Opuku was second in the long. Kiarra Ginwright medaled in the high as well and Megan Melton won the vault.
For the boys, their 4x400 team of Thomas, Porter, Hickman and Jeter ran the school's 3rd fastest mark in school history, a fitting way of capping the day of competition. Vince Fowler, Maurice Jones and and James Steel all took home hardware from the high jump. Three placers were present in the vault, despite less than normal clearances. Will Foody was the champion.
The 1600 was full of fireworks, with Brandon Berz running the 3rd fastest mark in school history and placing second. Perry Elerts was third and Joe Casco medaled in 5th. Nathan Torres had a terrific kick going in the 800 and almost snagged the title from one of the State's fastest half-milers, Edgar Cobian. He did run a lifetime PR in the process at 1:57.38.
Jacob Porter, Josh Jeter, and Blake Bergstrom crowded the victory stand in the 300 hurdles, going 2-3-4. Jeter was the runner up in the 110 highs. Early in the afternoon, the frosh-soph 4x800 team of Gabe Penate, Carlos Ramirez, Parker Gutzmann and Jacob Norys ran a come-from-behind race to win over La Sierra. Ramirez doubled back later on with a fine effort in the 3200 meters, winning the second heat with a 10:41.00, the sixth-fastest freshman time in school history.
So it was that kind of day, full of good marks, happy athletes and spirited competition from the kids of Riverside City. There was also a bit of nostalgia thrown in for no extra charge; fitting for a meet that sought to touch history while firmly grounded in the modern day.
Friday, April 13
IT WAS CLOSE, BUT KING COMES UP SHORT AGAIN
In the end, it came down to the relay. Well, that and a late, point scoring long jump, but for what it mattered, the relay was the difference. Separated by one point, the girls from King and Roosevelt took the line for the final running event of the day, with the winner of the race conceivably (at that moment anyway) winning not only the meet, but perhaps the league title as well.
With King having lost to Corona several week ago, and Corona then having lost to Roosevelt, a King victory on this day would have made a three-way tie for the crown with just two contests remaining in the 2012 season. To make the moment even more thrilling, the newly minted sub-4:00 relay squad of Fleming, Jones, Blache and Abboud had the guns to make it happen. Come to find out, so too did Roosevelt. The two teams see-sawed for four laps and despite a heroic 59-second anchor by the ever-tough Noelle Abboud, Roosevelt's anchor matched it with a 57-point circuit of her own and the victory was hers, and theirs. The cold afternoon, temporarily heated with the emotion of a close athletic contest, quickly returned to cold.
The loss did not come without an effort though. The aforementioned Noelle Abboud, one of King's finest athletes in the last 12 years, showed her mettle throughout the day. She battled for a third place point in the 200, an event she rarely runs. She played a part in the school record setting 4x100 relay (48.55) and also won the 400 in 60-flat. Iveth Gutierrez ran the best race of her young career with a hard-fought 2nd place in the 3200, running a PR and leading for much of the 8 laps. Cydnie Jones took her talents to four events and won the 200 and the 100 for 10 points. Out in the shot put, the girls swept, taking all 9 points. Tiara Edwards won at 31-3, with Anisse Claibourne and Sarah Griegiro going 2nd and 3rd. Marissa Levine, the smiling four year thrower took second in the discus with a toss over 100' for the first time ever. Megan Melton continued her good vaulting with another jump over 11 feet, finishing 2nd. Asia Johnson and Ginwright were first and third in the triple jump; Asia won the high jump as well. Another highlight that showed the fight that was present in some of the members of the team came in Tayler Fleming's 300 hurdles. Roosevelt's Iris Chijoke has long been the queen of the event, but Tayler closed that gap on Saturday at Arcadia and set up the one-on-one challenge for the league race. True to form the two went side by side all the way to the line with sub 44-second efforts, and while Iris got the win, it didn't come easy for her thanks to Tayler's all-out effort.
If there was a victory for the girls on this less than victorious day, it was that they indeed made Roosevelt earn their victory, one that was a lot closer than the final 10 point spread would indicate.
For the boys, the gap was much wider, and while there were moments when the score book showed a close meet, the reality was not as tight. Still, the out-gunned Wolves gave chase and were able to notch some fine performances despite the lopsided score. Blake Bergstrom and Vincent Fowler both PR'd in the triple jump, finishing 2nd and 3rd. Blake went 42-8.5 while Fowler cleared 41' 3" of rubber and sand. Omary and DeMarcus won and took second in the shot with heaves over 38'. Anthony Calvillo PR'd in the discus with a fine throw of 128'. Travis Thomas was second in the 400. The hurdlers again reaped big points with a sweep of the 300's and 6 points in the 110's. Josh Jeter won the shorter race with a 15.08 mark, his fastest time in two years and the #4 mark all time. Jacob Porter and Blake Bergstrom sandwiched him for the sweep of the 300's.
With now just Centennial and North remaining on the league schedule, the two teams from King find themselves with two losses each, something that has never happened in King High track history. And while the girls can comfort themselves in the thought that both losses were extremely close, their task now is to focus on what lies ahead and endeavor to finish well.
Sunday, April 8
BIG STAGE IN ARCADIA BRINGS OUT FOUR NEW SCHOOL RECORDS
The Arcadia Invitational draws athletes from across the nation. With more than half of the states represented, it's a stage on which elite track and field athletes perform at their highest level. The meet program boasts two pages of "Arcadia Invitational alums" who "graduated" to the Olympic games in their post-high school years. National records are set and the "national leader board" for multiple events are rewritten after the meet closes around 9:30 PM on Saturday night.
So it was onto that stage that a dozen or so King track and field athletes who met the rigorous qualifying standards stepped. For the Wolves, the meet started and ended with a school record with a third and fourth SR thrown in mid-way just for good measure. Why not? On the platform that Arcadia provides, the very best is required.
It was pole vaulter Megan Melton who got things rolling with a new school record in her event on Friday afternoon. Entered in the "open" section of the meet she finished third in the heat at 11-1 which broke Caroline Stark's mark of 11-0 set back in 2005. Megan nearly cleared 11-7 in further attempts, but was happy to settle for the record and a medal; a medal sweetly handed to her by 2000 Olympian Stacy Dragilla. Over 24 hours later the boys Distance Medley team of Brandon Berz, Travis Thomas, Perry Elerts and Nathan Torres took to the track and in a loaded field competed with poise and purpose and broke the SR set just last year on the same track, running 10:26.95.
During the day on Saturday, the girls 4x400 team ran superbly, leading for almost the entire four laps before settling for second. More significant was that each of the four girls - Noelle Abboud, Cydnie Jones, Tayler Fleming and Hannah Blache - split their leg at 59-point and the team broke 4:00 minutes for the race for the first time in school history (3:58.89). Notch another school record!
As part of that record-breaking relay team, Cydnie Jones earned her fourth medal on a day that brought meaning to the phrase, "keeping up with the Jones'". In the 4x100, the talented senior teamed up with Noelle Abboud, Taylar Fleming and Jordan Lofton to win at 48.84. She took second in her heat of the 100 and second in the 200. The cling and clang of the custom medals hanging from her neck at the end of the day could be heard from a distance.
Equally talented junior hurdler, Tayler Fleming had a tremendous day. The fourth school record for King came in her 300 hurdles. That she already owned the record (set in 2011) was made somewhat irrelevant considering she dropped it by 1.5 seconds and set the meet record ("Open" section) by 1/100th of a second. For a meet that draws the very best and has for 45 years, to put your name at the top of any one of their event all time lists is beyond amazing. (While Tayler's qualifying mark had not qualified her for the prestigious "invitational" portion of the meet on Saturday night, her mark during the day would have medaled in the elite section! Further, after she finished, the announcer of the meet proclaimed her time "In the top 12 nationally this season.")
Fellow hurdler Josh Jeter added to his collection of Arcadia medals by finishing third in his heat of the 300's and improving his PR to 39.61, #4 all time and less than a tenth behind his big brother Sam's 39.52. Jacob Porter ran 39.04 in the same event and finished sixth in his heat.
Every year, the Arcadia Invitational draws out the best from across the country and the meet did the same from the ranks of King Track and Field. On a stage as big as they get, a couple handfuls of King kids held their own and came away with the marks to prove they not only belong on that stage, but can hold their own while there.
Sunday, April 1
GLENDORA SWEEPS 8TH FROSH-SOPH CLASSIC
Glendora has been a consistant participant in the 8 years of the King High Frosh Soph Classic, and this year they finally came out on top. Their well-balanced and deep squad was able to score often and across both the track and the field to work commanding wins.
There was nary an event in which Glendora didn't have someone in the top places, scoring points. Veronica Smelser and Sarah Hughes both scored in the 100 meter hurdles, while Briton Noskoff won the 200 meters. Both of their boys and girls teams took third in the 400 meter relay, then finished the day by winning the 1600 meter relays. Their girls distance program really shined as they went 1, 2 and 5 in the girls 1600 meters, while Mike Duke and Jeff Kirwin went 1-2 in the boys' race; both boys went sub 4:40, certainly strong marks for underclassmen! Noskoff was a double winner with a victory in the 400 meters, setting a new Meet Record with a good time of 51:43. Emily Hoey was second in the girls 800 and Duke and teammate Daniel Castro scored 2nd and 3rd in their two-lap race. Their girls 3200 squad took 3 of the 6 scoring places in the 3200 meters, and Jeff Kirwin won the boys' race with a meet record of 10:05.99, breaking the 4 year-old mark set by La Sierra's standout Edgar Cobian, now one of the state's top seniors in the 800 meters.
The Glendora girls won easily with 112 points over King's 68, while the Glendora boys won with 81 over Murrieta Mesa's 69.
For the host team, King, it was a good day with plaque finishes for both the boys and the girls. Blake Bergstrom had a stellar day, as he so often does. He shattered the meet record in the 300 meter hurdles, dropping it over a second to 40.08. He also won the long jump, took second in the 110 high hurdles and took third in the triple. Quite a point haul for the talented sophomore. On the girls' side, Leighana Weaver was second in the 100 hurdles and won the 300 hurdles, freshman Hannah Blache took second in the 400 and dipped under 60 seconds for the first time, putting her in the top-five all time list for King High! She'd anchor the second-place finish of the 4x400 relay team at the end of the day. Jacob Norys continued to impress in the 800 meters, running King's 3rd fastest freshman mark ever at 2:07.11. Lauren Carr broke 13:00 in the 3200 meters, and Carlos Ramirez ran 5:02 in the 1600, an impressive mark considering his lengthy absence from training due to injury.
Lexi Opuku scored in the long jump, finishing 4th, then finished in the runner-up spot in the high jump to event-winner Kiara Ginwright, who won at 4-10. Maurice Jones was third in his high jump, clearing 5-4. Over in the pole vault, Cameron Brock had to settle for second in a "jump off" to break the tie at 12-0. Both boys made an attempt at the meet record which stands at 12-6.
Despite the abnormally cool and overcast conditions that lingered throughout the meet, the competition was heated on almost every event and provided the fans and coaches with another exciting showing of not only what is, but given the competitors' ages, what may be.
Friday, March 30
BOYS BEAR DOWN, BEAT POLY
As the Poly Bears continue to build a solid program, their boys have made significant strides to close what was once a large gap between the Bears and Wolves. That gap narrowed on Thursday in the two schools' dual meet at King High, but with a resolved set of track runners that countered Poly's dominant field events, King was able to pull away and secure the victory.
Poly had a field day, winning all but ten of the points off the track, including sweeps of both throws (M.O'Hara set a stadium record in the shot with a heave of 55' 6.5") as well as sweeping the triple and long jumps. The only field events that King was able to earn points in were the vault (Foody and Brock, 1-3) and the high jump where Jesse Casares won at 5-8.
