By Leonard COUTIN
It was a wet start for Pacific League athletes who took shelter under umbrellas and beneath the Arcadia High School stadium on Friday as pouring rain prevented the start of the track and field conference league finals. As soon as the clouds cleared officials made the decision to move forward with the finals. The first order of business was to squeegee off as much of the water from the track as possible, making the turf less slippery. Special foam rollers were brought in and even brooms were used to direct the water onto the infield.
For many of the runners, training started early in July and August when they began a regimented schedule in preparation for conference finals. As the graduating varsity athletes put on their shoes and began warm ups, optimism could be seen in their eyes that they would make a final mark in the League record books.
But before the athletes could take to the track, it was discovered that the operating camera and computerized timing system failed. It appeared to be a software problem that could not be fixed simply. Head Apache Coach Chris Schultz announced that all races would be hand timed instead.
The Falcon sprint team showed great promise. The girls’ 4 x 100 relay team, composed of Brianna Domingo, Clair Schlueter, Kelly Im and Jessy Shelton, pulled an upset against leading rival the Apache team to take a solid victory (49.7). The CV boys’ 4 x 100 relay took third (45.5) against the Burbank Bulldogs who won (42.9). Clair Schlueter (12.5) and Jessy Shelton (12.6) later captured second and third places in the 100m dash behind Apache Sarah Troescher (11.9). Falcon lead hurdler Liz Filipian ran an extremely close race to win the 100H (15.4) against Burbank’s Juliana La France who placed second (15.6) followed by Christina Read of Arcadia (15.6).
Kenny Kang took fourth in the 110HH (15.8) but later rallied to capture second in the 300IH (41.0) against Burbank’s top hurdler Martin Swan (40.3). Swan won the 110HH (14.3). CV’s Jestena Galvan took fourth in the 300IH (48.4) and teammate Jennifer Saengsri finished fifth (50.4).
Hye Kwang Kim placed fifth in the 100m (11.1). Pasadena’s Jaloni West won the 100m in a time of 10.6. CV’s Hanna Leines captured fourth in the 800m ((2:31); Dynamiter Nona Boyajyan (2:21) won. Falcon Kyle Dickinson had an impressive 800m (1:56.3) race against Apache star Phillip Rocha who had earlier won the 1600m (4:14.8). Dickinson made an incredible challenge on the backside of the track to hold the lead on the last lap until Rocha responded with a strong kick for the finish to win (1:54.4). CV’s Armin Cardenas took fourth running (1:57.3).
The Falcons showed strength in the 3200m races. Grace McAuley ran a time of 11:21.7 for third place behind two Apache runners, Jasmine He who won (11:15) followed by Joy Huang (11:19). Falcon Philip Thomas led the pack for the first mile in the 3200m with teammate Colin FitzGerald tucked inside. Unfortunately Thomas, who has been nursing his leg for the last three weeks, felt fatigued during the last two laps and did not manage to keep his position. Despite the fatigue, Thomas managed to place fifth running 9:42.7 with teammate FitzGerald taking the win (9:28.8). Falcon Robert McNelis took sixth running a PR time of 9:46.6.
“I am very proud of our team. We competed really well and had a great meet,” said CV Coach Mark Evans. “The girls’ 400 relay team had a great race to get a big win in their fastest time of the season. We had two girls qualify in the 100 meters. I can’t remember when that has happened. The boys’ 1600 relay ran a great race to finish third in a fast time. We had some guys on the team who had not run the relay much this season. Great effort. Kyle knew he had to be aggressive in the 800m and ran a smart, determined race. He showed his strength in the last
20 minutes to pass the Burroughs runner to get second.
“Colin had a great effort to win the 3200. Kenny Kang ran a great 300-hurdle race. Martin Swan of Burbank is very good and Kenny really went out to push him. Grace has really worked hard this season and it paid off with a very focused race to take 3rd in the 3200 and qualify. Overall
we qualified in 12 events to CIF prelims.”
Because of the chance of rain in the forecast, the League held the field events on Thursday instead of Friday, which gave the athletes better conditions to perform. Several of the Falcon athletes fared very well. Clare Codding won the high jump with a 4-9 jump while teammate John Lapides took third with a 5-8 jump. Clair Schlueter took fifth in the long jump (16-00.75) and sixth in the triple jump (32-11).
Senior Arthur Akopyan placed second in the shot put (46-11.50 and seventh in the discus throw (115-05). Emin Issaghoulian took eighth in the discus (113-00). Josh Kong placed fourth in the triple jump (41-04). Elizabeth Hart took third in the pole vault (8-00) and Karen Weir placed fourth in the discus throw (95-01).
The Falcon frosh/soph team performed well at this year’s conference finals. Cara Fong took second in the 100H (17.1) and teammate Kristina Carrillo placed fourth (17.9). Carrillo came back in the 300IH and won with a time of 48.9 and Fong placed second (51.1). Matt Phillips took second in the 400m dash (52.4) and took the win in the 200m dash (23.1). Izzy Lieberman placed second in the girls’ 100 dash (12.7) and second in the 200m (27.2). Logan Neil took fourth place in the 800m (2:07.8) and Melissa Owens placed sixth in the 400m (1:05.7).