By Leonard COUTIN
The 58th Mt. SAC relays were rerouted this year to Cerritos College due to the reconstruction work at the Mt. SAC Hilmer Lodge Stadium in preparation for Olympics trials. The change in venue, however, did not seem to affect the high school and collegiate athletes who performed well on Friday and Saturday.
Attendees saw Texas A&M graduate Ameer Webb set the fastest marks in the 100 and 200 meters. Clocking an impressive time of 9.90 in the 100m he returned a few hours later to run the 200m in a smashing time of 19.91. It seems certain that Webb will be a contender for the Olympics this year.
Famed Olympian runner Allyson Felix, who has won both the 200 and 400 gold medals, clocked a 48.9 leg of the 4×400 relay. Senior high school star Vashti Cunningham, the 18-year-old from Las Vegas, jumped 6-4 to win the high jump. High Esperanza’s Bronson Osborn throw of 71-07.25 in the shot put astonished the crowd as did his 204-04 throw in the discus.
Local athletes held their own in the competitions as well at Cerritos. Flintridge Prep’s Sophie Gitlin ran 15th in the 3200m girls’ invitational Friday night. Hannah Tobin of El Toro won the race with a time of 10.36.07.
Flintridge Prep senior Jack Van Scoter took fourth in the mile with a time of 4:11.03. Brea’s Austin Tamagno, who captured second at the APU meet and first at the Arcadia Invitational, beat out his rival, Connor Dunne from San Clemente (4:10.16) by running 4:09.74.
La Cañada’s Katherine Scoville took seventh in the mile with a time of 4:45.08. Falcon Colin FitzGerald ran Friday night in the boys’ mile invitational and placed sixth running 4:25.90. FitzGerald had some solid performances this year in preparation to enter in the Pacific League finals taking place in a few weeks. David Frisbie of John Kennedy won with a time of 4:1.12.
On Saturday, Nikhil Poole of Flintridge Prep ran in the boys 3200m invitational and placed ninth. Teammate Evan Pattinelli placed 15th with a time of 9:28.61. Cooper Teare of St. Joseph won with a time of 8:55.33.
The Flintridge Prep girls’ team, composed of Sasha Codiga, Jenna Mijares, Sophie Gitlin and Natalie O’Brien, ran the 4×1600 meter relay seeded race and placed ninth with a time of 21:49.34. Whittier won the relay 21:05.91. Flintridge Prep girls’ distance medley invitational placed seventh with a time of 12:45.88. Great Oak won in a time of 11:41.54.
Saturday morning, the Crescenta Valley girls’ team, composed of Liz Filipian, Jestena Galvan, Trisha Tan and Kristina Carrillo, captured a silver win in the 4x100m shuttle invitational race clocking a time of 1:08.02. Coach Mark Evans said, “This was a great effort for them.”
The Falcon boys raced late on Saturday night in the seeded 4×1600 relay. Running against top teams like Claremont and Arcadia, they fought their way up the ladder from the start to run an extraordinary race. The team of Kyle Dickinson (4:24), Armin Cardenas (4:26), Philip Thomas (4:27) and Colin FitzGerald (4:26) each matched their personal best time. Dickinson got off to a strong start, making an incredible kick at the last 20m to hand off to Cardenas ahead of the pack. Fighting for every second, Cardenas and Claremont paced side-by-side with Claremont edging out at the hand off. Falcon Thomas brought himself closer to the front-runner as with each lap he drew closer to the final hand off. FitzGerald then played it smart by running the final leg, staying in control to finish strong ahead of Arcadia. The Falcons captured second running 17:44.84. Claremont won with a final time of 17:26.38. Arcadia placed third 17:48.26.
“All ran personal bests or close to personal bests in the 1600,” said Evans. “We should have confidence going into league prelims and finals.”