It was the long and short runners from King however, that were busy running circles around the Bears and in so doing, securing the win. Brandon Berz, Perry Elerts and Joe Casco swept the mile in a competitive race and the 4x100 relay team took their own win. King would sweep the 400, 100, and 300 hurdles with Orme, Thomas and Jeter doing the duties of leading the way. Nathan Torres would play a part in three wins, snagging a victory in the 800 which turned out to be a very competitive event, as well as points in the 3200 and the 4x400. That relay, in which he teamed up with Jeter, Jacob Porter and Travis Thomas ran wire-to-wire for the win and at 3:28.62, the 5th fastest time in school history! It punctuated what was a very good day for King on the track, and sealed the 77-59 win.
The girls did not have the same challenge and won with ease 89-37. Lisa Garside got things rolling with a win in the 3200 at a season-leading time of 12:06. The relay won as well with a very solid time of 48.31 (HT). King would sweep six events. Some of the top performances came from the talented Miss Cydnie Jones who had a role to play in the 100, 200 and the relay victories. Megan Melton won the vault at 10-6 and Tayler Fleming won both hurdle events, as she does so often.
Despite the abnormally cool and overcast conditions that lingered throughout the meet, the competition was heated on almost every event and provided the fans and coaches with another exciting showing of not only what is, but given the competitors' ages, what may be.
Sunday, March 25
PREPARATION AND PRACTICE PRESENT PR OPPORTUNITIES IN AZUSA
There's just something about the Azusa Pacific Distance Carnival that brings out the best in athletes. Maybe it's the mid-season moment when the training and preparation is beginning to gel with the biochemistry and physiology of distance running. Maybe it's the usually good weather or the annually good competiton.
Whatever it is, King makes the yearly trek to the foothills of the San Gabriels and comes home with a slew of personal records (PR's) and performances that require a major readjustment of the all time lists. This year's version of the popular meet was no different.
There were a host of great breakthroughs. For those who moved onto the "all time lists", their accomplishments will be born not just in memory but in pixels as well. Dalton Seckinger, the ferocious freshman, moved his 1600 PR a bit closer to the #2 all time mark with a 4:41 time. He's now less than six seconds off the freshman all time record set by Nathan Torres three years ago. Nathan has left that time behind, and made it look even more distant on Saturday with another tremendous race in the "rated" mile, the second-fastest heat of the day. His 4:19.52 for the full mile translates into a 4:18.02 for 1600 meters, solidly now the #2 time in school history. Lisa Garside, who has rarely run the 1600 meters in the past, decided to enter herself in a faster heat despite her 5:40 PR. Good thing she did as the electric pace caused her to light up the track with a stunning 22 second improvement over four laps! Her 5:20 for the full mile makes her the 8th fastest miler in King's history of fast girls fast milers!
Brandon Berz put a head cold on the back shelf for eight laps, as he stormed through a brilliantly paced effort in the rated race of that event. With aggression born from a consistent year of training, he dropped 27 seconds off his best-ever (!) and finished at 9:31.62, the second-fastest time in school history. Fellow junior Perry Elerts had an amazing double for the day. He torched a 4:28 1600 (#5 in school history), then came back a few hours later to run a PR in the 800 at 2:02.37. Also running well in the 800 was Bayleigh Porter who PR'd at 2:23, the #6 time on the list.
There were wonderful performance across the entire 14 hour day. All told, King had 12 boys break 5:00 in the 1600 meters, a feat we don't think has ever been done. Besides those already mentioned, Parker Gutzmann and Jacob Enriquez slipped beneath the barrier for the first times in their career. Joe Casco, Robert Sanchez, Trevor Berney, Ethan McAbee, Nathan Meier and Jordan Goldie all went sub-5:00. So too did Adam Schupp, the hard-working senior who finally capure the family crown. Jason Schupp, his older brother who graduated from King back in 2009, ran a PR of 4:37. Come to find out, Andy Schupp - Jason and Adam's dad - was still holding the bragging rights as the fastest man in the house at1600 meters with a high school PR of 4:36, run back in the early 1980's. The crown has now been passed and Adam gets to wear it for at least another 20 years or more! Cool story. The Schupp family simply dominates the 4:30's!
The girls were getting in on their own PR-formances in the 1600 as well. Freshman Hanna Johnson dropped 20 seconds off her best with a 5:44 mark. Aimee Martinez, despite being sick, ran a very respectable 5:42. Lauren Soholt finally broke 6:00 for the first time, going 5:49. She was all smiles.
So too was Krista Zwart, who not only PR'd in the 800 by going under 3:00 for the first time, but was able to run wire-to-wire for the win! It was her first race win ever. Lindsey Berney was close to winning her heat but still ran a huge personal record at 2:46. Amanda Haring also took her best down a few notches to 2:52. Lauren Boydd and Priscilla Carrasco had good races as well. Katelyn Fatten, running in the second-fastest 800 heat on the day, had a terrific effort at 2:24, finishing just off Porter and in the middle of the talented field. Weston Templeton and Tyler Parrish had great races in the 800, and Nathan Meier, Mitch Cleland and Ethan McAbee all had PR's in the 3200 meters!
The life of the distance runner is a consistent effort over a long period of time to prepare for performances that are, at times, in the distant future. But when those days come, as it did on Saturday in Azusa, the outcome is full of rewards for those who paid the price.
On this day, consider the King kids happy customers.
Friday, March 23
BACK TO WINNING WAYS AGAINST NORCO
The teams got back to winning on Thursday after disappointing losses against Corona a week ago. Their opponent for the first home meet of the season was Norco High School and as Norco works through a building phase of their program, the Wolves were able to run (and throw and jump) away easily with four wins.
In the girls' contest, Norco would take victories in just four events, and handled both throwing events with strong margins. But on the track, the Lady Wolves took every event. Bayleigh Porter was victorious in the 800 meters with a "solo" effort of sorts at 2:28.91. Cydnie Jones took wins in the 100 and 200 meters. Lisa Garside had a fine day, earning 8 points by winning the 3200 and taking second in the 800. Freshman Hanna Blache went 62 seconds to win the 400 meters. In the high jump, Coach Brown continues to weave his magic with two girls clearing 5 feet, including freshman Kiara Ginwright. In the vault, Megan Melton's winning 9-6 mark was a bit decieving, as the veteran, once the event win was secured, attempted to clear 11-2 for a school record, and according to Coach Roll, just narrowly missed the record on her second try. Another highlight was Tayler Fleming's lifetime PR in the 100 hurdles, a now faster third best time in school history. There were some solid JV marks as well, highlighted by Lauren Boydd's efforts in the 1600 and 800. Two wins with marks that would have placed her close to the scoring at the varsity level! The girls ultimately won with over 100 points.
For the boys', it was just as easy to gain the team victory, in fact, there were numerous varsity-level athletes who rested or trained through the meet in deference to long term goals as well as to provide opportunities for JV athletes to compete at the varsity level. Given this, the 122-14 final score was truly impressive. The King boys swept 13 of the 16 events. Gerron Graham won the long jump and the triple jump for the first time this season. Jesse Cazares cleared 6-0 in the high jump, a nice leap. Freshman Dalton Seckinger won the 1600 with a PR and the third-fastest 9th grade time (4:45.97) in school history. He pulled Robert Sanchez to a PR of 4:46 as well. Josh Jeter swept both hurdle events, adding to his already-impressive point-haul this season and Will Foody collected another vault victory clearing 13-0.
While the meet wouldn't provide the intensity that some meets do, getting back to the winning ways that preceded the Corona dual was welcomed and fun.
Sunday, March 18
A HIGH JUMP JUST NOT ENOUGH TO CLEAR CORONA
With the track events completed Thursday night, both teams gathered around the high jump pit, turning an event that often goes unnoticed into the main attraction and the Final Act a play that had gone down to the wire. The outcome would have high significance, as the remaining jumpers from both King and Corona would determine the final score of the meet for the girls. With less than a handful of points separating the schools, the placement of the jumpers would be the final judge of which squad went home victorious.
Asia Johnson ultimately prevailed for King with the fifth-best leap in school history at 5-2, but a needed second place by King (for the win) or a third (for a tie) didn't manifest itself and the 2-3 finish by the Corona Panthers gave the host school a two-point margin of victory on the hard-fought and spirited meet.
In fact, it was a consistent group of 2nd's and 3rd's across the afternoon that put Corona in a position to win. Despite heroic efforts by many King girls across the track and field, the pesky "runners up" that Corona continued to amass in the score book made the day.
King would win both relays, with the 4x400 squad of Noelle Aboudd, Tayler Fleming, Cydnie Jones and Hanna Blache screamed through the four laps in the #3 mark in school history. Jones backed up that effort with a school record in the 200 (24.91 auto), but the record was diminished slightly as Corona went 2-3. Lisa Garside moved from 5th to second in the 1600, but Corona went 1-3. Megan Melton won the vault, but, you guessed it, Corona dulled the five point victory with four points of their own. Bayleigh Porter charged through the final lap of the 800 as if slicing through warm butter, but it wasn't enough as Corona's top two nipped her by a step at the line. Abboud and Blache ran solid 400's but it was good enough for only 2nd and 3rd. Tiarra Edwards had a big, five-foot improvement to finish second in the shot.
It was that kind of day for the ladies, working hard, competing with courage and ambition, but countered seemingly at every event by an equally tenacious Corona team that ultimately took home the win by the score of 67-65.
It was a totally different story for the guys who were handled easily by Corona who won by 30 points. Corona was up by 14 points after just two events, leaving King to try and play catchup the whole meet. Though the effort proved to be futile by the end, it didn't keep the King Wolves from showing some mettle and competing well. Jesse Cazares and Blake Bergstrom had a fine day in the long jump, going 1-2, with Blake securing a victory in the triple. Anthony Calvillo was third in the discus with a 30-foot improvement on his seasonal best! Josh Jeter won both hurdle races, his 300 mark broke through the 40-second barrier and improved his already 5th best mark in school history. Adam Schupp had a terrific battle in the 3200 meters, long after Corona had already "sealed the victory" and raced for 8 full laps to a photo-finish tie for second place, with a lifetime PR for good measure. It illustrated great drive and determination, regardless of the ultimate outcome!
The JV teams won, so it balanced the day to a small degree, as did the great efforts by many of those on the varsity squads who exemplified the class, character and courage that King High track and field wishes to embody.
Sunday, March 11
FIVE HANG A HIGH FIVE IN 5K AT BEN BROWN
Five of King's top distance runners traveled to Cal State Fullerton on Saturday night with the express purpose of putting themselves into a college-level meet, compete at the 5K distance (3.1 miles, 12 1/2 laps) and test their training, resolve and racing skills.
Consider the test passed.
In the fourth of five heats of the race, Brandon Berz, Nathan Torres, Joe Casco and Perry Elerts took hold of the race -- the first time ever for any of them at this distance on the track -- as if they were seasoned veterans. In fact, Elerts, Torres and Casco all slipped by the 3200 meter mark in times that were personal bests for that distance, forget the fact they had another 1.1 miles to go!
The extra distance didn't kill the killer pacing they were doing however, and the "four horsemen" as some have begun to refer to them as, continued to chip away at the laps and the pack, positioning themselves for some fantastic finishes. Nathan Torres dueled Corona's Garret Williams over the last 200 meters with a scintilating kick that took him across the line in a second place. In the following heat, Trevor Berney gutted out his own great performance, and the five guys went home packing some new personal bests.
Torres went 15:28, Berz 15:32, Casco 15:41 and Elerts 15:49, while Berney came across at 16:39. It was an exciting couple of races that provided each racer a glimpse of what consistent hard work through the winter can provide as well as a peek into the future of what is possible.
