By Leonard COUTIN
The CV Falcons attended the second annual Maurice Green track and field invitational on Saturday, March 16, at the Thorson Stadium at Christian Oak in Westlake.
The invitational was an opportunity for Coach Mark Evans as well the athletes to judge their performance against cross-town athletes early in the season. The event also provided the athletes with experience before the May League finals.
Falcon junior Gabe Collison placed 13th in the Division 1 cross-country state meet earlier this year. At Maurice Green, he took third in the mile (4:27.57) behind Maranatha’s Kyle Bueckert (4:27.43) and winner Hart’s Bailey James (4:25.49). Collison came back strong later that afternoon in the 3200, taking the win and setting a new stadium record running 9:35.56. Teammate Nick Beatty captured a strong second (9:48.85) and Trevor Cowan of Arroyo Grande grabbed third (9:49.59).
In the 800, Matt Manalo placed 17th (2:06.67). Senior David Shahamanyan had tough competition in both his races, capturing 13th in standing in the110 hurdle (16:79), and placed 15th in standings in the 300m hurdles (45:71). Teammate Kyler Chin placed 13th (45:18). Alex Damia had a personal best, placing 14th in the 400m (53:85). Steve Lee took fifth in the long jump (19-04.25). Juho Kim placed sixth in the high jump (5-04). Boys 4 x 400m relay took sixth (3:34.42).
The Falcon girls’ varsity had some outstanding performances. Sophomore Megan Melnyk had a dual gold win, taking first and a personal best race in the mile (5:15.09) and winning the 800m (2:22.72).
“Both races were really fun and having that many people in one race was great competition,” Melnyk said. “Personally, I like the 800-meter better because I feel stronger during it and I feel more experienced in that race. It was really awesome and I felt really blessed to win both races. I thank God that I’ve had an injury-free season this year and I’ve been able to improve.”
Teammates Erika Johnson captured third in the 800m (2:26.76) and Hannah Ruby placed 13th (2:34:33). Johnson took fourth in the mile (5:21.94) and Ruby placed 11th (5:36.42).
Kayleigh Carrillo had her toughest competition in her races. She ran third in the 400m (58.75) behind El Camino Real’s Rochelle Nadreau (58:52) and winner Sarah Johnson from Oak Christian (58:08). Courtney Iannello, who is nursing an injury, placed 16th in the 400m (1:04.22).
Carrillo placed fourth in the 200m (25:62). Winning the 200m was Sierra Peterson of St. Mary’s Academy. Oaks Christian students Schuyler Moore took second (25:15) and Sarah Johnson placed third (25:46).
Haley Witzeman ran a 11:48.41 in the 3200m and placed fourth. Emmy Walker, who has been out of commission due to a sprain injury, returned to jump the winning height (5-4) but placed second with more misses while Arroyo Grande Alex Mero won the event. CV teammates Emily Beglarian placed fifth clearing 4-10 and Grace Keller placed eighth (4-10).
The girls’ varsity 4 x 400m relay placed second (4:01.52) behind St. Mary’s Academy (4:01.51).
CV frosh/soph participants had some strong performances. Rebecca Mencia took home a dual gold win, running first place in the mile (5:42.20) and winning the 3200m (12:06.78). Teammate Cassandra Huezo took 15th in the mile (18.67).
Philip Thomas placed seventh in the mile (5:02.64) and seventh in the 3200 (10:56.4). Manav Vats placed sixth in the 3200 (10:54) and Jason Crosthwaite took 11th in the mile (5:05.08). Boys 4 x 400m relay took second (3:48.43).
Falcon varsity members Gabe Collison (3200m), Nick Beatty (800m) and Megan (800m) have qualified to run at the Adidas APU Meet of Champions at Azusa Pacific University on Saturday, March 23 in the evening starting around 7 p.m.