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Fleet feet: Sweetwater Coed Relays feature dramatic ending Phillip Brents | Sun, Mar 28 2010 09:36 PM

This year's Sweetwater Coed Relays had good weather and an exciting finish - an unbeatable combination for the 14 schools gathered at Gail Devers Stadium in National City for last Saturday's high school track and field invitational.

"We got lucky," veteran Sweetwater coach Tim Latham said.

No rain, no hail, no frigid wind. But plenty of fleet feet and strong arms.

Both division titles came down to the final race of the day - the mile relays. Three teams were battling for the Division I team title while two teams were neck-and-neck for the Division II championship.

Otay Ranch, Eastlake and Morse were separated by five points in the Division I field while a three-point margin separated Serra and Olympian. Yes, those Olympian Eagles.

Olympian won the girls mile relay to set the stage for a milestone event - a history-making championship showing by the fledgling Eagles. Second place in the boys mile relay came down to an Olympian-Serra foot race with the Eagles  holding the lead until literally the final footstep.

Olympian finished second to Serra in the team standings by 13 points but otherwise made a huge statement for respect.

Otay Ranch wrapped up the Division I title by winning both the girls and boys mile relays. The Mustangs finished with a 15-point margin over the Titans and Tigers as both teams tied for second place.

Eagles have landed
Olympian is in its fourth year and appears to have matured with its first freshman to senior class. The Eagles captured first-place finishes in eight of the 15 contested running events and scored runner-up finishes in two more running events.

Notable individual performances included those by Nirelle Davis (first in the girls high jump) and Lesleah Flores (third in the girls triple jump).

Head coach Mike Hulin has watched the team grow and expresses a sense of well-deserved pride. "We have come a long way from that first year when we had 13 boys to 47 boys this year and 27 girls," he said. "We have a young group of distance runners but from 400 meters down we can compete with the best teams in San Diego."

Enthusiasm is rampant throughout the Eagles program.

"We have a lot of our strong runners returning this year and have definitely improved in our field events," said senior weight man Ryan Deck, a fourth-year team member.

"We've got a lot more people now - we started with just 10 girls," said senior sprinter/hurdler John Masi. "We've made a lot of progress since then. We want to win league in both boys and girls."

Latham, for instance, doesn't pick his Sweetwater team as the favorite to win the South Bay League this season. The Red Devils and Castle Park clashed in the final dual meet last year to settle the championship races, with the Trojan boys capturing the boys title and the SuHi girls claiming the girls title.

"We're in a rebuilding year," Latham said flatly. "We have some good kids but not the depth we've had in the past three to four years."

The Eagles scored top finishes in the frosh-soph coed mid-distance relay (6:55.4), girls 440 relay (52.8), girls distance medley (14:19), girls frosh-soph sprint medley (2:00.9), boys frosh-soph sprint medley (1:44.7), boys 880 relay (1:36.2), girls varsity sprint medley (2:03.3) and girls mile relay.

Castle Park finished in third place in the Division II standings - 13 points behind Olympian. The Trojans captured first-place finishes in the coed shuttle hurdles (1:13.7) and finished runner-up in four more running events.

Cesar Amparo led CP with a second-place finish in the discus throw (127-1) and third in the shot put (42-4).

Mustangs on the move

Otay Ranch returns to defending its Mesa League boys dual meet title. Head coach Ian Cumming doesn't discount his girls team from challenging for this year's title, either.

"We should be strong," Cumming said. "Our guys will be solid. We've added some very good young athletes to go with our top returners. Our girls team is making strides. We should be very competitive on both sides this year."

Top returners on the boys team include Marques Roberts (triple jump), Jacob Roach and Zach Vasquez (distance runs), Oscar Zuniga and Isaac Mallett (hurdles) and J'vion Johnson and Keyhanti Henry (jumps), among a talent trove of others, according to Cumming.

Donald Molton, a regional AAU youth champion as an eighth grader, is the team's top newcomer in the sprints with times already hovering near the 11-second mark as a freshman.