Friday, March 9
BIG 8 SERVES UP TASTY SHARK MEET
The Santiago Sharks hosted the first meet of the 2012 Big 8 Season and were unable to put a bite in the Wolves as King was able to win all four contests with relative ease. It was a fun and encouraging way to start the league season, in this last year of the current configuration of the Big 8.
The boys varsity has some visible holes in its lineup but they were filled more than adequately on this pleasant Thursday afternoon by solid depth and some fine performances in the events in which King is strong. The pole vault has historically been one of those strong suits for King and Will Foody collected another victory for the vault crew with a seasonal PR. In the distances, the multi-lappers were fighting for spots with tenacity when they weren’t running away with the event. Nathan Torres, Brandon Berz and Perry Elerts ran away with the 1600 while Joe Casco, Adam Schupp and Tyler Parrish all PR’d in the 3200 to sweep there. Parrish won the 800 with a hard fought last lap.
The hurdles have been the domain of the Jeter family for a half decade now, and Josh Jeter continued to add to the family photo album with a first and second place finish in the 110 and 300 hurdles. Blake Bergstrom won the 300 hurdles, and both horizontal jumps for good measure. Jesse Cazares, Vince Fowler and Maurice Jones swept the high jump and with it, King won the varsity contest 101-35.
Raelyn Werley, Iveth Gutierrez and Taylar Amiot swept the 3200 to start the girls meet, which was a pleasant surprise as the distance crew from Santiago earned the cross country league title just last November by a sizable gap over the Lady Wolves. Of the nine scoring places in the distance events, the Sharks took only a second and a third, creating a wild swing among the runners who raced each other often last Fall. Bayleigh Porter and Katy Fatten went 1-2 in the 800 with seasonal bests. Hanna Blache won the 400 with a time just a sliver off top-five all time. Tayler Fleming did her winning thing in both hurdle races, while King swept the discus, the high jump and triple jump. Those kinds of dominating scores secured a 100-36 victory.
Next week the team heads back to Corona to meet up with the Corona Panthers, a team that should offer up a meatier challenge on both sides.
Monday, March 5
SCHOOL RECORDS AND FIRST STEPS TAKEN AT MONROVIA RELAYS
As the bus carrying the King Track team pulled up to Monrovia High School near Pasadena, one could not help but be struck by the Spanish architecture of the old school snuggled up against the green San Gabriel Mountains. An old bell tower oversaw the entire campus, including the track and stadium that was only a few years old. The entire community around the school had the feel and look of Riverside's Wood Streets. All this combined with the beautiful blue sky and cool morning air. One could feel an air of contentment..even a bit of serenity.
And then the 5th annual Monrovia Wildcat Relays began. The day would get a lot hotter as did the competition.
In it's first ever trip to the Wildcat Relays, the King Track team found itself locked up in a battle all day with San Gabriel Valley powers Monrovia and South Pasadena; Huntington Beach Edison High from Orange County ( coached in the distances by King grad, Brian Brierley-' 03) and Loyola High out of Los Angeles.The Wolves acquitted themselves well however, placing for medals in almost every event but boy, did they earn it. Every race, jump and throw was challenged throughout the meet by the competitors from each of the above mentioned schools and if one was looking for a breather, it didn't really come until the meet was over.
First place winners on the girls side included the girls 4 X 200 team of Jordon Lofton, Mckenize Phillips, Noelle Abboud and Cydnie Jones who churned out a 1:47.59 in nabbing the gold. The girls shot put team of Tiara Edwards, Brianna Collins and Anissa Claiborne each went over 30 feet and broke the school record in that relay. Also, Asia Johnson, Lexi Opoku and Phillips teamed up to win the long jump relay at 48 feet-1 inch. All three jumped to personal records in edging out South Pasadena.
The highlight of the day (among many highlights) came early in the meet when the boys 4 x 1600 team battled perennial power Loyola's A and B teams for 16 laps. The Loyola A team would break away and win in a fine 17:49 but buoyed by Nate Torres 4:24 leg and his vicious kick at the end, the Wolves finished second in a school record 18:04.68. Brandon Berz (4:31); Perry Elerts (4:35); Joe Casco (4:32) and Torres combined to break the old record by some 12 seconds. The Distance Medley Relay also finished second in 10:45 as Justin Johnson and Trevor Berney joined up with Berz and Torres. Josh Jeter showed that preseason conditioning was worth it as he turned in a 51.2 anchor leg of the 4 x 400 pulling the Wolves to a fourth place finish. Blake Bergstrom; Jesse Cazares and David Reynolds copied thier long jump sisters and registered PR's in finshing second in the long jump relay.
After Thursday's meet at Chaparral, Coach Corona had said to his team, "We've got to get better. We've got to keep improving." Hopefully, because of the competition afforded at Monrovia, the Wolves have taken thier first step in that direction.
Sunday, March 4
A COLD DAY NOT ENOUGH TO COOL A HOT START
The King Wolves first meet of the season started off similar to the past few years when they have toed the line against the Pumas of Chaparral: cold, long, competitive and...did we mention cold?
Despite the frigid weather and the dirt track that resulted in slower times, King came out victorious at all four levels, with the closest final score decided hours after the meet ended when a judge's decision was written down incorrectly in the varsity boys' high jump. The team left the meet thinking the boys had lost by a mere two points, but with Coach Corona pouring over the results later in the evening, he realized the boys had indeed won with a score of 70-66.
The boys proved that every point counts with such a narrow victory. The 4x100 relay team opened up the meet with a win. JoshJeter and Jacob Porter led the hurdle team to a sweep in both the 110 and 300 meterhurdles. The boys were also victorious in the 1600 meters, finishing 1,2 while NathanTorres, Adam Schupp and Tyler Parrish swept the 800.
The Lady Wolves showed their strengths by finishing 1,2,3 in all of the jumps events and the pole vault. The throwers continued to help out on the field with Tiera Edwards and Anissa Claiborne going 1,2 in the shot put, throwing just over 30'. Junior Tayler Fleming opened up her season with victories in both the 100 and 300 hurdles. Other wins for the Wolves came from Cydnie Jones in the 200 and Katelyn Fatten in the 800. Senior Noelle Abboud made her comeback from last year's season-ending injuries a little bit sweeter with a win in the 400. With the field events so successful and the runners finishing among the top three in most events, King won by a sizable margin, 97-38. Both JV teams came away from Chaparral as winners with the boys seeing wins from Ahkeel Leach in the triple and long jumps and teammate Nic Williams finishing 2,3 in the same events respectively.
For the distance crew, Weston Templeton ran times worthy of varsity status, finishing first in both in the 800 and 3200. Freshman Dalton Seckinger ran a gritty 1600, holding his own throughout the race and winning in a 4:57.26 and capped off his successful first meet with a second in the 800. Dustin Means came away with victory in the 110 hurdles and Josh Barnes and freshman Jacob Norys went 1,2 in the 400.
The JV girls kept it close throughout, but ultimately won with a score of 67-59. One of the most impressive wins of the day came from Breanna Collins whose throw of 30'05” would have placed her in the top three of the varsity shot put. Rookie Lauren Boyd led the Wolves to a 1,2,3 finish in the 800. Another sweep in the long jump was led by Rachel Hales and Caitlin Smith at 13'2”. Winning both relays, the triple jump and finishing 1,2 in both the 400 and the high jump rounded out a balanced victory for the Lady Wolves.
Although the cold temperatures and the long day was wearing on some of the competitors in Thursday’s dual against Chaparral, the outcome was most desirable andcreated a hunger for the next meet as the Wolves take on Corona Santiago in the first league meet of the season.
Saturday, December 18
RESULTS FROM 2011
Sunday, June 12
2011 SCHOOL RECORDS
SCHOOL RECORDS SET THIS SEASON
Boys Distance Medley Relay - Brandon Berz, Mat Vasal, Nathan Torres, Lane Werley 10:31.71
Thursday, February 3
LANE WERLEY SIGNS WITH UCLA
Lane Werley, an All American in both Track and Cross Country, was widely recruited to compete in the NCAA, and last October he made his choice, UCLA. On February 2, he officially signed his letter of intent.
More college signing photos of King Track athletes to come in the next week!
Friday, February 11
CARRIE SOHOLT SIGNS TO COMPETE AT BIOLA IN THE DISTANCE EVENTS
Carrie Soholt, class of 2011, "inked" her intentions yesterday to compete at Biola University in La Mirada, CA. She will reunite with current Biola athletes and King alums Rebecca Asplund ('10) and Carrisa Bowman ('08) on the highly ranked NAIA squad of Eagles.
Monday, February 14
HANNA PETERSON SIGNS WITH UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
Hanna Peterson is one of the most improved athletes in King High history ... going from a mid-pack frosh soph runner as a freshman to a highly recruited senior ... and now on to the University of Arizona in Tucson!
Sunday, February 20
KELLI BOYD SIGNS WITH FRESNO STATE IN THE JUMPS!
Kelli Boyd, one of the best high jumpers to come out of King High, is headed to Fresno State next year.
Saturday, February 26
ALUMNI REUNION AND TRACK DEDICATION A GREAT SUCCESS
It was a great day, a wonderful turnout from alumni dating back to members of the original team (2000) and first graduation class!
Thursday, March 3
TWO FIRSTS TO START '11 SEASON
A decade of season-openers against Temecula Chaparral has produced many good track meets. The Pumas have come away with some wins, as have the Wolves, and a number of the contests have ended in very close scores. Not so this time around, as King was able to christen the new track with a couple of victories by relatively large margins.
The girls would win 89-43, taking almost every event. Kelli Boyd had two victories in the high jump and triple jump. Megan Melton won the vault, Jessica Weise took a victory in the shot at 36'-3.75" and also won in the discus at 105'. Rachel Johnson was the winner in the long jump. But it was on the new rubber track that most eyes were focused, and there the Lady Wolves did not disappoint the rather large dual-meet crowd.
Carrie Soholt and Raelyn Werley ran solid efforts in the 3200 to go 2-3. Taylor Fleming won both hurdle races, picking up nicely where she left off last year as one of King's more electric freshmen performers. Hanna Peterson won going wire-to-wire in the 800 with a fine 2:21 mark for the young season, then came back with a reserved 2nd place finish in the 1600, with Soholt in tow. It was in the 800 that freshman Iveth Gutierrez made a strong move in the last 100 to snag a third place point, her first ever in her first ever race!
On the boys' side, it was equally an overwhelming victory, winning 84-47. Lane Werley and Nathan Torres led a spirited 1600, with Torres opening up with a 4:39 mark, matching his lifetime best! Torres would come back later to win the 800 in 2:03, a fine day for the talented sophomore! Jaime Moses finished well to seal the win in the 400, while Matt Vasal had inspiring victories in the 100 and 200 meter dashes. Keston Roach won the 110 high hurdles, and Jacob Porter came back to win in the 300 edition of the event. In the field, things went well for Donald Bernard who returned after a two-year absence to win in the high jump, Brandon Alcanter was the winner in the discus at 146' 6.5".
The meet wasn't as close as some of the past matches between the two programs, but for the inaugural spin around the new all-weather surface, it was a fine way to open the season. If any are tempted to think the rest of the season will go as swimmingly, they need to look only to next week as the deep and talented Big VIII season opens in a scant 7 days.
Thursday, March 10
WEISE TOSSES ANOTHER SCHOOL RECORD AGAINST NORCO
The "field" in "track and field" is often lost amid the circus that takes place on the track. The field events are tucked away on the margins, and for throwers, they are usually relegated beyond margins; found out in distant fields they throw in relative anonymity. So its unfortunate when good things go down "out there" as the deserving accolades are rarely heard.
