Canyon track secures share of ninth straight Foothill League title

Golden Valley’s Daniel Rush rounds the corner as Canyon’s Ethan Danforth (middle) and Patrick King (right) trail him in a Foothill League meet at Canyon on Thursday. Haley Sawyer/The Signal

In the week leading up to Canyon boys track and field’s meet against Golden Valley, the Cowboys knew they needed every point they could get. When two undefeated teams go at it, nothing can go overlooked.

“We had a long discussion with all the boys and our team early this week about it was going to be a meet that we had to grind,” said Canyon co-head coach George Velarde. “We talked about everybody counted.”

On Thursday afternoon, the Cowboys walked in with that mindset and walked out with at least a share of their ninth straight Foothill League title, beating the Grizzlies 71-65 at home.

“It’s just great to be a part of a tradition like that,” said Canyon’s Troy Chairez. “…Going into this race, two undefeated teams with the doubts against us, it was great to see a whole bunch of people come together and do great in these races.”

Chairez clocked 50.0 seconds in the 400-meter dash for first place and 23.4 seconds in the 200 for second place in addition to running a leg of the 4×400 relay. His 4×4 team came in second at 3:47 seconds.

After recovering from a hamstring injury earlier this season, Chairez was grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the Cowboys’ success.

“It feels really good to race with my teammates and just enjoy the experiences with them,” he said.

Canyon’s Selasi Mawugbe competes in the long jump in a dual meet against Golden Valley on Thursday at Canyon. Haley Sawyer/The Signal

The Canyon boys came claimed first in nine events on the afternoon. Ethan Danforth came in first in both the 1600 (4:29) and 3200 (10:45).

In throwing events, Jacob Lopez was tops in the shot put (53’9) and discus (153’4).

The Grizzlies took first in the 4×100 and the 4×400 relays. Joshua Ballard doubled in the long jump and triple jump, with leaps of 20 feet, eight inches and 41-5, respectively.

The Cowboys took home a win on the girls side as well, beating Golden Valley 75-61.

Selasi Mawugbe won both the high jump (5-0) and triple jump (34-3) and came in second in the long jump (15-10) behind GV’s Cassandra Ortiz (16-6.12). Mawugbe also clocked a meet-high 18.0 in the 100 hurdles.

Canyon’s Angelee Berganio doubled in the 800 and 300, while Golden Valley’s Yleana Lopez doubled in the 400 and 200 races.

“Today was a total team effort and … as a coaching staff and as the head coach, that’s what I’m more proud of,” Velarde said. “We had the mindset from the very beginning of the week, talking to the kids that everyone counted. They came through.”

Canyon hosts Hart on Thursday at 3 p.m., while Golden Valley will host Saugus at the same time.

NOTES: The track and field meet between Saugus and West Ranch has been rescheduled from Thursday to today at 3 p.m. West Ranch will host.

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