The Star-News


Clash of the track titans: Otay Ranch sweeps Eastlake in double dual

Fri, May 06 2011 12:57 AM Posted By: Phillip Brents

It appears the Otay Ranch Mustangs will sweep this year’s Mesa League dual meet championship title. The Mustangs haven’t won it yet, but the writing appears on the wall.

In big bold letters.

Otay Ranch hosted Eastlake in a battle of league unbeatens on Wednesday (April 27), and the Mustangs proved to be the better dual team on the day. Otay Ranch prevailed by scores of 85-51 (boys) and 94-42 (girls) in yet another inspired performance.

If both teams continuing peaking, it could get scary in the postseason.

The Mustangs are in line to win their seventh consecutive league title in boys varsity competition and their sixth in eight years on the girls side. The ORHS program is eight years old.

“If we have the championship by ourselves it will depend on us beating Mater Dei Catholic,” Mustang head coach Ian Cumming said. “We expected to perform well (against Eastlake) and we had a very strong day. I’m very proud of the kids and the effort they put out. We moved some kids around and they came through. As for the people who were expected to win their events, they came through as expected. Sometimes that’s tough to do. Sometimes it’s easier being the dark horse.”

Otay Ranch appears to be raising the bar each week, which is exactly what Mustang sophomore Alex “Xander” Law did by setting a new school record in the boys pole vault at 14 feet, 6 inches.

Law, who tips the scale at 117 pounds, had previously tied his own school record of 14-0 just four days earlier at the Mustang/East Hills Realty Relays.

Otay Ranch captured first-place finishes in 12 out of the 16 events in the girls match-up and 10 of the events in the boys match-up.

For the Mustangs, Jon Bajet won both the boys discus throw (161-1) and shot put (45-8.5) while Alyssa Chang sped to victories in both the girls 100 low (16.18) and 300 low (48.94) hurdles.

Bajet’s discus mark was a season best. He entered the week ranked second in the San Diego Section in the event.

Kiera Williams posted an individual double in winning the girls 200 (26.99) and 400 (59.65) dashes while also running legs on the victorious 4x100 (50.71) and 4x400 (4:07.84) relays
Carina Gillespie took firsts in the girls 800 (2:22.02) and 1,600 (5:14.14) runs while anchoring the 4x400 relay unit that also included Karla Gadea and Catie LeDesma and Gillespie clocked a sizzling 58.5-second 400-split time.

J’Vion Johnson won two individual events: boys high jump (6-0) and 110 high hurdles (15.41) while placing second to teammate Isaac Mallett (39.38) in the 300 intermediate hurdles.

The battle of the boys jumps (long and triple) featured two of the state’s top talents: Otay Ranch’s Marques Roberts and Eastlake’s Jordan Hines (fifth in the triple jump at last year’s state meet). Neither matched their best showings, but Roberts bested Hines head-to-head in both events.

Roberts won the long jump with a 22-1 mark ahead of Hines’ 21-11 and captured the triple jump with a 47-2 mark ahead of Hines’ 45-8.75. “Over the next five weeks, it’s possible those two will meet head-to-head four times,” Cumming said.

The veteran ORHS coach includes the state meet in that enumeration.

In the girls jumps, Eastlake’s Alana Harrison-Parks (32-10.5) out-dueled Otay Ranch’s Brianna Davis (32-10) to win the triple jump while Otay Ranch’s Tiana Wood (15-6) bested Eastlake’s Sharmaine Strayhorn (15-4) in the long jump. Eastlake’s Tahlia Malachi (4-10) finished first in the high jump.

Other event winners for the Mustangs included Ayanna Riley (13.03 in the girls 100 dash), Steven Martinez (10:02.98 in the boys 3,200 run), Leeza Iuta (100-10 in the girls discus throw) and Tiffany Smith (10-0 in the girls pole vault).

Otay Ranch’s scoring prowess included 1-2 finishes in the girls 800 and 1,600 runs, girls 800 run, boys 110 high hurdles and 300 intermediate hurdles, girls discus throw, boys high jump and 1-2-3 finishes in the girls 100 dash, boys 3,200 run and boys discus throw.

Eastlake’s boys highlights included three first-place finishes on the afternoon by Tavarus Green (4x100 relay and 100 and 200 dashes) while Trent Warren  doubled in the boys 800 (1:58.84) and 1,600 (4:25.75) runs. Green timed 11.22 in the 100 dash and 23.35 in the 200 dash.
Eastlake went 1-2-3 in both the boys 100 and 200 dashes.

“On our girls team, we’re still getting some people back from injuries,” EHS coach Rone Torres said. “We tend to peak at league finals. We’re entering our peak phase. You hope to win as many dual meets as you can but that’s not how track is geared. I’m proud of our kids. They came to compete.”

As with all large-scale events (the boys and girls 800 dashes included 115 combined student-athletes), Cumming thanked the legion of volunteers who helped make both Wednesday’s high profile dual meet and last Saturday’s Mustang Relays a success.

Cumming personally thanked East Hills Realty for its continued support of not only the Mustang/East Hills Relays but countless youth and community activities benefiting all ages in the South Bay area. “I would also like to thank the Otay Ranch coaching staff and the more than 40 adults and 100 kids who volunteered for an entire Saturday to make the Mustang/East Hills Realty Track & Field Relays a great success,” the ORHS coach said.


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