In a dual meet against the Norco Cougars who are squarely in a building phase under new coaches, it was in the field events that King's predicted large wins would sparkle. Jessica Weise, who has reigned supreme in the shot and discus now for a couple years, threw a great toss in the shot to extend her own school record by over a foot. The event which was held in a distant field, meant few were there to witness the record heave. She went on to win the discus as well, going 112 feet. In an event that toils in similar abscurity, the pole vault caught some good leaps by a group of vaulters that would sweep the points. Jonny Barnes got over 13-0 to match the #5 all time best in school history and made three serious attempts at the school record of 13-8, just narrowly missing. Donald Bernard won the high jump with the #4 mark in school history at 6-2. Blake Bergstrom -- only a 9th grader -- has gotten his rookie season off to a screaming start with two wins in the triple jump now. His winning leap of 40' 1", while not in King's all time top five, is a very impressive start for the neophyte. Densel Moody was second.
While the field events were having a good day, the track events were humming along in fine fashion as well, improving off the marks set a week ago. Mat Vasal continued to show his mettle with a first and second in the sprints while notching two "Top 5 all time" marks in the events. Rookie sophomore Brandon Berz notched his first two varsity victories in the 800 and 1600, leading a posse of five teammates over the last 100 of the half who raced gamely against one another to the line. Keston Roach and Jacob Porter were winners in the hurdles, while sophomore Tayler Fleming won both hurdle races for the girls, her time in the 100 was the third fastest in school history. Emma Jaramillo was a double winner in the distances.
So toss your hats and give a cheer for the field events, and specifically for Jessica Weise who owns the newest-minted school record. Toss them high, because from her vantage point, she may not be able to see them.
Sunday, March 13
A DAY AT "THE RANCH" BRINGS RECORD-SETTING RESULTS
The Rancho Bernardo meet has for a couple years now been one of our favorite stops on the season. Nestled in the scrubby, boulder-strewn hills of Escondido, it's a picturesque spot to hang all day, and of course it's usually beneath San Diego's enviable weather. The meet directors put on a great show, with a public address man that is as educated in track and field as he is articulate and verbose. With such a setting, King has usually come away with some fine performances and this year was no different.
Lane Werley attached his name to two more school records to headline the action. He, along with Chris Miller, Tyler Parrish and Nathan Torres ran the 4x800 and crushed the school record in that event by 15 seconds, a record that coincidentally was set two years ago on the same track. About 35 minutes later Lane would double back in the open 1600 and looked extremely comfortable running for the win and a 4:23 mark that cast that event's record in his name as well. Nathan Torres had the same double on his schedule for the day, and the extremely talented sophomore ran with poise and great speed to lower his own lifetime PR in the event to 4:33, making his mark the fifth fastest in school history.
Brandon Alcantar had a great showing out in the discus. He muscled the disc to an impressive 153-04 mark, the number two heave in school history and just six inches shy of the record. That title is certainly in his brawny arms' reach! Jacob Porter had another fine showing in the 300 hurdles, finishing third in the fastest heat of the day. Tayler Fleming had the same result in her 300 hurdle race. Kelli Boyd cleared 5-2 in the high jump, while Hanna Peterson, Carrie Soholt and Raelyn Werley all had season-best marks in the 1600.
At the end of the meet, the girls 4x400 team of Kayla Cunningham, Cailyn Brewster, Abby Creel and Tayler Fleming ran a great race to go 4:07, the number 6 time in school history.
All told, it was a fine day at "the ranch." A couple new school records, fine early-season performances amid solid San Diego competition and weather.
Thursday, March 17
SHARK BITES DO LITTLE DAMAGE AS KING WINS
In the second of the Big VIII meets this year, the Santiago Sharks swam into town and put up a spirited battle against the Wolves, despite ending up on the losing side. Though King’s marks wouldn’t do much to change any of the all-time lists, the efforts of both the boys and girls teams were strong enough to pull out victories and continue to build momentum for the last half of the season.
The victory on the guys’ side was evenly spread from the track to the field. Donald Bernard snagged a hard-fought 2nd place finish in the high jump at 6-2 while doing battle with two leapers from Santiago who could really fly. All three placers were over 6-2! Brandon Alcantar and Ahmed Abdul had strong throws in both of the throws to go first and second twice. The pole vault crew of Barnes, Minini and Foody swept the points with all three clearing 12-0. The nicest surprise of the Freshman class, Blake Bergstrom had another fine showing in the triple jump finishing third, but he also waded into the hurdles and finished third there as well!
On the track, things were going well for the Wolves, led by Matt Vasal’s consistent efforts in the 100 and 200 victories. Lane Werley and Nathan Torres went 1-2 in the 1600, but it was the finish of the 800 that got the fireworks as Brett Moulton of Santiago and Werley waged a wicked kick over the last 100 with Moulton getting the win and stadium record at 1:57.
For the ladies, the battle with the Sharks wasn’t nearly as ferocious as they were able to pull away early and swam away with a 50 point margin of victory. Tayler Fleming had another two victories in both hurdle events, Reina Hutton took third in the 300’s. Hanna Peterson was also a double winner in the 3200 and 800, with Carrie Soholt taking 2nd in the 1600 and 800 to her teammate. Kelli Boyd had another solid high jump effort at 5-4 which ties the stadium record. The pole vaulters swept like their male teammates, with Melton, Lomhein and Logera doing the work in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd respectively. The 400 meter dashers also swept their event as Abby Creel led Kayla Cunningham and Caylin Brewster across the line.
After easy wins last week against Norco, this league match wasn’t quite as easy, as Santiago took an honest swipe at the victory, but in the end King prevailed and swam away with the victories.
Thursday, March 24
KING WEATHERS THE RIVALRY WITH POLY, WINS EASILY
They don’t call it an “all weather surface” for nothing. In its first test as a surface designed to endure the ravages of weather, King High’s new track served as an away meet for the Wolves as the hosting Poly High’s dirt surface found itself in mud from a rain storm that swept through 48 hours earlier. The day of the meet dawned bright and sunny, but by the time the “visiting” Wolves stepped on the track, the clouds had grayed, wind was whipping and the temperatures were dropping. By the end, the rain was falling even faster than the mercury and the final field events were called while King ran for cover with four victories on two levels in a day that presented all kinds of weather for the all weather track.
The meet started exciting enough in an event that usually serves as almost an afterthought, the girls 3200. Poly’s Kenzie Estes locked horns with King’s Hanna Peterson, Carrie Soholt and Raelyn Werley and the four circled the track in tandem for almost the entire distance. Hanna ended up with the victory and a stadium record at 11:14, but Carrie snagged second and a lifetime PR and the #5 time in school history. Raelyn who finished fourth ran a lifetime best as well! From there, the girls stormed to a resounding victory over their cross-town rival. Tayler Fleming won twice in the hurdles to score 10 points, Peterson doubled back with another win in the 800, pulling Katelyn Fatten and Bayleigh Porter to lifetime PR’s. Mackenzie Philips, who doubles as a softball player, ran extremely well in the 100 and 200, taking second in the duece. Kelli Boyd won a rain-shortened high jump with another impressive 5-2 clearance and Jessica Weise won in the discus at 115’ while placing second in the shot. Emma Jaramillo was the runaway winner in the 1600, followed by freshman Iveth Gutierrez; Abby Creel and Cailyn Brewster did the 1-2 duty in the 400. The girls were not pressed by the Poly Bears and won easily by over 50 points.
With a win in the 4x100 the boys varsity squad started rolling right after that girls 3200. Nathan Torres and Brandon Berz followed with a 2-3 finish in the 1600, but it was the back-to-back sweeps in the 110 hurdles (Roach, Jeter and Baum) and the 400 (Moses, Gray and Lambert) that broke it wide open before the midway mark of the meet. Chris Miller had a crowd pleasing win in the 800 as he chased down Cisneros of Poly who valiantly dove at the line in a failed attempt at beating Chris. King swept the 300 hurdles as well with Jacob Porter, Blake Bergstrom and Tejada doing the brooming there. In the field events, King was holding its own as well. The vaulters cleaned up as Barnes, Foody and Minini went 1-2-3. Donald Bernard tied the school #3 and the stadium record at 6-4 in the high jump. While Poly went 1-2 in the shot, Ahmed Abdul had a fine 45-3 toss for a PR. To finish off the good but damp and cold day, Mat Vasal gritted his teeth and took home two wins in the 100 and 200 meter dashes.
Sunday, March 27
"PR"ODUCTIVE DAY ON TWO FRONTS FOR KING TRACK AND FIELD
The yearly tradition of splitting the squads and heading in two directions once again proved productive for the program. With the distance runners heading to the ever-popular place of personal records "PR’s" – Azusa Pacific’s Distance Meet of Champions – and the sprinters and field event crews heading to the Chino Relays, both segments of the team came home from long days of competition with newly created school records, personal records and perhaps a new sense of what is possible.Adidas threw their weight and dollars behind the Azusa distance carnival with streaming coverage by www.flotrack.org , an athlete’s lounge complete with 52” plasmas wired to an Xbox, leather sofas and plenty of gear. Former Olympian, Jim Ryan, was on hand to give autographs. The setting was big and big things it produced.
Lane Werley and Hanna Peterson showcased for King what was a day of personal records. Both were entered in the marquee event of the night, the so-called “Dream Mile” in which the winner will be flown expense free to New York City in July to compete in the national “dream mile”, also sponsored by Adidas. While both Lane and Hanna’s strengths are found in races longer than a mile, they didn’t let that keep them from throwing down phenomenal efforts and school records while finishing 5th in truly loaded fields. Hanna worked her way through the field of 13 and dipped below 5:00 minutes, the elite standard for girl milers. She became the first King girl to do so in the 12 years of our history. Lane has been dropping some draw-dropping performances for a couple of years now, and this mile added another chapter to his book. Racing with the front pack, he ran even splits (2:06 and 2:06 for both halves), finishing fifth in 4:13.90 for the full mile (1609 meters). It was announced as the 5th fastest mark in the nation this year.
The two punctuated under the stadium lights what had already taken place over the previous 12 hours of daylight. King runners raced and set for themselves new standards of achievement while some rewrote the all time lists. Nathan Torres went 4:28 to notch the #3 mark in school history for 1600 meters. Nick Rini dropped below 10:00 for 3200 to snag the #7 mark all time, but it lasted just a few hours before Brandon Berz sliced below it by less than a half-second. The rookie sophomore went sub-10:00 for the first time. Carrie Soholt moved to #4 all time in the 1600, while Adam Schupp ran what was maybe the strongest race of the day in the 1600 to go 4:36 to snag the #7 mark in school history. Perry Elerts, Tyler Parrish and Trevor Berney finished the 16 hovering around 4:45, all PR’s. Rafi Perez slipped beneath 5:00 for the first time in his career, Taylar Amiot under 6:00 for the first time ever, and Ryan Gibeault had a breakthrough day with a sub 10:30 performance in the 3200, a race in which he came by the 1600 split at 5:08, a “pr” all by itself. Mitchell Cleland, Iveth Gutierrez and Ryan Aguirre all had lifetime PR’s as well. Bayleigh Porter capped off her terrific week with her 4th PR of the week!
In the 800, Chris Miller PR’d at 2:02 as did Schupp, making a fine double for the tall junior. Katelyn Fatten who has been yearning to break through the 2:30 wall finally did at 2:29.
While the King distance team was running to great heights and PR's all over at Azusa Pacific University Saturday night, the rest of the Wolves made their third annual trip to the Chino Relays. This was the 62nd running of this event and for the past two years, King had done battle with Upland High in close competition for team high point honors in the Invites Divison One category. The 2011 edition would supply the Wolves with the same type of fight but a different opponent.