Top girls this season include Nicole Crutchfield, the two-time defending league champion in the 100-meter dash, Carina Gillespie  and Karla Gadea (mid-distances), Kierra Williams (sprints) and Tiffany Smith (pole vault and high jump).

Smith cleared 9-0 at the SuHi Relays to set a personal record.

Individual standouts for the Mustangs at last weekend's invitational, besides Smith, included Johnson (first in the boys high jump, 6-0), Roberts (first in the boys long jump, 20-9), Jonathan Bajet (first in the boys discus throw, 147-5) and Carolina Toledo (first in the girls discus throw, 97-11).

The Otay Ranch foursome of Williams, Gadea, Vivi Martinez and Gillespie timed 4:19.7 in the girls mile relay.

The Mustangs' boys mile relay unit of Eric Severiano, Lilo Perez, Zuniga and Mallett clocked 3:36.5.

In specialized events, Otay Ranch won the grueling boys four-mile relay (19:18), coed shuttle hurdles (1:12.4), frosh-soph coed mid-distance relay (6:42.9), boys frosh-soph sprint medley (1:42.0) and boys varsity sprint medley (1:39.9).

Eastlake took top finishes in the boys 440-yard relay (45.4) and girls frosh-soph sprint medley (2:05.2), while Sweetwater captured first place honors in the girls distance medley (13:24) and two-mile coed relay (9:23.8).

Kayla Walden doubled with first-place marks for the Titans in the girls long jump (16-0) and triple jump (33-7.5) while Chelsea Almario won the girls high jump (4-6).

On the boys side for Eastlake, Alex Lopez took first-place honors in the Division I boys pole vault by clearing 11-6.

Trojans clip eagles

Olympian may have to wait until  league finals to challenge for the top spot after dropping a double dual meet Wednesday at Castle Park. The Trojans edged the Eagles, 66.5-65.5, on the girls side and won by an 82-50 score on the boys side. CP won 10 of the 16 events in the boys meet.

Sweetwater Coed Relays
March 20 at Gail Devers Stadium
Division I
Team points

 1. Otay Ranch 161; 2. (tie) Eastlake, Morse 144; 4. Sweetwater 102; 5. Hilltop 45; 6. Otay Ranch B 35; 7. San Ysidro 8

Boys Running Events
440 relay: 1. Eastlake 45.4; 2. Otay Ranch 45.7; 3. Morse 46.2; 4. Sweetwater 46.4; 5. San Ysidro 47.9; 6. Hilltop 48.1

Mile relay: 1. Otay Ranch 3:36.5

Boys Field Events
High jump:
1. J'vion Johnson (Otay Ranch) 6-0; 2. Keyhanti Henry (Otay Ranch) 5-8

Pole vault: 1. Alex Lopez (Eastlake) 11-6; 2. R. Vasquez (Otay Ranch) 11-0

Long jump: 1. Marques Roberts (Otay Ranch) 20-9; 2. D. Flowers (Morse) 20-1; 3. Keyhanti Henry (Otay Ranch) 19-9.5

Triple jump: 1. Travis Johnson (Morse) 46-4; 2. Marques Roberts (Otay Ranch) 45-4
Shot put: 1. Greg Young (Morse) 45-6; 2. Jonathan Bajet (Otay Ranch) 45-2; 3. Kasey Hernandez (Otay Ranch) 44-3

Discus throw: 1. Jonathan Bajet (Otay Ranch) 147-5; 2. Joseph Villanueva (Morse) 144-0; 3. Greg Young (Morse) 139-2; 4. Joel Alesi (Christian) 132-10; 5. Kasey Hernandez (Otay Ranch) 130-8

Girls Running Events
440 relay:
1. Morse 51.4; 2. Eastlake 51.9; 3. Otay Ranch 52.6; 4. Sweetwater 55.0; 5. San Ysidro 58.9

Mile relay: 1. Otay Ranch 4:19.7; 2. Morse 4:23.2; 3. Sweetwater 4:30.2; 4. Eastlake 4:37.8; 5. Hilltop 4:434.5

