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Cuyamaca College pole vaulters score at top Phillip Brents | Fri, Jun 27 2014 03:57 PM

Cuyamaca College finished with four All-Americans at the recent California Community College Association state track and field championship meet. Among them were men’s pole vaulters Shane Hoagland and Xander Law.

Both Coyote vaulters cleared 16-0.75, with Hoagland, a sophomore originally from Steele Canyon High School, placing second on misses and Law, a freshman from Otay Ranch High School, placing fourth.

The Cuyamaca duo finished behind state champion Austin Decker (16-6.75) from Hartnell.

Hoagland, a 2010 Steele Canyon graduate, entered the May 16-17 state championship meet at Mt. San Antonio College, having recorded first-place finishes at both the preceding Pacific Coast Athletic Conference and Southern California regional finals. 

In fact, Hoagland and Decker were tied for the best mark in the United States at 16-6.5 on the season.

“It meant a lot to me to take the second-place medal but I have to admit that I was disappointed not to win it,” said Hoagland, who previously had cleared 16-5 to win the regional championship, held May 3-4 in Riverside,
Having finished his studies at Cuyamaca, Hoagland said he is now looking to transfer to a four-year university to finish out his collegiate eligibility.

“I started out with a goal of making the 2012 Olympics, but now that has been pushed back to 2016,” the former Cougar standout said.

Law, who recorded a fifth-place medal at the 2013 California high school state championship meet, finished third at the SoCal regionals by clearing 16-0.5.

Both attributed training and advice from Cuyamaca pole vault coach Lyle Barton as being instrumental in their progression at the community college level.

“He’s been really helpful to all the vaulters,” said Hoagland, whose best mark in high school was 14-1. “We’ve really gotten our plants down and got good jumping momentum. We do a lot of drills in the preseason before we even have our first meet.”

Up, up and away

Hoagland said there are three primary elements in executing a successful vault.

“You’ve got to have a good approach, high plant and strong swing and pull,” the ex-Man of Steele said. “The most difficult is hitting the high plant. If you can do that, the rest pretty much follows through.”

Law cleared 15-10 to secure his coveted state high school medal last year and, in Barton’s words, has “consistently cleared 16 feet” during his first year at the community college level.

Law was the only freshman to earn a state medal at this year’s California JC championships.

“I was really happy about that,” he said.

Law, who needed a mark of 16-4.75 to qualify for this summers’ Junior Nationals, said he has now set a goal of making a run at the Cuyamaca school record of 16-10 his sophomore year.

“The school record is in the front of my mind,” he said. “My goal is to go out and do my best.”

Gold stars
Joining Law and Hoagland as 2014 JC All-Americans were Cuyamaca men’s distance runner Ryan Maize and women’s discus thrower Dana Hosley.

Maize, a sophomore graduate who is now headed to compete at Cal-State San Marcos, became Cuyamaca’s first state champion in a distance running event in 15 years when he captured this year’s state title in the men’s 3000-meter steeplechase.

Maize, a graduate of El Capitan High School, timed 9:17.03 to win the state title over runner-up Chris Kigar (9:19.54) of American River.

Hosley, a former standout at Helix High School, placed third in the women’s discus throw with a mark of 136-2.65.

National spotlight
A pair of former Coyotes — Nick Christie and Emmanuel Corvera — will be showcased in the upcoming outdoor nationals in the men’s 20K race-walk, according to Cuyamaca cross country coach Tim Seaman, a former Olympian and South County resident.

This will be Christie’s third trip to the outdoor nationals. Christie placed third at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. He won this year’s NAIA outdoor championship in the 5000-meter race-walk May 23 in Gulf Shores, Ala., while competing for Missouri Baptist University.

Christie, the 3000-meter 2013 NAIA indoor national champion and 2012 recipient of the Al Heppner Memorial Scholarship, finished the course in 21:22.72 ahead of MBU teammate (and 2013 NAIA outdoor champion) Alejandro Chavez (21:49.50).

Seaman announced his retirement following February’s U.S. indoor nationals in Albuquerque when the then 41-year-old captured first-place in the men’s 3000-meter race-walk by a mere 0.2-second. The dramatic win gave Seaman 14 indoor national titles in his illustrious career.

“It was time,” Seaman noted in making his retirement official.

Seaman competed in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, but his greatest performance came at the Athens 2004 Summer Games when he set a new top American Olympic time of 1:25:42.

“My first Olympics didn’t go exactly as I wanted,” he said, “but my second Olympic Games was the highest place for an American in the last 28 years … And for that, I’m proud,” Seaman was quoted as saying in a USA Track and Field press release.

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