When Trinity Classical Academy coach Brian Bixler first entered Solomon Strader in the Arcadia Invitational, a premier national high school track and field meet, the freshman was slotted to race during the afternoon Saturday.
The meet’s premier events are held Saturday night at Arcadia High. And, as it turns out, that’s where Strader belonged.
A few days before the competition, Arcadia organizers moved Strader to the evening meet. Running in the 400-meter seeded race, he put up the second-fastest time: 48.25 seconds.
It was the night’s fifth fastest time, period.
“He still has so much more potential,” Bixler said. “The sky is the limit for such a young man, only 15 years old.”
Other Santa Clarita Valley highlights from the multi-day meet included the Saugus girls 4×1600 relay (Mariah Castillo, Kaylee Thompson, Mackenna Park and Jacqueline Cascione), which took second place in Friday’s invitational race with a time of 20 minutes, 35.25 seconds.
Thompson and Castillo (along with Maddy Overstreet and Kristen Mohrhoff) helped Saugus’ distance medley relay to a fourth-place invitational finish with a time of 12:06.36
Elsewhere, West Ranch’s Natalie Ramirez took second in the discus on Saturday afternoon with a throw of 138 feet, 4 inches.
During the same session, Canyon’s Seanna Nalbandyan took fourth in the 300 hurdles with a time of 44.90.
Canyon’s boys 4×200 relay team of Steven Arrington, Troy Chairez, Taylor Tepesano and Jeremiah Finely set a new school record with a 1:29.71.
“They did great,” said Canyon coach Paul Broneer of his team’s overall performance, “especially our 4×200 boys relay team.”
The West Ranch boys 4×1600 relay (Preston Pope, Timothy Sterkel, Isaiah Seidman, Justin Sherfey) took fifth in the invitational race on Friday with a time of 17:37.24.
“Our city was represented pretty well,” said West Ranch coach Sara Soltani. “It’s really hard to get in, especially in the big, big races, the invites, and we had a lot of showing from Santa Clarita.”
Valencia’s 800 sprint medley relay (Tanner Berney, Chris Kojin, Josh Pikes and Sam Pica) took third in the invitational race, finishing in 1:33.91.
Golden Valley’s Gabriel Coronado threw 172 feet in the discus on Saturday night.