Lane's Race "Sweepstakes Dream Mile"
Hanna's Race "Sweepstakes Dream Mile"
Nathan's Race Sweepstakes Frosh Soph 1600 meters
Thursday, March 31
A MID-SEASON PUNCTUATION MARK OVER CORONA
After the drubbing the Wolves took at the hands of Corona’s boys last season – losing by 61 points – this year’s matchup was much closer, competitive and exciting. The boys' contest wasn’t decided until the very end when three events closed the door on the vigorous campaign the Panthers unleashed on King’s home track and field.
With the two teams linked by a margin of two points as the meet neared its conclusion, Jonny Barnes lead a pole vault sweep by clearing 13-2, notching the #5 all time mark in the pole vault and giving King all 9 points. At that point on the track, only the 3200 meters and 4x400 relay were left to be run. With King’s premier distance runner Lane Werley not scheduled to compete in the 3200 after earning 10 points and two wins earlier in the 1600 and 800, it would appear that at best King’s 8-lappers would split the points with the talented Corona distance runners. Indeed, the race went off that way, as Brandon Berz and Nick Rini found themselves locked in step with four Panthers for the first mile which they crossed in 4:58. Berz made a bold move to the front on lap 5, splintered the pack and going on to the win, splitting the second mile in 4:57. Rini whittled away at the second spot and ultimately secured it, giving King an impressive and needed 8 points. The 4x400 team of Jaime Moses, Mat Vasal, Chris Miller and Jacob Porter followed and took the track by storm, racing a very impressive stadium record of 3:28; also the #4 time in school history. It nailed down the win and finished the meet in King’s favor, 74-62.
Along the way, there were some strong efforts that kept the meet close. Jacob Porter showed his mettle again with super performances in the 300 hurdles and the 400 meters. Porter won the 400, an event he was entered in simply to shore up King’s efforts to earn points. Josh Jeter picked up a crucial second place in the 110 high hurdles, behind Keston Roach’s great win at 15.6 seconds. In the discus, Brandon Alcantar and Abdul took 1st and 2nd.
King’s ladies have handled the Panthers well over the years, and this year was no different though for a time the meet was excitingly close until King pulled away with a 29 point margin of victory, 84-55. Like the boys, the girls finished well with a stirring 4x400 meter race that put the team of Abby Creel, Carrie Soholt, Taler Fleming and Kayla Cunningham at the #2 spot all time and holders of a stadium record, breaking a six year old mark. It punctuated a meet that looked like a declaration all along.
It started with a great 3200 that saw Hanna Peterson of King and Alicia Williams of Corona dual for 7 laps then kick for one lap they covered in a scant 70 and 71 seconds. Peterson’s win and Carrie Soholt’s third place got the meet going. Tayler Fleming grabbed the headlines though, as her performances in the relay and in the hurdle races had coaches from BOTH schools buzzing. In the 300 hurdles, she dropped a full second off her own school record, and set the Stadium record at 46.14. Her anchor leg in the 1600 meter relay sealed the deal … the sophomore is the Real Deal! Cydnie Jones and Mackenzie Philips were impressive in the 100 meters, as Jones won the race over Lambert of Corona by a mere couple-inches, captured only by a photo that showed the one hundredth of a second gap between the two. The finish order was repeated later in the 200 meters. Carrie Soholt and Raelyn Werley gathered in 8 points for the team in the 1600. Kelli Boyd, ever consistent, won the high jump and the triple jump, while placing 2nd in the long jump.
With wins for King at all levels against a very worthy opponent, the victories seemed like a punctuation mark albeit in the middle of a long sentence. Time will tell what the latter half will hold as Roosevelt, Centennial and North remain in the league season.
Sunday, April 3
VISTA MURRIETA ROLLS TO DOMINATING WINS IN 7TH-ANNUAL KING CLASSIC
Over the last several years, Vista Murrieta High School has quickly risen to become one of the premier track and field programs in all of Southern California. Under the leadership of Coley and Karen Candele, they have amassed squads that exceed 300 athletes, and last year won the inaugural Nike National Title in Eugene, Oregon.
A sizable contingent of that army came to King High in Riverside to defend their 2010 King Frosh Soph Classic titles. If what they showed proves anything, the power and excellence of the Candeles' program should extend into the future. Their younger set carried the standard of excellence well and demonstrated not only a propensity to claim quality marks, but spread the talent across the spectrum of 16 events.
Given the depth of the Mustangs, it is difficult to pick a particular standout on the day, but a likely starting place could be the amazing speed of 9th grader Audriana Holloway, who broke the meet record in the 100 meters , going 12.27. She came back to win the 200 as well in 25.76. All told, Vista Murrieta had athletes place in the top three spots in 8 of the track events. For good measure, Chelsea Holcomb won the high jump and triple jump, Emily Ayer was second in the vault, Michelle Norman took first in the long jump and Yazmin Torres took second in the discus! Impressive showing for the ‘Stangs, who ran away with the win and bested the 2nd place host, Martin Luther King by 80 points!
For Martin Luther King, they were able to amass many of their second-place points off the efforts of Raelyn Werley and Tayler Fleming. Werley was a two-time winner in the 1600 and 3200, while Fleming took second in the 100 hurdles to Kim Dargel of Mesa Murrieta and won in the 300 hurdles with a fine 47.40 mark. Fleming would work the relays as well, where King took 4th in the 400 and 2nd in the 1600 behind Mesa Murrieta who clocked an impressive 4:12.82 for the frosh-soph crew!Erin Bracy of Glendora had terrific day in the vault, besting her nearest rival by over a foot and setting a new meet record of 10-01.
Summit High’s Destiny Parker also broke the meet-mark in the shot put, heaving the ball 39-02! It was almost 6 feet farther than the previous record, an effort no-doubt pushed by La Sierra’s Sierra Senio who also broke the record with a second-place toss of 37-10. Parker was also the winner in the discus.
On the boys side, it was equally Vista Murrieta’s show, though Glendora put up a good fight to finish second overall in the team scoring. VM was just simply dominant in too many events for Glendora or any challenger to muster enough points. The mustangs won the 400, 800, 1600, both hurdle races (Larry Williams doing the barrier sweep) and the 1600 meter relay. They would take second in the 400 relay to Rancho Verde-Moreno Valley.
While they dominated the track, VM found the points harder to get in the field. Their only win came in the vault as Bryan Yup cleared 13-0 to notch his name on the record-list for the seven-year old Frosh-Soph meet. It their cross town foe, Murrieta Valley that soared. The “Grandfather” school of the burgeoning city in Southern Riverside County, put forth a standout leaper in Daniel Adame who bested all who’ve come before him with a high jump win of 6-4 and a long jump victory of 19-4.5.
The throws saw upstart Yorba Linda HS go 1-2 in the shot with throws by Ryan Borak and Austin Thomas landing nearly 49 feet from the ring. Sosefo Mailangi of Riverside Poly was the winner in the discus with a fine effort of 134-3.5.
For the runner up Glendora squad, their point totals came from a scrappiness that was to be admired. Other than Sean Williams’ double victory campaign in the 100 and 200, their battle for “lesser points” amounted to “big gains” by the time it was all tallied. Mike Duke was second in the 800 and 1600, Cade Lindsay 3rd in the 110 Hurdles and their 4x400 relay group finished 4th. Along the way they peppered their meet total with 4th and 5th place finishes that bested Martin Luther King by 10 points for the Runner Up place behind Vista Murrieta.
Sunday, April 10
WEISE AND WERLEY WRITE MORE RECORDS AT ARCADIA
Jessica Weise is the best thrower King has ever seen. Lane Werley, the best distance runner to wear the King uniform. On the big stage that is the Arcadia Invitational, both athletes added to their credentials and wrote their names atop three more school records.
On Friday afternoon, Jessica got her weekend of throwing off to a great start with a solid shot put throw that unfortunately landed one inch shy of a medal. But it was on Saturday that she unleashed her best ever discus toss, eclipsing Chantel Hick’s two-year-old SR by over five feet. It landed 126’ 8” from the ring, was a 7 foot PR and secured her the third place finish and the title as King’s Queen of the Ring. It was quite a 24 hours for the soft-spoken senior!
The distance events couldn’t be more different than the throws, and it’s in the oval not the ring that Lane Werley has been running rampant for three seasons now. With SR’s in four separate events this season alone, he added his name to the 4x1600 and Distance Medley Relay (DMR) just for good measure. On Friday night in the 4x1600, he teamed up with teammates Nick Rini, Nathan Torres and Brandon Berz and the four of them lowered the SR by 13 seconds! On Saturday night, Lane returned to anchor the Distance Medley and after Brandon Berz (1200 meters) Mat Vasal (400) and Nathan Torres (800) all laid down terrific splits – Nathan’s was a season-best 2:00.7 - Lane anchored the 1600 with a 4:15. Their time of 10:31.71 sliced about a half-second off the old mark.
But the exciting weekend of track, at what is arguably the highest-caliber high school meet in the country each season, wasn’t the domain of Weise and Werley alone. The boys shuttle relay team – which had won it all back in 2010, were appointed a “lesser” heat this time around. No matter, the team proceeded to win their race and notch the third-fastest time on the day, all heats combined. Kudos to Blake Bergstrom, Josh Jeter, Jacob Porter and Keston Roach!
Hanna Peterson ran another super race in the mile on Saturday night, making her the first individual distance runner from King to qualify for the prestigious “night meet” on Saturday. She clocked 5:02 for the full mile while finishing 5th in the seeded heat. Carrie Soholt had a great weekend of racing, going 11:09 in the 3200 on Friday night, a PR by 7 seconds and then coming back in the DMR on Saturday and splitting a 2:20 800 leg. Brandon Alcantar had a near-PR in the discus despite fouling in four of his six attempts. He finished 7th overall, a fine showing for his first time at Arcadia.
From across the country, athletes come to Arcadia from across the country and even from Riverside. They come expecting a great meet, and Arcadia never disappoints. For Jessica Weiss and Lane Werley, their names already etched into King’s history books, they signed their names yet again atop a list, their talent and desire for excellence disappointing not.
Thursday, April 14
DOG FIGHT NEVER MATERIALIZES, WOLVES WIN EASILY
The Huskies of Centennial and the Wolves of King engaged in a dual meet on Wednesday and while the mascots screamed for a headline along the lines of "Dogfight!", the meet actually turned out to be a very casual affair that brought King four more wins without much of a challenge. The boys scored over 100 points while the girls finished just 2 shy of the century mark.
Despite the lack of competition, the boys were able to put together a few strong performances. Mat Vasal had four victories and a PR in the 100 meters. The jumpers were launching themselves as if it were a league final. Blake Bergstrom PR'd at 20-6.5, and came back to win in the triple jump at 40'. Vince Baum was 2nd also at 40' and second in the long jump at 20'1". Jacob Porter had two hurdle wins and the pole vaulters swept.
Cydnie Jones had two wins in the 100 and 200 meter dashes, Megan Mealton PR'd in the vault going 10-0. Asia Johnson also had two wins in both of the horizontal jumps while Katelyn Fatten had her first victory in the 800, interestingly one of the few events that Centennial was able to muster up some competition as they went 2-3. Kelli Boyd, Asia Johnson and Amanda Harrison swept the high jump and Raelyn Werley, Iveth Gutierrez and Bayleigh Porter swept the 3200.
Saturday, April 16
CITY CHAMPIONSHIP COOKS UP QUALITY MARKS AND GOOD TIMES
The 2011 running of the Riverside City Championships found itself reborn again under abnormally warm conditions. The setting was at King High school, the newest of the storied city’s institutions, but the hot temperatures did nothing more than heat up the action while “The Best in Town” stared the mercury in the face and threw down impressive marks across both field and track. It was a good show for the “2nd Annual” meet that was reborn in 2010 after a 20 year hibernation.
