Fri, May 09 2014 12:49 PM Posted By: Phillip Brents
Xander Law forever etched his name in the annals of the Otay Ranch High School track and field program when he became the first pole vaulter from the school to earn a state medal at last year’s state finals in Clovis.
Law cleared 15-9 at the 2013 state championship meet to secure a fifth-place medal.
He was one of two Mustangs to earn history-making state medals at last year’s elite gathering in the Central Valley, joining classmate Carina Gillespie, who captured a fifth-place state medal in the girls 800-meter run.
Gillespie is now competing at the Air Force Academy prep school while Law is competing closer to home. He is finishing up his freshman year at Cuyamaca College where he has soared to new heights as a collegiate pole vaulter.
Law recently cleared a new personal record of 16-2. His best as a senior at ORHS was 16-0, set at last year’s Mesa League finals.
He said he is enjoying his new surroundings.
“JC is a lot more relaxed,” he said. “I enjoy competing at the JC level a lot more.”
Law finished second in the recent conference championship meet (April 19 at Chaffey College) to Cuyamaca teammate Shane Hoagland, who cleared 16-5 to win the conference title.
Cuyamaca College appears to be a stepping stone for Law. He is hoping to qualify for the state JC championship meet May 16-17 at Mt. San Antonio College as well as this summer’s Junior Nationals.
He has set short-term goals of bettering the Cuyamaca College record of 16-10 as well as winning the JC state title. His long-term goals are to continue competing at a high performance level.
“I’m not sure where I will transfer but I will transfer to a four-year college,” he said.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Law is hailed as a conquering hero during return visits to Otay Ranch High School. He handed out advice to the Mustangs’ current crop of pole vaulters while attending the 2014 Mustang Relays April 26 on campus.
Law placed second at last year’s San Diego Section championship meet to earn a coveted trip to the state meet.
This year’s collection of Metro Conference pole vaulters has a way to go to match Law’s standard, though they continue to improve.
Bonita Vista’s Mahmoud Zeidan leads the conference with a top mark of 12-6 heading into next week’s league prelims and finals. He’s followed by Baron junior teammate Alex Ulloa (12-0) and Otay Ranch senior Kenny Baumgardner (11-8).
Sweetwater senior Angel Reyes leads the South Bay League with a top mark of 11-6, followed by Red Devil teammates Mario Licudine (11-1) and Christian Anaya (11-0).
Four Mesa League pole vaulters are tied at 11-0: Eastlake freshman Chris Pleman, Bonita Vista senior Anthony Sinyard, Otay Ranch sophomore Isaiah Hairston and Otay Ranch junior Robert Burnett.
It appears whoever nails a season-best jump has a legitimate chance at winning this year’s league title.
“I like what I am seeing,” Law explained. “There’s a lot of promise, especially from Isaiah Hairston and Rob Burnett, who are both still underclassmen. I think they have a lot of potential for the future.”
Patrick Henry junior Tristan Zawadzki cleared 14-0 to claim the title at this year’s Mustang Relays, followed by Steele Canyon junior Nathan Martinez (13-6), Coronado senior Matthew Helmstetter (13-0) and Steele Canyon sophomore Agustin Aguirre (12-0).
Hairston led the local group by matching his season-best at 11-0. Baumgardner also cleared 11-0 at the Mustang Relays while BV’s Sinyard, SuHi’s Anaya and Eastlake’s Pleman joined Patrick Henry junior Tyler Cohen at 10-6. Burnett rounded out the top placers at 10-0.
Otay Ranch senior Hannah Moss leads the conference with a mark of 10-1. Sweetwater sophomore Naomi Marroquin follows at 8-0. Otay Ranch sophomores Leana Sambrano and Mia Smith, Montgomery sophomore Yael Huezo and Mater Dei Catholic senior Nelly Quevedo have all cleared 7-6.
•The South Bay League junior varsity prelims/finals will take place Saturday, May 10, at Montgomery High School, starting at 9 a.m.
•The Mesa League JV finals are scheduled Wednesday, May 14, at Otay Ranch High School, starting at 3:30 p.m.
•The South Bay League and Mesa League varsity prelims are scheduled Tuesday, May 13, at Otay Ranch High School, starting at 3 p.m.
•The South Bay League and Mesa League varsity finals are scheduled Thursday, May 15, at Otay Ranch High School. Field events start at 3 p.m., followed by running events at 4:30 p.m.
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