Girls Field Events
High jump:
1. Chelsea Almario (Eastlake) 4-6

Pole vault:
1. Tiffany Smith (Otay Ranch) 9-0

Long jump:
1. Kayla Walden (Eastlake) 16-0; 2. Lindsay Salynda (Morse) 15-8.5; 3. Chelsea Almario (Eastlake) 14-10; 4. Kierra Williams (Otay Ranch) 14-4

Triple jump: 1. Kayla Walden (Eastlake) 33-7.5

Shot put:
1. Abby Leaupepe (Morse) 36-1; 2. Lakisha Carson (Morse) 30-1; 3. Carolina Toledo (Otay Ranch) 29-3

Discus throw:
1. Carolina Toledo (Otay Ranch) 97-11; 2. Lakisha Carson (Morse) 88-6

Division II
Team Points

1. Serra 140; 2. Olympian 127; 3. Castle Park 114; 4. La Jolla 72; 5. Kearny 68; 6. Imperial 32; 7. Christian 30; 8. Mar Vista 22

Boys Running Events
440 relay:
1. Serra 45.2

Mile relay: 1. Kearny 3:37.4

Boys Field Events
High jump:
1. Deante Kemper (Serra) 6-5

Pole vault:
1. Jeremy McGrath (La Jolla) 15-0 (meet record); 2. Brett Huff (Christian) 12-6

Long jump: 1. Michael Moore (Serra) 19-11.25; 2. Chevy King (Castle Park) 19-4.25

Triple jump: 1. Michael Moore (Serra) 41-4.5; 2. Lamar Wint (Castle Park) 39-8.5

Shot put: 1. Tyrone Sauls (Christian) 49-2.5; 2. Joel Alesi (Christian) 45-2.5; 3. Cesar Amparo (Castle Park) 42-4

Discus throw: 1. Joel Alesi (Christian) 132-10; 2. Cesar Amparo (Castle Park) 127-1

Girls Running Events
440 relay:
1. Olympian 52.8; 2. Castle Park 53.2

Mile relay: 1. Olympian N/A; 2. Serra N/A; 3. Castle Park N/A

Girls Field Events
High jump: 1. Nirelle Davis (Olympian) 4-10

Pole vault: 1. Cadman (La Jolla) 7-6

Long jump: 1. Karly Zlatic (La Jolla) 16-0; 2. V. Guerard (La Jolla) 15-9.5; 3. Brittany Basco (Serra) 14-4.5

Triple jump: 1. V. Guerard (La Jolla) 36-8; 2. Karly Zlatic (La Jolla) 33-1.5; 3. Lesleah Flores (Olympian) 30-3

Shot put:
1. Rachel Alesi (Christian) 34-1

Discus throw: 1. Takagawa (La Jolla) 90-1; 2. Rivera (Castle Park) 86-9; 3. Nichols (Serra) 83-10


Elmer Runge Invitational
South County Top Marks
March 20 at Patrick Henry High School

Boys Running Events
110 hurdles: 3. Thomas Little (Montgomery) 15.92

100 dash: 4. Tyrone Richardson (Chula Vista) 11.51

300 hurdles:
2. Thomas Little (Montgomery) 41.10

200 dash:
2. Thomas Little (Montgomery) 22.83

Boys Field Events
Triple jump:
5. Andrew Freeman (Chula Vista) 38-10.5

Girls Running Events
1600 run:
2. Riley Mack (Chula Vista High Tech) 5:37.85

800 run: 2. Cynthia Ruffin (Chula Vista) 2:24.76

100 hurdles: 5. Alyssa Pack (Bonita Vista) 18.07

400 dash:
5. Jade Palm (Bonita Vista) 1:03.00

300 hurdles: 2. Jade Palm (Bonita Vista) 49.24

200 dash:
5. Laticia Greenoge (Chula Vista) 27.35

3200 run: 5. Mariza Diaz (Chula Vista) 12:32.54

Girls Field Events
Pole vault:
4. Arienne Bidwell (Chula Vista) 7-6

Triple jump:
5. Kylie Krueger (Bonita Vista) 31-2.75

Shot put: 3. Jesticia Sueing (Chula Vista) 34-4

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