Though a sparse crowd was in attendance in the stadium, the numbers gathered around the throwing circles were numerous and vocal and they were not disappointed. Deja Watkins of JW North was the class of the field in the shot put as she tossed not only a new meet record of 42-03, but also set a new stadium record. She gave it her best in the discus, but was outdone by King’s Jessica Wiese who bested her cross-town rival by 17 inches to win and set a stadium record of her own in that event. On the boys’ side, Matthew O’Hara of Poly put the shot beyond 50 feet to win easily over JaQuan Scott of La Sierra. Ahmed Abdul-Rahman and Brandon Alcantar of King were the runaway winners in the discus as they were 10 and 16 feet over the nearest competitor.
Running away with victory and records was La Sierra’s Edgar Cobian. The soft spoken and uber-talented junior who last season ran at the State Championships in the 800, showed his credentials by winning both the 800 and 1600 in times that belied the weather. His 1:56.97 and 4:24.78 both set new stadium marks and the 800 was a meet record. Tyler Huntley finished second to Cobian in the 1600 but came storming back in the 3200, out-kicking Mueen Ghoury of Rubidoux over the last 50 meters to set his own stadium record at 9:42.20. In the hurdles, Ramona’s Zach Lewis was second to King’s Keston Roach in the 110’s, but came back for a stirring flight-by-flight dual with Roach’s teammate Jacob Porter in the 300’s. The two separated from the pack by a gap that looked like it belonged in a much longer race and raced hard to the line, with Lewis getting the win. The effort pushed Porter up four spots on King’s all-time list for the event and into the lead, breaking a year-old school record.
Equally impressive in the hurdle events was Woodcrest Christian’s Hanna Seabert who bested all of her “bigger school” opponents in the 100 hurdles. Tayler Fleming of the host school, King, won the 300 version of the event, running 45.40 and edging Arlington’s Laura McDowell for the victory. McDowell’s effort may have been diminished slightly as the 300 hurdles closely follows the 800 meters, an event she won going wire-to-wire and holding off a hard-charging Katelyn Fatten of King who ran a personal best on the season.
Mariel Mendoza of JW North was a double winner taking gold in the 1600 and 3200. Abigail Creel of King became the school’s third runner ever to slip under 60-seconds in the 400, winning the event by a comfortable margin. Taylor Coffelt of Jurupa Valley was a double winner in the sprints, while JW North’s Garrette Biggers won the boys 400 and anchored the victorious 4x400 team over King’s foursome who notched King’s #3 mark All Time. In the pole vault, there were four guys locked into a 13-0 face off as the event began to wind down under a setting sun. Jurupa Valley’s AJ Hop, Poly’s George Goodwin and King’s Will Foody and Jonny Barnes tried to one-up one another, but it was Barnes who bested them all with his lifetime best of 13-6. The lights were on by the time the gun sounded for the final event. The sun had set on a hot day for mid-April, but the heat only seemed to cook up some quality efforts and performances.
Sunday, April 17
DISTANCE RUNNERS SHINE AT MT.SAC
On the eve of the City Championship, King sent a few of the team's top distance runners to Mt.SAC in Walnut. Hanna Peterson came home with a newly formed school record in the 3200 meters. She had to earn it the hard way, as the expected field of strong competitors didn't materialize and the Arizona-bound senior had to run the last 1600 essentially on her own. Despite a couple of laps in there that fell off pace, she was still able to close with a 73 on the final lap and lower her own SR down three seconds.
Carrie Soholt competed in the 1600 and continued her solid and exciting year of improvement. She lowered her own PR in the event by two seconds and moved into the #3 mark in school history with a good, solid race. She finished 5th overall.
Lane Werley had what he admitted was an "off day" but still managed to run a 3200 time that most high school two-milers would call a lifetime achievement, going 9:09 for second in his first attempt at his primary race this season.
Thursday, April 21
A GASP AND A GROAN AS ROOSEVELT WINS
It appeared for a moment that the momentum would swing in King's favor. With 100 meters to go and three Roosevelt half milers racing side-by-side in front of him, Nathan Torres found an extra reserve, another gear and more importantly, a sliver of daylight on the inside of lane one. Sprinting ferociously, he found the gap and raced to the line in a stirring come from behind victory in a near-school record time. His win, punctuated with arms raised spontaneously upon crossing the line, had the crowd on their feet and seemed to be just what the underdog Wolves would need to turn the momentum in their favor against the favored Mustangs of Roosevelt. While triumphant and a definite high point on the day, Torres' victory wouldn't be enough to sustain the team and Roosevelt ended up winning by a comfortable margin of 12 points, 74-62.
Their team victory wasn't easy however, as King's efforts across the spectrum proved to be meddlesome to the defending league champions. The pole vault ended in a clean sweep for King, as both Jonny Barnes and Will Foody cleared 13-6, just two inches shy of a school record. Mason Minini followed in third with a solid jump of 12-6. In the discus, Brandon Alcantar extended his own SR and set a stadium record of 161' 2.5" to win, with Abdul Ahmed second at 136' 4.5" The throwers swept the shot with Abdul setting a big PR at 47' 7.5". Newcommer Saleem Omary was second with a personal best at 38'+ and Alcantar finished third.
It was in the sprint-based events and in the distances that King would suffer the most. King was swept in the 400, 100 and 200 and lost the 300 hurdles. The normal distance depth didn't manifest itself either as a trio of improved multi-lappers from Roosevelt softened the blow. While Keston Roach was able to snag a victory with a photo finish in the 110 high hurdles, his hurdling compatriot Jacob Porter was gamely making a stab at some points in the 400. It was for not as he and 200 meter specialist Mat Vasal were shut out in the one-lap sprint. That left Porter a bit jelly-legged in his main event, the 300 hurdles, leaving him in second place there. Lane Werley added 10 points in the distances winning both the 1600 and 3200 in stadium record times, but the Mustangs were able to grab 2nd and 3rd in both events and thereby dulling the impact of Werley's wins. Blake Bergstrom was able to win the triple jump in a leap of 41', but he was sandwiched into 2nd place in the long.
So it was that kind of day for the Wolves. Just when they thought they could pull off an upset, the Mustangs came charging back and rejoiced with a 12 point win.
For the girls, it was much closer as the two teams finished a mere 2 points apart when it was all counted up. Theirs was a see-saw contest, with both teams going back and forth the entire meet. It was settled only by the 1600 meter relay at the end, in which a patch-work squad of King runners, cobbled from other events, couldn't pull off the win.
It didn't start that way though, as Raelyn Werley, Hanna Peterson and Kasey Tippets easily swept the 3200 to create a 9 point King advantage right out of the gate. But by the time the 400 relay and the 100 hurdles were done, Roosevelt was right back in it. Tayler Fleming gave chase to the fastest hurdler in the league, Iris Chijioke, who nearly broke the 9-year old stadium record in the 100 hurdles, despite a prevailing head wind. Chijioke did go on later to set the stadium record in the 300 hurdles at 44.99, while Fleming and Reina Hutton finished 2nd and 3rd. Roosevelt dominated the sprints and the long jump, but Kelli Boyd's athleticism prevailed in the triple jump and in the high jump where she PR'd at 5' 6", setting her own stadium record in the process. Hanna Peterson's school record run in the 800 was diminished a bit in the team scoring as Roosevelt snagged a surprise 2nd and 3rd. A normal strength for King is the pole vault, but a new stadium record was set there as well, with Centanaro of Roosevelt winning at 11-2 while Megan Mealton had to split four points with Roosevelt, tieing for 2nd.
Jessica Weise remained dominant in the throws, shot putting her way to victory there and extending her own school record in the discus at 129' 9.5". But, symbolic of the day for the Wolves, Roosevelt took some of the sting out of those great throws by finishing 2-3 in the shot and third in the discus.
There were, by day's end, enough strong performances that had spectators, coaches and fellow athletes gasping in amazement. Eleven stadium records were set. Individuals runners, throwers and leapers from King showed good form, mettle and desire. But the groan could be heard as well when it was realized that collectively King had fallen short of the victory and with it, a diluted chance at winning the league title.
Monday, April 25
SMALLER SQUAD COMPETES WELL ON BIGGER STAGE OF IE CHAMPIONSHIPS
It was a weekend of rest and recovery for most members of the King Track and Field team. After a tough week which included the hosting of the Riverside City Championships and an emotional loss on the varsity level to Roosevelt, the King coaching staff took a comparatively relaxed approach to this weekend's Inland Empire Championships making it optional and cutting back on the number of events kids would compete in. Despite that attitude, over 40 athletes took up the challenge of competing on Riverside County's biggest stage in a meet that brought 64 schools and 2,800 athletes to Vista Murrieta High School
The day was cold and blustery and that weather went well into the night affecting athletes spectators and performances. Despite that, the King kids preformed well recording a number of PR's and solid finishes. An example of the weather affecting marks and fighting through it was Jesscia Weise. Jessica was able to win the IE championship in the discus at 114-10 as her throws were being constantly batted down by the hostile winds. It was a tough day for all the throwers in the competition but Jessica was able to fight her way through the elements for the win. Same can be said for Brandon Alcanter, who set another school record in the discus finishing second overall. After a foul throw, he ripped off throws of 151; 157 and then the one that vaulted him into second place-162-4.
A major highlight came, however, in the girls Invitational 1600 where 10th grader Raelyn Werley stepped into the spotlight with a fourth place finish. Sitting in sixth place some ten yards from the front running pack entering the final 800, Raelyn ripped through the final two laps and finished in 5:12.14-a 7 second PR and good for 6th place on the All-Time list!
Other fine work was turned in by Nathan Torres in the 3200 with a 9:59.6 and Cydnie Jones finished 10th overall with a 12.56 in the 100 meters. Jonny Barnes continues to flirt witht he 14 foot mark in the Pole Vault finishing at 13-6. Tyler Parrish finished 7th in the Day portion of the meet with a 2:05.8 in the 800. Keston Roach swept to a 15.24 time in the Invitational 110 hurdles. Cameron Brock continues his ascendancy in the pole vault as he once again tied the freshman pole vault record at 11-0 and came extremely close to 11-6. Vince Baum got his PR in the triple jump at 41-2.
As the final race ended around 10:30 pm so did the King varsity invitational season. Overall, a good day considering the challenge of the elements and another step in the process as we begin the move toward May and the championship portion of the season.
Thursday, April 28
SEEING THE FINISH LINE, WOLVES END SEASON IN STRIDE
After the close losses a week ago to Roosevelt and the subsequent relinquishing of any hope of a league title, it could have been understandable had the Wolves succumbed to going through the motions against cross-town rival JW North on Wednesday.
Warm temperatures and the fact that it was the last dual of the season, made lethargy the enemy and a nonchalant attempt at a final victory of the season could well have won the day. Fortunately, that wasn't the case for the boys and girls' teams who both took home commanding victories against the Huskies.
The girls varsity got back to their winning ways after losing for only the 9th time since the school opened last week. While two of the finest distance runners in the state did battle in the 3200 meters to open it up -- King's Hanna Peterson besting North's Mariel Mendoza in a final lap sprint -- the relay team got an easy victory and the Lady Wolves were ready to start pulling away against a school that has played a part in one-third of King's 9 historic losses. Tayler Fleming, Reina Hutton and Sabrina Suarez swept the 100 hurdles while Abby Creel rebounded to a fine win in the 400 at a near-PR of 60-flat.
Sweeping seemed to be the theme of the day. Kelli Boyd, Amanda Harrison and Elyse Gamo swept the high jump, Carrie Soholt, Bayleigh Porter and Katelyn Fatten the 800. The 200, long jump and pole vault were all broomed up by King athletes and for good measure, King won both relay races as well. Cydnie Jones ran the #5 all time mark for the 100 meter dash.
