HomeBlocksFront-GridTrack and Field: Spartans Clinch Individual Championships at League Finals

Track and Field: Spartans Clinch Individual Championships at League Finals

By Charles Matarese
Special to the Outlook Valley Sun

The La Cañada High School girls’ track and field team followed up on its team Rio Hondo League championship by collecting victories in eight of the 16 events at the individual league championship meet.
Sarina Parks led the way with three victories, including capturing school records in the 400-meter race and the 4×100 relay race. She also anchored the winning 4×400 relay to an all-time meet record performance.
Katie McGuinness and Katelyn Matarese each took home two league titles. McGuinness set the meet and school record in the long jump with a leap of 19 feet, 5 inches that ranks her first in CIF and fourth in the state. She also teamed with Parks, Lily Bingham and Kaitlyn Creighton to set another school record in the 4×100 relay. Matarese cruised to an easy victory and meet record in the 800 before teaming with Parks, Sam Hosford and Brittany Rivas to win the 4×400 relay.
Maya DeBrouwer’s time of 4 minutes, 49 seconds in the 1,600 was not only a meet record, but gave her the No. 1 seed in CIF. DeBrouwer could have also likely taken the 3,200 title but she crossed the line one-hundredths of a second behind a friendly rival from South Pasadena as the pair elected to cross the finish simultaneously to conserve energy in the meet’s longest event for a hopefully long postseason run.
Erin Makhanian took the league title in the pole vault, while the 4×800 relay team of Yasmin Ghaneh, Brittany Rivas, Kelly Sellman and Haloe Ball also captured a league title.
La Cañada coach Chris Matarese said he was “especially proud that the team took home victories in all three relays as it shows the team’s strength and unity at all distances.”
Second-place finishers for the Spartans included Mia DiConti in the pole vault, Parks in the 200, DeBrouwer in the 3200, and McGuinness in the high jump. McGuinness also claimed third in the 400, Rivas finished third in the 300 hurdles, Nora Anderson took third in the high jump and Ghaneh took bronze in the 800.
The top three in each event at the league championship meet advanced to the CIF preliminaries. Runners not finishing in the top three in challenging events can also qualify with exceptional marks that meet preset standards. Creighton and Naomi Hosford both reached the CIF standard in the 100 hurdles with fourth- and fifth-place finishes, while Sam Hosford did the same with a fourth-place finish in the 400.
In total, the Spartan girls will send 14 athletes on to CIF Southern Section competition.

Saunders Highlights Spartan Boys’ Finals Performance

La Cañada junior Josh Carruthers center competes in the Rio Hondo League Track Field Championships at South Pasadena High School

Jamie Saunders took home two Rio Hondo League individual championships to lead the Spartan boys. Fellow senior George Hervey captured the other title with a big personal record in the 3,200.
Saunders broke the elusive 50-second barrier with a personal record 49.59 in the 400. He also anchored the victorious 4×400 relay with a blistering 48.70 split that gave the boys’ relay team the second seed in CIF behind perennial favorite Orange Lutheran.
Notably, the Spartans are the only public school in the top 8 of the 4×400 in CIF as they are ahead of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, San Juan Capistrano JSerra, Cathedral of Los Angeles, Harvard-Westlake of Studio City, Damien, Santa Margarita, Bellflower St. John Bosco, and other private school powerhouses.
The school’s fastest man, Josh Carruthers, played a critical role in the 4×400 victory with a 50-second leg, and finished second in the 100, 200 and 4×100 relay.
Morgan Strauss and Alan Razo teamed with Carruthers and Saunders on both relays with Razo also taking third place in the 300 hurdles.
La Cañada’s other second-place finishers included Ethan Alvarez-Salazar in the high jump and Harvey Wake in the shot put. Cole Parisi took home a bronze medal in long jump to complete the Spartans’ CIF qualifier list.
The LCHS boys’ team will send seven athletes to compete in the CIF Southern Section Track and Field championships, which begin with the prelims held at four different school sites on May 4. The finals are set at Moorpark High on May 11.

First published in the May 2 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.


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