By Leonard COUTIN
The promise of exciting CIF track and field finals at Cerritos College last weekend brought an abundance of spectators eager to witness the best in high school athletic competition offered by the Southern CIF Section. Local talent has had a strong showing in recent events including the Weiss twins from Flintridge Prep. Gareth and Barrett Weiss, who attended last year’s state meet, brought key points to their team winning first place and second place in the Division 4 pole vault, both clearing 15-6. Gareth won with one less miss at 15-6.
Also from Flintridge Prep was powerhouse distance runner Jack Van Scoter who took second place in the 1600m with a time of 4:17.04. Teammate Nikhil Poole placed eighth (4:29.59). Van Scoter also placed fifth in the 3200m with a time of 9:27.89. The boys’ team won the fourth place team standing title with 31 points.
Nordhoff won first place with 53 points, followed by Serra with 47 points and Templeton with 36 points. Flintridge Prep’s Sophia Saldivar took fourth running the 800m in 2:18.98. Natalie O’Brien won fourth in the 3200m with a time of 11:30.20. Flintridge’s 4 x 100 relay and 4 x 400 relay took fifth place running 50.15 and 4:00.08. Girls snagged seventh place in the final team standing.
The CV Falcons had a strong showing at the CIF finals, but unfortunately did not qualify to advance further in competition.
“Sammie [Phinney] had a good race. She ran 15.23, which is her fourth fastest time ever,” said CVHS coach Mark Evans. “It is always tough at CIF finals. Megan [Melnyk] and Emmie [Walker] had good efforts; it just was not enough. They all had great careers at CV and great seasons this year.”
Phinney, (top left), a first time Falcons runner, performed well all year. She took eighth in the 100H at Cerritos. Over the course of her CVHS career, Phinney showed her versatility in running both the short and long distances making her a valued team member.
Fellow senior Melnyk (bottom left) was also a valued team member, both in cross-country and track, for four years. She had the determination to run three to four races at every meet and maintained an optimistic disposition despite suffering injuries throughout this year. She was honored with the Falcons highest scholastic award at the CV banquet, earning a GPA of 4.37. At the finals, she ran a time of 2:14.04 to place seventh in her final race. Cassie Durgy of Huntington Beach won with 2:09.57.
Walker placed seventh, clearing a height of 5-3 at Cerritos. She and three others tied with the same height. Scoring was determined on the number of misses. Huntington Beach’s Taylor Eddleman took the win clearing 5-7.
Walker has proven to be more than just a jumper for the Falcon team. Contributing in two relays, the 4×100 and the 4×400, as well as open 400 and sprint races, she has been a key scoring member for the Falcons. She is another CV athlete who will be missed after the June 3 graduation.
Also in Division 1, Apache Phillip Rocha took second in the 3200m running a time of 9:06.40 behind Loyola’s Robert Brandt (8:59.40). Rocha continued to trade wins with rival Brandt all year.
The Arcadia 4×400 relay team advanced to the Master Meet running 3:48.33 and taking second behind Roosevelt’s winning team (3:44.76). Arcadia’s Daijuan Buchanan took seventh in the high jump clearing 6-1 to tie with three others. Lee Sean of Trabuco Hills won clearing 6-7. Arcadia Apache Rebecca Troescher took eighth in the 400m running 58.65. Sarah Prystupa of Burroughs took seventh in the pole vault at 10-6 and Burbank’s Julia Newton took eighth clearing 10-6 (also to tie with three others at same height). Kent Truong of Burroughs placed sixth in the pole vault clearing 14-6.
In Division 3, St. Francis’ Jasher Foster won first place in the 110H 14.30 and placed seventh in the 300H with 39.86.
The CIF Master Meet will be held at Cerritos College on Friday, May 29. Field events start around 3 p.m., running at 5 p.m. All division finalists will run in one open division. Finalists from the Masters Meet will move forward to the CIF state track and field meet in Fresno on June 5 and June 6.