While the boys from King don't enjoy the historic dominance of their female counterparts, what they do share is a tradition of getting thumped by North. The 60 points that separated the Wolves from their opponents on this day assuaged the bitter past a bit and the guys' enjoyed a relatively easy victory throughout. Josh Jeter and Jacob Porter dominated the 110 high hurdles, but North came back with a sweep of the 400 meters. Mat Vasal, who has had as fine a season as anyone at King, took the sting from that sweep by winning the 100 dash; he'd later come back and take victory in the 200 as well. Brandon Alcantar won the discus while taking second in a King sweep of the shot put, an event that Ahmed Abdul won with a toss of 44-6. Abdul who finished second in the discus threw it 151' 3" to notch his name at #4 All Time at King. Cisneros, Baum and Fowler swept the high jump while Barnes, Minini and Foody swept the vault, albeit without an opponent. Not in the scoring top three, but certainly significant, was Cameron Brock breaking the freshman record for the vault by soaring 12-0!
The teams end the dual meet season with identical records of 7-1, 6-1 in league. The JV squads both ran uninterrupted through the league, winning every meet they contested. All in all, a good season and a fine way to go out.
Sunday, May 1
FROSH SOPH ATHLETES FINISH WELL AT THE SHOWDOWN IN NORCO
The Inaugural Corona-NorcoSoph/Frosh Showdown was billed as an opportunity for athletes to end the 2011 season on a positive note, especially for those who would not be invited to their League Finals next week. Approximately 60 King High Wolves braved the extremely windy conditions and took advantage of the invitation as they ran, jumped and threw their way to numerous PR's; season bests and on the women's side of the bracket, a 1st Place Trophy.
The Lady Wolves far outdistanced their closest opponent, Norco, by some 70 points, scoring 132 in the victory They scored in almost every event in which they participated. Jordan Lofton would pace the Wolves with a 4th place in the 100 and a 3rd place in the 200 with PR times of 13.14 and 26.9 respectively. Jordon also anchored both relays to a second (4 X 400) and a third (4 X 100). Priscilla Carrasco (2 second places) and Savannah Saucedo ( a third and a fifth) scored big points in the 1600 and the 800. Caitlin Smith showed grreat [promise for the future with a PR jump of 14-4 in the long jump and a first place in the triple jump at 29-6. It was only the second time this year Caitlin has competed in the triple. Smith was followed to the victory stand in the triple jump by her team mates, Janelle Cunningham in 2nd-Aliyah mMarshall in 3rd and Hailey Vallejo in 4th-a clean sweep for the Wolves!!! Cheyanne Lewis won her heat of the 400 and finished third overall and Ellise Jeannaquin won the pole vault.Newbie hurdlers Sabrina Suarez and Kathie Domencici also tallied points for the team.
The boys finished in fifth place despite the efforts of Ryan Aiuma and Weston Templeton. Between the two of them, they scored 30 of King's point total. Ryan won the high hurdles in 16.6 and nabbed a second in the 300 hurdles at 44.03. Templeton got third in both barrier races in PR times of 17.3 and 44.09. Both were also key to the fourth place finish of the 4 X 400. Cameron Brock cleared 11-0 in the vault for second and the 4 X 100 relay of Jahai Scott, Justin Snow, Daniel Davis and Brady Coup-Jackson, picked up fifth place. Yamani Briggs finished 5th in the high jump at 5-2 and got a big PR in the long jump at 17-11. Also picking up PR's were Anthony Calvilo at 108-1 in the discus for second place and Ismael Bartley threw the plate 97-10 for fifth place.
So, as advertised "The Showdown" was the end of the season for some; a warmup for league prelims and finals for others but overall a look into the future and a positive look it was.
GO BIG OR GO HOME, IT'S THE BIG 8 STYLE
The Big 8 isn’t one of the grandfather leagues, it’s birthday was less than a handful of years ago. But in short order, it’s arisen to become one of the more talented and quality leagues in the Southern Section and would rival the Temecula/Murrieta powerhouse Southwestern League if put head to head. All of that quality and talent was on display in dramatic fashion on Thursday night at King High as the 2011 Big 8 League Championships were held. Those competitors who failed to bring their “A-Game” or who -- at the bare minimum -- missed the prerequisite attitude for the meet of “Go Big or Go Home,” were left in the shadows of those who did.
Perhaps that was most evident in the field events, held at the margins of the stadium and sadly often beyond the gaze of the crowd. Arguably one of the highlights of the meet was Will Foody’s stunning victory in the pole vault. He simply refused to be outdone among a stellar field that sadly was absent Jonny Barnes who broke his ankle in practice on Monday. Foody launched himself to the title by going 14-0! The mark broke the six year old stadium best and broke the school record by 5 inches. It also set a meet record. At the other end in the throws, six – count them, six! girls in the shot put qualified for CIF! You read that right, you had to throw it beyond 37 feet just to finish in the top 7! Jessica Weise actually improved on her own school record, going 37-06, but still finished "only" third in that impressive group. The good news is she'll move on to CIF. Brandon Alcantar didn’t have his best throw of the season in the discus but it was enough to win and he was followed in second by Abdul Ahmed Rahmen.
Most of the spectators were focused on the track however, where the performances were frankly dazzling and record-setting and worthy of being noticed. For the boys, Lane Werley found himself going home with two league titles that were not as easily acquired as they could have been. Beset with a nasty chest cold since early in the week, the talented senior muscled through the 1600 with gritted teeth and scorched lungs racing to a meet-record 4:18. Depleted, the 3200 meters – his specialty that last year took him to the State finals and an All American 5,000 meter title – turned into a tactical, “do enough to win” affair, which he did well with a negative split race and a 64-second last 400 to pull away from three dogged pursuers. In the moments that followed, the well respected and admired senior enjoyed the well-wishes and congratulations of both teammates and opponents who recognized he was far short of being physically 100%. Thankfully Kelli Boyd was healthy, as her season began 2 months ago with some health problems that led to a slow start for the Fresno State bound leaper. She finished extremely well on this night however as she, like Lane, earned two league titles, executing well in the high and triple jumps. The victories are sure to give the talented and soft-spoken senior some much needed momentum as she heads into the rounds of CIF, a tounament she's familiar with as she advanced to the Masters' meet in 2010 in the high jump.
Athletic fireworks were being shot off in the 1600-meter relays that were truly exciting races for both the boys and the girls teams. The girls’ squad of Cydnie Jones, Carrie Soholt, Abby Creel and Tayler Fleming battled Corona and Roosevelt for a third place finish and in the process brought down the 9-year old school record (set way back in 2002!) with a 4:00.41 mark! It was a stirring display of great handoffs and spirit by the four ladies! The boys matched the same bravado as they gamely took the challenge of a very tough field, ultimately finishing fourth with the #2 time in school history at 3:24.50. In this instance, "go big" wasn't big enough, leaving squad member Chris Miller to exclaim “You run 3:24 and don’t go to CIF??” His perspective has merit, the 3:24:08 SR was run at CIF Finals in 2004 and earned that team a second-place finish in all of CIF!
Mason Minini finished his high school career in the vault with a fine 13-0 clearance for fourth place. Cydnie Jones was the 4th place finisher in the 100 dash, equaling her season’s best mark. She equaled that placing in the 200 later in the meet, underscoring the reality of how tough the young league has gotten in short order. Carrie Soholt, Katelyn Fatten and Bayleigh Porter were the recipients of the same treatment in the 800 as all three ran marks that would have put them on the podium – if not outright victorious – in most other leagues. Soholt, who had already finished third in the 1600, battled for 4th, but was closely followed by the tandem of sophomores who finished their seasons of improvement with PR’s at 2:24.99 for Fatten and 2:26.08 for Porter. For comparison, they started this campaign in the high 2:30’s! Great growth!
Hanna Peterson qualified for CIF in the 3200, finishing second to Mariel Mendoza who ran a stadium and meet record of 10:47.91. Megan Melton was the runner up in the vault with an impressive PR of 10-4, the number four mark in school history. Jessica Weise threw the discus beyond the meet record, but playing the tune of the day, it too wasn’t quite good enough as she was beaten for the championship and settled for a solid second place and berth in CIF Prelims.
At the JV level, King saw some good results as well. The boys 800 squad swept with Trevor Berney, Jordan Goldie and Gabriel Penate getting the medals. Berney had earlier taken 3rd in the 1600. Jordan Lofton won the 200 meters, Jennifer Cuevas was second in the 400 and Priscilla Carrasco and Savanah Saucedo were 2nd and 3rd in the 800 with PR’s. The girls 4x100 relay team of Lofton, Annie McKell, Cheyanne Lewis and Jennifer Cuevas were victorious. Caitlyn Smith won in the triple jump, Vanessa McCullough the discus. Jamal Orme was the runner up in the 100 meters and 3rd in the duece. Nathan Meier was 3rd in the 3200 meters. Ryan Aimua and Weston Templeton went 1-2 in both of the hurdle races, while Anthony Calvillo harvested two medals in the throws.
So the young league proved to be beyond it’s years in the 2011 edition of it’s league finals. The Big 8 has quickly proven it’s depth and quality and it’s ability to send numerous athletes from more than a couple of schools into the CIF Divisional prelims and ultimately, the finals and beyond. It’s been quite a transformation from “nothing” to “something” and will no doubt add to it’s reputation in coming seasons: In the Big 8, you better go big, or you’ll be going home.
Saturday, May 14
D1 PRELIMS TAKES FOUR TO THE FINALS
In a sport dictated by numbers, track and field can bring the best and worst of it. Athletes are measured by their marks, all of which are written with numerals. Standards of excellence are by the numbers. Qualifying to get into the CIF Preliminaries, runners and jumpers and throwers had to finish in the top 3 places inside their league. 2nd and 3rd had to meet particular marks. Even CIF is divided into four divisions and for King at the Division One preliminaries Saturday, a team that started last February with 250 athletes found their numbers whittled down by the competition and the high standards to a mere four. Indeed, it's all about the numbers!
Hanna Peterson, Lane Werley, Kelli Boyd each punched their tickets to the CIF Finals for the second time in two seasons, while newcomer Keston Roach will make the trip to Cerritos next week for his first time ever. Everyone on the day coveted the number 9 -- at minimum -- for in all 16 events, the best nine marks were granted the invitation to compete at the Finals. For fifteen King athletes, their season sadly came to an end as their numbers weren't quite good enough against one of the toughest divisions in all of California.
Hanna Peterson's qualifying 3200 was by far her best race of the season as she patiently executed her strategy of sitting off the back end of the lead pack before moving up. She negative split the race, finishing 3rd (5th overall in the two heats) and lowered her own school record in the distance to 10:49.18. Lane's 3200 meters was quite the opposite as he cruised through to a victory, leading the entire 8 laps and ending with a comfortable 9:13. Kelli Boyd's high jump of 5-1 was good enough to put her in the middle of the nine who after the standard was cleared were told to pack it up and wait a week before attempting higher numbers. Keston Roach's numbers were good enough by a much more narrow margin, typical of an event that lasts only 15 seconds. His 110 High Hurdle performance put him in 8th, two-hundreths of a second ahead of 9th, and less than a half-second from not qualifying! The vastly improved senior will enjoy the big stage next week without doubt!
For fellow hurdler Tayler Fleming, the hundreths-of-a-second favor that befell Keston, didn't go her way as her 300 meter time of 45.19 was .04 out of the last qualifying spot! It's hard to say it could get any closer than that, but again, the numbers are what they are, and the talented sophomore will head to Cerritos next week as the "first alternate" hoping upon hope that one of the nine will drop out by gun time.
Brandon Alcantar had a good throw in the discus, an almost personal best of 160', but finished just outside the money-numbers in 12th. Ahmed Abdul Rhamen also had a near-best day, but finished 20th overall in the same event.
