By Leonard COUTIN
While track and field enthusiasts welcomed the 4th Annual Burbank Relay Invitational held at Burroughs Memorial Stadium, the South Bay promoted the 1st Palos Verdes Distance Day Invitational. The head coach for Crescenta Valley High School, Mark Evans, decided to divide and conquer by sending athletes to both meets.
Evans welcomes every opportunity to give his athletes a chance to experience events not run in the standard meets and these relays were unique. Although many of the athletes are young and inexperienced, the preseason track and field meets provide competitors the chance to discover strengths and weaknesses.
Saugus, Canyon, and Agoura high schools brought a lot of strength to the competition at the Burbank relays. But CVHS shone too with veteran Falcon John Lapides opening this season with a personal record (PR) jump of 6-0 to win the high jump. Varsity runners Jennifer Saengsri (51:53) and Elizabeth Filipian (51.85) both ran good times in the 300 hurdles and Filipian later won the 100 hurdles in 16:30 while Saengsri took third (17.10).
Returning for the first race was CV’s lead hurdler Kenny Kang who placed second in the varsity boys 300 hurdles with a time of 41.65. He also took second place in the 110 hurdles (16.44). Claire Codding, a seasoned jumper , participated in three events despite suffering from a low back injury. She managed to take third in the high jump with a 4-8 jump following a win last year with 5-0. She also jumped 32-11 to win the triple jump and 14-8 in the long jump to place seventh.
CV’s Austin White and Shea Bautista-Capol each pole vaulted 11-0 to win fifth and sixth spots. Falcon Emily Perkins placed fourth in the pole vault with an 8-0 vault. Hye Kwang Kim took fourth in the long jump (19-10).
Many of CV’s frosh-soph athletes showed great promise winning several of the events. Trinidy Charles won the long jump with a 13-10.25 jump. Andrew Granier won the long jump (18-10.50). In the girls’ 300 hurdles, CV claimed the top three spots with Kristina Carrillo taking first (52.09) followed by teammates Cara Fong (52.66) and Eliza Clark (54.89).
Palos Verdes Distance Invitational boasted some excellent times. Athletes who worked on honing their distance skills during the off-season have switched to speed workouts to build overall strength and aid in their performances. At Palos Verdes, CV performed well. In the 3200m, Philip Thomas ran 9:47.34 to placed fourth and Grace Mcauley scored a PR to capture third with her best time of 11:51.88.
In the 800, Naila Ortiz was seventh at 2:32.79, Hanna Leines was ninth with 2:33.40. Kyle Dickinson took third in the 800 in a personal best of 2:00.20.
“We had a good meet at Palos Verdes. It was an APU-style meet where kids were seeded by time,” said Evans who was pleased with his distance runners’ results. “Colin had been sick and is feeling better.”
“I am very pleased with how we did in our first meet,” he continued. “Quite a few people opened their season close to their pr from last year. We have some good young athletes who will develop into strong contributors this season.”