Mustangs gallop to strong start in track and field season

Otay Ranch High School senior Nathan Mestre returns to defend his Mesa League championship in the boys 300-meter intermediate hurdles. Photo by Phillip Brents

The 2020 high school track and field season has had an abbreviated start but nonetheless it’s been a promising one for the Otay Ranch Mustangs.

Otay Ranch competed in a non-league dual meet against visiting Scripps Ranch on March 5 and participated in the Mt. Carmel Field and Distance event on March 7.

Coach Julian Valdez noted the team had “some good performances” in both events.

Newcomer Haydn Brotschi, a sophomore, ran 53.71 in the 400-meter dash to place second to Scripps Ranch senior Nicholas Melanese (50.86) in the dual meet against the Falcons.

Valdez said senior Nathan Mestre continues to show great strides in the two hurdles events after clocking 15.86 to win the 110-meter high hurdles and posting a 42.08 time to win the 300 intermediate hurdles against Scripps Ranch.

He is the defending Mesa League champion in the 300 hurdles event after timing 40.31.

The Mustangs have been a powerhouse in the distance events and that doesn’t seem to have changed this season. Valdez said 10 boys have already clocked under five minutes in the mile, with another four being close.

This is a good omen considering a few standouts — Colby Parise, Adrien Galuz and Chris Schafer — haven’t even run it yet this season.

Sophomore Ruben Baza clocked 10:22.86 to place 22nd among 57 entrants in the 3200 distance at the Mt. Carmel meet to lead the group that included senior Andre Sison (10:29.36) and junior Dominic Garcia (10:32.63).

In the weights department, senior Zak Rachow recorded 47-0.5 in the shot put and 136-9 in the discus throw in the March 5 dual meet, both personal records. Rachow placed runner-up to Scripps Ranch senior Joshua Boamah in both events — 50.7.5 in the shot put and 155-10 in the discus throw.

At the Mt. Carmel meet, Rachow placed eighth out of 68 entrants in the discus throw with a mark of 131-8 and ninth out of 71 entrants in the shot put with a mark of 44-1.

Mesa League girls cross country champion Mckenzie Kelly leads the Otay Ranch track team in the distances. Photo by Phillip Brents

On the girls side, senior newcomer Ariana Naranjo holds top marks in both the 100 and 200 sprint distances while senior Mckenzie Kelly, last fall’s Mesa League cross country champion, has already posted a time of 1:01.12 in the 400 dash, which is close to a top record on campus.

Sophomore Elicia Arredondo ran 2:34 80 in 800 meters in the dual meet against Scripps Ranch and 5:38.37 in the 1600 at Mt. Carmel meet.

Valdez said that no discussion has been had on how and when the season will resume.

“These are uncertain times, and we are simply hoping we get another opportunity to work with our kids,” Valdez said. “However, we understand that the safety and well-being of the community is most important.”

The California Interscholastic Federation’s 10 section commissioners will hold a meeting on April 3 to further evaluate postseason competition.

“We are bummed most for our four-year seniors who have helped us be so successful and now their season is going to be cut short,” Valdez said.

Those student-athletes include Edric Picatoste, Angelo Javier, Johan Gijon, Andre Sison, Nathan Mestre, Jamar Broner, Zakary Rachow, Julian Oostburg, Max Finch, Janelle Watkins, Sara Williams, Cristina Carrillo and Jimena Benitez.

Otay Ranch senior Zak Rachow is a three-sport athlete in football, basketball and track and field in 2019-20. Photo by Phillip Brents

Add Mt. Carmel
Otay Ranch junior Jacen Salvador timed 2:07.79 in the 800 boys run while sophomore teammate Cody Holt followed with a 2:08.02 time. Otay Ranch’s Cristina Carrillo timed 2:35.80 in the girls race.

Bonita Vista sophomore Lauren Salt timed 5:38.32 in the girls 1600 meters while junior teammate Sequoia Kriss ran 5:43.35. BV senior Noah Nafarrete timed 4:42.88 in the boys distance while Otay Ranch junior Grant Bice timed 4:43.51 and Mustang senior John Gijon ran 4:44.28.

Otay Ranch junior Autumn Filson timed 12:47.57 in the girls 3200 run to place 13th overall in the field of 26 competitors.

Otay Ranch junior Rogelio Flores placed fourth among 60 entrants in the boys long jump with a mark of 21-9.25 and was 12th in a field of 36 competitors with a mark of 40-11.5 in the triple jump.

Otay Ranch senior Calvin Taylor cleared 5-8 to tie for 11th place among 31 competitors in the boys high jump.

Otay Ranch’s Jake Shorey placed 14th among 75 entrants in the boys 1600 freshman race with a time of 4:53.59.

Otay Ranch junior Shire Lampkin placed 20th out of 54 competitors in the girls shot put with a put of 28-4 while freshman Zoe Rachow placed 22nd with a mark of 27-6.5.

In the girls discus throw, Otay Ranch sophomore Aramis Gonzalez recorded a mark of 87-10 to place 20th in the field of 58 throwers while junior teammate Rosalinda Blancarte placed 21st in 87-5.

Otay Ranch senior Meliah Burns posted a mark of 14-7.5 to place 20th among 50 entrants in the girls long jump while Otay Ranch junior Elizabeth Guidry recorded a mark of 30-0.5 to place 13th among 29 entrants in the triple jump.

Otay Ranch freshmen Tomas Ortiz (37-7) and Kaleb Bowler (34-4) placed second and third, respectively, in the boys novice shot put.


Mustangs gallop to strong start in track and field season