The best of the best in the Foothill League took to the track on Thursday at College of the Canyons for the track and field Foothill League finals.
Personal records were set and a bevy of runners advanced to the CIF-Southern Section prelims after an eventful day of races.
Golden Valley started things off with back-to-back wins in the varsity girls and boys 4×100 relay. The boys (Kory Bacon, Jalen Davis, Samuel Malik and Deven Mendez) finished with a time of 42.72 seconds and the girls (Kayla De la Merced, Tylar Gallien, Delaney Sherwood and Yleana Lopez) recorded a time of 49.21.
Gallien, who served as the second leg in the relay, was on fire all afternoon. In addition to helping her team win the relay, she also won the varsity girls 400-meter with a personal record of 57.29 and won the girls 200-meter with a time 25.32.
“Hurting my hamstring, I thought I kind of had a disadvantage, but I just had to push through all the zones, take control of the race and stay calm in the back stretch of the four and not tire myself out,” Gallien said. “It’s amazing as a freshman, I’m going to get higher as I get through high school. I plan to have the best of my best races and the best times I can get.”
After the conclusion of the 4×100 relays, a pair of Saugus runners took home wins and set personal records in the varsity girls and boys 1600-meter.
Hannah Fredericks finished with a PR of 5:01.88 and Nick Serrano logged a PR of 4:18.89 to finish in first place.
Valencia’s Chloe Stewart won the varsity girls 100-meter hurdles (15.40) and Hart’s Cole Shirakata took first in the varsity boys 110-meter hurdles (14.72).
After Gallien won the girls 400-meter, West Ranch’s Solomon Strader continued his season-long dominance in the boys 400-meter, winning with a time of 47.33. He also won the boys 200-meter with a PR of 21.45.
Strader’s teammate Hailey Hunt won the girls 100-meter at 12.46, edging Lopez (12.48).
“I’m very proud of this program, this program is elite. This is the most high-performing team I’ve ever seen compared to anyone I’ve seen in the state,” said West Ranch’s Isaiah Seidman, who won the varsity boys 3200-meter (9:15.76). “This is the most competitive league in the state for sure. It’s great to know that when you go to big events like Arcadia, you have tons of people on our team qualifying and winning races. It’s an honor.”
In the boys 100-meter, Hart’s Joe Hylton (10.84) was able to beat out Valencia’s Tylyn Cook (PR of 10.89) and Golden Valley’s Jalen Davis (11.20).
Hylton, who was coming off a left knee injury that sidelined him for three weeks, said going against younger runners like Cook, a junior, and Davis, a sophomore, push him to be at his best.
“They really do bring the best out of me since they’re younger and I’m getting a little bit older. They really push me to make me want to do better and I push them because I have the experience,” Hylton said. “It feels really good to run against them and see our future athletes and see them coming up. They help me out and I help them out, it’s a good experience.”
In a highly-anticipated race, Kai Wingo of Valencia was able to pull ahead of Golden Valley’s Antonio Abrego to win the varsity boys 800-meter with a time of 1:52.25, setting a new league record.
Angelee Berganio of Canyon took the top spot in the varsity girls 800-meter with a time of 2:19.01.
Golden Valley’s Jasmyn Lewis set a PR in the varsity girls 300-meter hurdles with a time of 46.04. West Ranch’s Mya Davis also set a PR in the varsity boys 300-meter hurdles at 39.03.
A contingent of Saugus runners took the top six spots in the girls 3200-meter with Hailey Rutter winning with a time of 11:05.01. Jacqueline Cascione finished second at 11:07.81 and Brooklyn Bendrat set a PR with a time of 11:08.62.
The boys 3200-meter featured a group of talented runners, but it was Seidman who was able to pull away from teammate Evan Bates (9:19.60) and Golden Valley’s Daniel Rush (9:20.80) to win.
“There’s never a race where I can just slack off because you’ve got two, three, four, five guys that are neck and neck with you,” Seidman said. “It’s very rewarding. It’s great to know that all the pain and time spent working out and training, getting that perfect routine down and putting so much energy into working out, it pays off.”
The evening ended the same way the day started, with Golden Valley winning the final relays, the boys and girls 4×400.
The girls team (Gallien, Sherwood, Lopez and Iman Holmes) finished with a time of 3:58.98 and the boys team (Abrego, Joseph Clemons, Tyler Walker and Malik) finished with a time of 3:21.26.
In field events, West Ranch’s Shelbi Schauble won the girls triple jump with a mark of 36-4 1/2 and Golden Valley’s Jordan Kennon won the boys triple jump with a mark of 43-1 3/4.
Saugus’ Kylee Davis won the girls long jump (17-11 1/2) and Maximiliano Gabriel of Golden Valley won the boys long jump (21-03 1/4).
Davis also won the girls high jump (5-0) and Canyon’s Tyler Cash took home first place in the boys high jump (6-4).
Emma Rudolph of Golden Valley took the title in the girls pole vault (11-0) and Valencia’s Adam West won the boys pole vault (13-6).
The CIF-SS prelims will take place on Saturday, May 4, with Division 1 athletes traveling to Trabuco Hills High School and Division 2 athletes going to Moorpark High School.