Glendale’s Michael Davis advances to state.
By Leonard COUTIN
The Southern Section CIF Track and Field Masters Meet was held Friday night at Cerritos College. Local athletes competed out of their division against top rivals from various schools. Not only is the meet one of the toughest for any high school athlete, but participants must earn qualifying marks in order to advance to the state CIF Track and Field, which is being held on Friday, May 31, and Saturday, June 1 in Clovis.
For Falcon Megan Melnyk, the Masters Meet was the most competitive race this season when she faced some of California’s best athletes in the 800m. When the gun sounded, Melnyk did what she does best and took the middle position in the pack. Though she ran the first lap in 64 seconds (three seconds faster than the week before at the finals), she ended up placing 12th (2:16.67), ending the season a CIF finalist and an accomplished Falcon runner.
“I felt tired, not my usual self,” Melnyk said of the race. “I just felt burned out for that moment.”
Though the end result wasn’t what any Falcon supporter wanted, Melnyk recognized the hard work it took just to make it to Masters.
“It didn’t go as well as I hoped,” she said. “It was three seconds off my time from the week before. However, it was such an honor to go and run there. I thank God for a healthy season. If I had gotten injured, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to go.”
Coach Mark Evans was glad that Melnyk was able to take to the Masters Meet track.
“I don’t believe Megan could imagine at the beginning of the season she would make it to the Masters meet. It is a great accomplishment,” said Evans. “The CIF meets are like a second season. Everything is based on qualifying for the next round. There is a lot of stress. She handled it all very well. We try to prepare for this in different ways during the season but one has to actually compete in this setting to really understand what the demands are. She goes into next season better prepared and with the experience of what this is about.” Glendale High School’s Michael Davis had a stellar season that continued at Cerritos College. He made the mark needed to advance in the 200m, running 21.39 and taking fourth place at the Masters Meet. He ranked eighth for the state meet.
The CIF State Track and Field Meet is held at Buchanan High School Veterans Stadium in Clovis. Prelims start on Friday with field events at 3 p.m., running at 5 p.m. and Saturday the finals begin at 4:30 p.m. with field events and running at 6 p.m.
Q&A with Megan Melnyk
Q: Have you always enjoyed running?
A: It has always been a part of my life since I was little and I’ve always enjoyed it. I’ve enjoyed the competition and the friendships that I’ve built through running.
Q: Reflecting on this year, what did you enjoy the most and least?
A: I’ve enjoyed running with my friends and growing closer with my team; getting to Masters was also such a blessing. Probably the thing I did not enjoy was training without many of my usual team members by the end of the year.
Q: Are you looking forward to the summer and what will you plan to do to get ready for next year?
A: I am [definitely] looking forward to summer training. It’s going to be fun meeting the new athletes coming in as freshmen and it will be a little different being an upper classman next year. Also, going to Mammoth will be a ton of fun along with being really difficult training.
Next year, I’m going to take one day at a time. I’m just going to do my best.