The numbers go both ways of course -- they can be bittersweet. Such was the case with Carrie Soholt, who finished 18th overall in the 1600, an achievement that alone is a quality mark and would leave many milers ecstatic. For the driven and talented senior it wasn't good enough though as qualifying was something she had just missed a year ago (she was 10th in 2010), and had her sights set on that goal this time around. Megan Mealton finished in the pole vault with a 9-09 leap, while Mason Minini finished his career with a PR of 13-03. Jessica Weise didn't have her best day in both throws, but still finished in the top 20 on the day.
So it was that kind of day -- a day in which the numbers told the story. For some,their numbers spelled a conclusion to the 2011 season and they'll have to live with the memories of better numbers etched in earlier weeks. For four, the Final Four, their story was an exciting one that opened up to at least one more chapter. The conclusion to it all will come, appropriately, seven days from now.
Sunday, May 22
A HAUL OF HARDWARE AT CIF FINALS
The Southern Section Track and Field Finals are about as tough a meet to get into this side of the State Championships. The depth, quality and quantity of track athletes in a section that encompasses nearly half the state and over 500 schools makes just qualifying to compete among the top 9 athletes in one's event a truly fine accomplishment. The simple act being included in such a lofty crowd should be enough for most athletes. Competing well on such a big stage is even finer still.
For three of the four athletes King sent to the Cerritos College stadium for the annual "Big Dance", the day proved to be a moment to shine and they came away with All-CIF honors and medals while two of those three punched their tickets to compete next weekend at the Masters meet.
It has been said that 90% of success is "just showing up." While a debate could be had regarding the veracity of such a claim, what is true, is that if you don't show up, you will miss out on the opportunity to grab success when it comes. Such was the case in Keston Roach's 110 meter high hurdles race. One week ago, Keston earned one of the last berths into the Finals by the skin of his teeth, had he run just four one hundreths of a second slower in the preliminaries, he would have been watching the Finals rather than racing them. So, it would have been understandable if as he was thingking as he was taking the blocks as he did out in lane 9, "I just want to run and have some fun." But as hurdle coach Ken Bracy has said, the hurdles are like a white water boat ride, and "anything can happen." On this day, that "anything" did happen and Roach seized the opportunity. A false start was called after the first gun, and after all five officials huddled for several minutes in discussion, they disqualified the #2 seed in the race for jumping the gun. The field of hurdlers was suddenly thinned. The second start was fair, but the top seed out of Yucaipa High, racing in lane 5 crashed over the 7th barrier, thinning the field some more. Meanwhile, Keston was busy putting down an incredible effort and making the most of his opportunity, capitalizing on every moment and every hurdle. He crossed the line in 6th place, racing to a 14.82 mark, an All-CIF medal and honor, a PR and the #2 time in King's history. Indeed, while the 110-highs can be akin to a white water ride, for those who emerge from the churning rapids, good things can be had!
The 3200 meter races are a bit more placid than the hurdles, but don't be mistaken, at the CIF level, they are far from a lazy drift down a meandering two mile river. Hanna Peterson's race started like a jump from a cliff as the entire field of 18 (D1 and D4 combined) went out in chase of Simi Valley's phenom, Sarah Baxter who would ultimately win the race by almost 20 seconds. Hanna settled in after the fast first lap but found herself at one point in 14th place. Her pace was solid however and after a 5:23 mile split, she started picking off those who mismanaged the early laps and were coming back. Her final 1200 meters were executed perfectly as she moved from mid-field to third place (D1), punctuated with a 73-second closing lap. It's the highest finish ever at CIF Finals for a King female distance runner, and her time of 10:49 matched her own school record. She then had to wait out the next race of D2 and D3 runners to see where her mark would fit among the top 12 overall. Eleven minutes later it was confirmed, Hanna would be moving on to Masters!
Lane Werley took to the track next and as one of the top four two milers in the state, it would be understandable if his race took on a little less urgency than perhaps others in the field. That said, Amar Mousa of Arcadia was also on the line, and the two talented seniors would lock horns again with the drama surrounding one question: of the two, who would win? (Both guys will run in the Pac 12 next year -- Moussa at Colorado, Lane at UCLA -- and no-doubt resume their friendly rivalry which has now spanned 2 years of cross country and track). They quickly gapped the field and went side by side for six laps before Moussa was able to wedge a five meter advantage over Lane and hold it to the finish. Still, Lane's race was a beauty, as he finished second for the second straight year while clocking the first sub-9:00 race in Riverside County since 1977! His even-split (4:28 and 4:28 1600's) 8:56.84 is #3 all time in county history, improves off his 9:02.44 school record he set last year at the State Finals and sets the stage for a run in the next week or two at the county record of 8:53.
Unfortunately, the season and high school career of Kelli Boyd came to a premature ending in the high jump as she no-heighted. We're confident that good things await the talented leaper as she heads to Freson State next year.
In the end, the long season will stretch out at least another week for King, fittingly in the longest event on the track, the 3200 meters. Hanna Peterson and Lane Werley will toe the line on Friday night at the Masters meet, their names firmly and deservedly among the best 12 distance runners in all four divisions of the best Section in all of the state. At stake is an opportunity to advance to the State championship in Fresno on June 4th, and if the two distance runners can gain any insight from a hurdle race, it's best to show up ready to race, for anything can happen
Saturday, May 28
LANE WERLEY QUALIFIES FOR THE STATE MEET IN THE 3200 METERS
Hanna Peterson and Lane Werley started the week in similar fashion. One week ago, they had qualified for the Masters' Meet in the 3200 meters and by Tuesday night, they had picked up the honor of being chosen the King High Athletes of the Year.
The week ended differently however as Hanna was unable to move on to the State Championship while Lane earned his second consecutive trip to Clovis on June 4.
For Hanna it was simply a matter of bad timing, as she developed strep throat earlier in the week and was beset by fever and fatigue. Despite a strong effort in the race that included coming across the mile split at 5:25, she succumbed to the pace and the week of illness and wasn't able to muster up the race she needed. Her disappointment does not take away however the level of her accomplishment nor the prospects for her future as she'll be competing for the University of Arizona Wildcats next fall.
Lane enjoyed good health all week and used that strength to push through a race that was odd, if it wasn't anything else. With 10 of the best 3200 meter runners in the whole state in the field, the talented group couldn't seem to find or didn't want to run an even pace, so after three laps of fast and slow, Lane asserted himself to the front and did the work alone. After 6 laps he was some 10 meters ahead of the field and looked as if he'd hold that advantage to the line but was caught by two fliers whose kicks outdid his own 61-second last lap and he settled for third in 8:59.14. The tumultous race netted him 1600 splits of 4:34 and 4:25. His place and time beneath the standard of 9:09 qualified him to compete in the California State Championships to be held in Clovis next weekend.
Sunday, June 5
AMAZING RACE, HOW SWEET THE SOUND
That breaking sound you may have heard coming out of the north on Saturday night was the sound of a 34 year old Riverside County 3200 meters record falling from it's long time perch. Steve Alvarez, now the distance coach at JW North notched an 8:53.3 mark way back in 1977, and save an effort that same year by Hemet's Mark Fricker in 8:56.2 it would not only hold as the County record for three decades, but it would take that long for another prep runner to even break 9:00.
Two weeks ago, Lane Werley became the first sub-9:00 runner from the county since the days of Jimmy Carter, Disco and dollar-a-gallon gasoline, when he edged closer to that persistent record at CIF Finals with an 8:56.88 mark and runner-up prize. But the record would hold for a fortnight. On June 4, in near-perfect conditions at the 93rd running of the California State Championships in Clovis, the talented senior ran an amazing race to snap the record by one-tenth of a second and end his high school career in thrilling fashion. The sounds that followed were of cheers and and "atta-boys" from well-wishers who were on hand to witness the race, as well as from a dozen or so text messages that shouted their praise in the muted digits of LCD screens. In all, it was a sweet moment of celebration.
The race got out well with a large pack clipping off the first quarter mile in 65 seconds, a legitimate start for a field that was heralded as the most talented and deep group in State meet history. Lane moved to the front after the 800 and led the field through 1200 meters before edging back inside the front of a large group of ten by the 1600 split.
As they crossed the mid-way mark in 4:29, Lane recalled thinking "well, we're going to go negative split I guess." Indeed they did as the field surged on lap 5 dropping from a 69 second 4th lap to a 65 second quarter and splintering the field of 32 in the process. Then, with 700 meters to go, unheralded Trevor Halsted from Davis made a bold move to the front and within seconds had a ten meter lead over the field. Lane countered the move along with Sam Pons of South Pasadena, the 2010 defending champion at the distance. In the final lap, eventual winner Elias Geydon used his 4:04 mile-speed to move from 4th to first, while Lane closed with a 63 second final lap to take fourth in 8:53.21, a gigantic sliver beneath the record.
It was indeed an amazing race, not only for it's county record breaking merits, but in a closer context for what it symbolized for Lane. It is the ninth-fastest time in the nation this year, the second County Record he's set this season (5K in March), but it also showed great growth. A year ago at the State Finals, Lane finished 9th overall in 9:02.44. This nine second improvement capped a year of hard work and dedication. Perhaps more impressive than all that, was the fashion in which he closed his high school career. Under the lights, on the State's biggest stage, amid a field that would produce 13 sub-9:00 marks (that's right, 14th place finished at 9:00.35!), the UCLA-bound senior executed well and established himself as Riverside County's fastest-ever two-miler, while punctuating a truly great high-school career with what could be argued his finest race ever.
Sunday, June 12
WERLEY GOES OUT WITH ONE LAST PR
The Portland Track Festival in Oregon is only four years old but has already attracted a wide array of athletes -- from preteens to the pros and just about everyone inbetween.
You read that right. Nestled in the suburbs of Portland, Lewis and Clark College plays host to a meet that attracts track and field athletes looking for one more chance to PR or gain a qualifying mark for the coming National Championships. Hence an eclectic menu of races is presented and saw everyone from middle school milers looking for further progression to Masters runners (40+ years old) looking to hang on to their speed to pro athletes (and the Portland/Eugene area is teeming with such) who need a tune up before the USA Track and Field Championships. Into that most unique arena strode Lane Werley who had his own motivation: One last run at a PR before heading off to college.
After a string of three sub-9:00 3200 meter races over the month of May that culminated in his 4th place State finish, one major goal remained for Lane, a strong 5,000 meters (5K). At the prep level, the 3.1 mile race is rarely held, Lane has raced it only three times prior and two of those races were with collegians where he ran his PR of 14:44. To close out his 2010 season, he competed in the New Balance Nationals in North Carolina and finished 6th in an all-high school field at 14:52. So here in 2011, the Portland Track Festival and a talented field of 5K runners would be the perfect place to make one last stab at a big PR. He couldn't have found a better venue for that goal than the 8-lane oval cut into the forests of the Pacific Northwest. On the line was a pace-setter and a handful of collegians and post-collegian professionals looking for PR's of their own. Lane was the sole high schooler in the start list.
Lane kept his cool and ran aggressively and smartly from the back of the field, trying gamefully to hang onto a goal of 4:35-40 per mile pace. He achieved that through 2 miles which he covered in 9:14, but the third mile slowed a bit before he closed with a 31-second last 200 to run 14:31.57 and finished 10th in the heat of 16. While it wasn't quite the time he was hoping for, Lane was still happy with the effort and the PR, which was the point of making the trip in the first place.
And thus, after most of his teammates had hung up their spikes quite a few weeks ago, Lane's size 13 Nike's will finally find rest as will his stellar high school career. It was a fine way to go out; a 13 second improvement while brushing elbows with some of the sport's elites ... as well as a few middle schoolers just to keep it real.
King Track & Field