Foothill League track and field athletes make move for CIF
Saugus' Abbey Bryant, left, and Canyon's Seanna Nalbandyan, right, clear the final hurdle in the 100 meter hurdles at the Foothill League track and field finals at College of the Canyons on Thursday. Katharine Lotze/The Signal
By Haley Sawyer
Thursday, May 4th, 2017

The 400-meter dash is Sam Pica’s favorite event.

After the Foothill League track and field finals on Thursday at College of the Canyons, it’s easy to see why.

Pica, a Valencia High senior, finished the 400 in 48.08 seconds, setting both a new league and meet record.

Nick Jones, a Valencia graduate who held the previous meet record of 48.65, was Pica’s training partner freshman year and was in attendance for the race.

“He was like, ‘Well, I’m going to be sad but happy at the same time (if you break the record),’” Pica said. “So I was like, ‘I’ll do it for you.’”

Valencia’s Sam Pica rounds the second turn of the boys varsity 400 meter dash at the Foothill League track and field finals at College of the Canyons on Thursday. Pica won the event and set a meet record. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Pica also set a new personal and school record in the long jump, jumping 22 feet, 11 inches. He was the anchor of the Vikings’ first-place 4×400 relay team and was a part of the first-place 4×100 relay team.

Valencia swept in the 4×100 relay, with both girls and boys teams at all levels coming in first place.

“Our coach has been telling us, we’ve got to sweep league finals,” said Pica. “We did it. We did it for him.”

West Ranch’s Mya Davis was first in the 300-meter hurdles and second in the 110-meter hurdles.

Canyon’s Seanna Nalbandyan won the 100 (15.48) and 300 (45.78) hurdles.

In boys field events, Golden Valley’s Gabriel Coronado came in first in the discus, throwing 167-10, and first in shot put with a toss of 52-09.

Saugus High’s Mariah Castillo was first in the girls 3200-meter run and the 1600.

Saugus’ Mariah Castillo comes down the home stretch in the 1600 meter run at the Foothill League track and field finals at College of the Canyons on Thursday. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Golden Valley’s Shyann Franklin was first in the girls shot put for the second year in a row with a throw of 42-05.50 and third in discus with a 113-06.50.

West Ranch’s Natalie Ramirez was first in discus at 137-03.

Hart’s Cole Shirakata won the boys 110 hurdles in 15.95, while Hart’s Tori Waldeck won the girls 400 (57.05).

West Ranch’s Justin Sherfey won the boys 1600 and 800.

The top athlete from each event will compete in the CIF-SS preliminaries on May 13. Second and third finishers must meet minimum standards for entry.

About the author

Haley Sawyer

Haley Sawyer

A Pennsylvania native, Haley Sawyer has covered sports across the country. She is a graduate of Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh and is the sports editor at The Signal.

Saugus' Abbey Bryant, left, and Canyon's Seanna Nalbandyan, right, clear the final hurdle in the 100 meter hurdles at the Foothill League track and field finals at College of the Canyons on Thursday. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Foothill League track and field athletes make move for CIF

The 400-meter dash is Sam Pica’s favorite event.

After the Foothill League track and field finals on Thursday at College of the Canyons, it’s easy to see why.

Pica, a Valencia High senior, finished the 400 in 48.08 seconds, setting both a new league and meet record.

Nick Jones, a Valencia graduate who held the previous meet record of 48.65, was Pica’s training partner freshman year and was in attendance for the race.

“He was like, ‘Well, I’m going to be sad but happy at the same time (if you break the record),’” Pica said. “So I was like, ‘I’ll do it for you.’”

Valencia’s Sam Pica rounds the second turn of the boys varsity 400 meter dash at the Foothill League track and field finals at College of the Canyons on Thursday. Pica won the event and set a meet record. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Pica also set a new personal and school record in the long jump, jumping 22 feet, 11 inches. He was the anchor of the Vikings’ first-place 4×400 relay team and was a part of the first-place 4×100 relay team.

Valencia swept in the 4×100 relay, with both girls and boys teams at all levels coming in first place.

“Our coach has been telling us, we’ve got to sweep league finals,” said Pica. “We did it. We did it for him.”

West Ranch’s Mya Davis was first in the 300-meter hurdles and second in the 110-meter hurdles.

Canyon’s Seanna Nalbandyan won the 100 (15.48) and 300 (45.78) hurdles.

In boys field events, Golden Valley’s Gabriel Coronado came in first in the discus, throwing 167-10, and first in shot put with a toss of 52-09.

Saugus High’s Mariah Castillo was first in the girls 3200-meter run and the 1600.

Saugus’ Mariah Castillo comes down the home stretch in the 1600 meter run at the Foothill League track and field finals at College of the Canyons on Thursday. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Golden Valley’s Shyann Franklin was first in the girls shot put for the second year in a row with a throw of 42-05.50 and third in discus with a 113-06.50.

West Ranch’s Natalie Ramirez was first in discus at 137-03.

Hart’s Cole Shirakata won the boys 110 hurdles in 15.95, while Hart’s Tori Waldeck won the girls 400 (57.05).

West Ranch’s Justin Sherfey won the boys 1600 and 800.

The top athlete from each event will compete in the CIF-SS preliminaries on May 13. Second and third finishers must meet minimum standards for entry.

About the author

Haley Sawyer

Haley Sawyer

A Pennsylvania native, Haley Sawyer has covered sports across the country. She is a graduate of Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh and is the sports editor at The Signal.