Foothill track & field roundup: West Ranch girls win first league title

West Ranch's Natalie Ramirez throws the shot put during a dual meet at Saugus on Thursday, April 20, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

As the final runner in the 4×400 meter relay, an event that would help decide the final outcome of the girls dual meet between West Ranch and Saugus highs, the Wildcats’ London Lewis had a vision.

“I could imagine a banner at the end,” Lewis said. “So I was just running towards the banner.”

She broke that banner on Thursday afternoon as part of a relay team that played an important role in beating Saugus 81-55 at Saugus to claim the program’s first-ever Foothill League title.

“Coming into this season, I knew that they were extremely talented, but they never really have been able to rise up to this type of occasion before,” said first-year coach Sara Soltani. “It’s been in their hands like it was last year, but this year was their year to finally pull through.”

West Ranch’s Sophia Hoelzel runs the 800 meters during a dual meet at Saugus on Thursday, April 20, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Natalie Ramirez set a new personal record in shot put, throwing a first-place 44 feet, 1.5 inches. She also came in first in discus.

“Just confidence all the way,” Ramirez said after the shot event. “We’ve just got to have that mentality to do our all, everything we can and get out there and so far I got my part down, so I’ll be here cheering for my team all through this meet.”

Bailey Pate of West Ranch (5-0), who originally was not competing due to a hamstring injury, placed first in the 200 (26.16) and third in the 400 (59.72). She also ran a leg in the girls 4×400 relay.

“She came up to me and she said, ‘I’m running,'” Soltani said. “And I told her that she needed to be careful and we needed to talk and she truly pushed herself because she knew her team wanted this. And she wasn’t going to let them down.”

For Saugus, Mariah Castillo finished first in the 800 and second in the 1600 and 3200.

Abbey Bryant came in first in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles for the Centurions, clocking 15.78 and 48.30, respectively.

“Our girls came ready to compete and they competed,” said Saugus co-head coach Kevin Berns. “They worked hard, they gave everything. There was not one event that you can look at and say, ‘You know what, we didn’t give everything we had.'”

Saugus finished 4-1 league.

Saugus 83, West Ranch 53 (boys)

Blake Walkowiak was first in the shot put (54-00) and discus (166-05) for the Cents.

Saugus swept the 100-meter dash. In first was Bishop Amir, followed by Isaiah Turner and Clifford Alvarez.

The Wildcats’ Justin Sherfey, Preston Pope and Jack Arnold came in first, second and third for a sweep of the 1600.

Mya Davis came in first in the 110 (16.40) and 300 (43.10) hurdles for West Ranch.

Canyon 91, Golden Valley 44 (boys)

With the win, the Cowboys (5-0) won the boys Foothill League title outright, their eighth consecutive crown.

“This group isn’t the most talented group we’ve ever had, but they had the most heart,” said coach Paul Broneer.  “They’re just willing to work hard and give it their all when we asked them to.”

Canyon’s Camden Apsay came in first in both the long jump and triple jump, jumping 20 feet, 2 inches and 41-01, respectively. Steven Arrington was first in the 400 and 200.

Gabriel Coronado was first in shot put (55-10) and discus (175-00) for GV (1-4).

Canyon 84, Golden Valley 42 (girls)

Gabby Sanchez set a new school record in discus, throwing 134-00 for first place for the Cowboys (2-3).

Canyon’s Seanna Nalbandyan was first in the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and the 400.

Emma Rudolph set the Golden Valley school record in pole vault, clearing 10-03 for first place.

Golden Valley finished 1-4.

Hart 72, Valencia 64 (boys)

The Indians (3-2) swept in the 110 hurdles, with Cole Shirakata in first.

Hart also earned first and second place in both the 110 and the 300 hurdles.

Clifford McMullen was first in both the shot put and discus.

Sam Pica was first in the long jump and the 400 for Valencia (3-2).

Valencia 103, Hart 44 (girls)

The Vikings (3-2) earned a sweep in the girls 100 with freshman Aaliyah Burney Muhammad coming in first place.

Cheyenne Cheshier came in first in both the triple jump and the 200.

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