With CIF Prelims for track taking place Saturday in Moorpark, Golden Valley High School head coach Lonnie Davis was excited the Grizzlies athletes will have at least one more chance to compete, likely more, along with the rest of the Foothill League’s finest in track and field.
“We’re just looking forward to having an opportunity to compete, because things were looking bleak earlier in the year,” he said, referring to the chance for another track season cancellation like there was in 2020 due to the pandemic. “We have the opportunity to go to CIF Prelims this weekend and qualify as many athletes for the Finals next week. We have a great opportunity to make some noise.”
Several schools have athletes ready to run, jump and throw their personal bests, but none more than Golden Valley, which saw its team put together an impressive all-around effort recently at League Finals.
Golden Valley High School boys and girls track teams earned Foothill League titles for the 2021 season, capped off with League Finals hosted recently by Canyon High and College of the Canyons.
Both Grizzlies teams went undefeated, 6-0, an achievement that also bodes well for the future of the program, based on how many athletes can come back to compete next year for fifth-year Golden Valley head coach Lonnie Davis.
The Grizzlies track program missed dual titles by just four points during the last full season, said Davis, who looks to keep the proverbial bar set high for the team for the foreseeable future.
“Honestly … our girls team is so stacked for the next couple of years, it’s going to be ridiculous,” Davis said, while discussing some of the highlights of an abbreviated season for his boys and girls squads. “There’s competitions within our own teams to figure out who’s going to run what events and league meets. It’s a great headache to have.”
It’s not an exaggeration, even considering how much talent was in the Foothill League this year. The season’s final poll released in June featured Golden Valley boys and girls teams at No. 2 in Division II, behind only Thousand Oaks and J.W. North, respectively. Both teams outranked traditional powerhouses like Mater Dei and Mission Viejo. And on the boys side, two other league teams were in the top 10: Canyon High came in No. 6, and West Ranch earned the No. 8 spot.
Even among so much up-and-coming talent, the Grizzlies girls squad stood out for their sprinters.
On the girls’ side, sophomore Ta’ahjah Fann took first place for League Finals at COC in the 100 meters with a time of 12.24, and second place was also a Grizzly, junior Kylee Davis, who ran a 12.64. Junior Adriana Corral of Saugus came in third at 13.17.
The 200 meter dash was also dominated by Golden Valley, with two sophomores taking first and second: Adonijah Currie, whose best time that day was 25.02, and Fann, who came in second with 25.65. Grizzlies Jade Teal (25.52) and Tylar Gallien (26.43), a sophomore and junior, respectively, came in third and fourth.
Three sophomores led in the 400 meters: Currie came in first at 57.42 for Golden Valley; Teal came in second and Centurion sprinter Ama-Jamia Agyekum took third place.
Saugus senior Hannah Fredericks ran the best time in the 800 meters at 2:14.00, while Valencia freshman Angelina Teymouri ran a 2:18.86 and Saugus junior Brooklyn Bendrat took third at 2:22.65. Fredericks also took first place in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters with a time of 4:51.32 and 10:21.54, respectively. Junior Alexis Fernandez of West Ranch took third in the 1,600 and second in the 3,200. Valencia senior Sydney Makar took second in the 1,600 and junior Isabella Duarte of Saugus took third.
Golden Valley girls also led in the hurdles and the relays, with sophomore Jameela Horton taking first place in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 16.65, followed by a pair of seniors: Hart’s Samantha Miranda Rodriguez and West Ranch’s Trinity Winslow. A pair of Golden Valley hurdlers, senior Jasmyn Lewis and sophomore Baylee Walker, took first and second in the 300 meter hurdles. Miranda Rodiguez came in third for Hart.
In the 4 x 100 meter relay, the Grizzlies team of Currie, Teal, Nevaeh Williams and Fann took first place, with Canyon and Valencia taking second and third. In the 4 x 400, it was Currie, Lewis, Gallien and Teal who took first for Golden Valley. Saugus and Valencia came in second and third, respectively.
Girls field events
Golden Valley freshman Meagan Humphries took first place in the high jump. The top mark was 5 feet, 6 inches, which was also cleared by junior Kylee Davis of the Grizzlies. Saugus senior Natalie Lin claimed third place with 4 feet, 10 inches.
Golden Valley junior Olivia Dowd garnered first place in the triple jump with 32 feet, 9.5 inches, narrowly edging Valencia senior Brenda Suwanswasdi, who jumped 32 feet, 6.5 inches. Golden Valley junior Makayla Washington took third with 32 feet, 1.5 inches.
Davis and Washington also garnered first and second place, respectively, in the long jump, with Davis leaping 17 feet, 9 inches. Canyon freshman Cayden Panariello will also be another to watch in the coming years, already earning a third-place finish.
West Ranch junior Bella Kenney took first place in the pole vault by clearing 9 feet, 6 inches. Saugus junior Mackenzie Sharp and Golden Valley senior MaiTae Preece took second and third, respectively.
In the shot put, senior Celeste Aguilar and junior Larren Wells took first and second with the third farthest throw going to Adaobi Ogbuagu, a West Ranch sophomore. In the discus, Aguilar and Wells took first and third, respectively. Saugus senior Natalie Kruger earned second place.
Golden Valley boys also performed impressively at League Finals — and despite a bit more parity overall in the sprints, a Grizzlies runner still managed first, second and third in the 100 meters. Senior Kory Bacon led all runners with an 11.04, while junior Jared Giles ran an 11.16 and sophomore Rashad Shamburger ran an 11.26.
In the 200 meters, Valencia seniors Shane Albin led all runners with a 23.07. Hart junior Kyle Rutherford ran a 23.15 for second place and Canyon junior Dylan Roof took third with a time of 23.17.
The boys 400 meter dash was led by junior Chris Goode of West Ranch, who ran a 48.64. A pair of Saugus seniors, Brandon Cruz Jr. and Zacariah Turner took second and third place. In the 800 meters, West Ranch senior Felix Breitbach took first place with a time of 1:58.07, ahead of Canyon junior Sam Regez and Hart junior Aaron Martinez.
In the 1,600 meters, Hart sophomore Owen Ahten established himself as one to watch for next year, taking first place with a time of 4:27.54. Junior Mason Williams of Canyon took second place and sophomore Jacob Fredericks earned third place. The 3,200 meter race was led by Canyon senior Kyle Stevens, who was followed by West Ranch sophomore Bille Issa in second and Hart junior Jaden Wiley, who came in third.
Canyon senior Austin Hernandez took first place in the 110 meter hurdles at 14.60, followed by Saugus senior John Riley and Saugus junior Daniel Balayan. In the 300 meter hurdles, West Ranch junior Chris Goode took first place with his time of 40.18. Valencia junior Christian Serino earned second place and Balayan earned third.
In the 4 x 100 meter relay, Giles, Shamburger, senior Julian Brown and Bacon finished in first with 43.08, followed by Saugus and Valencia. In the 4 x 400 relay, the Saugus group of junior Brandon Orrick, Turner, sophomore Caleb Cruz and Brandon Cruz Jr. took first place, followed by West Ranch and Valencia.
Boys field events
In the high jump, Canyon High’s Austin Hernandez continued to lead all leapers, taking first place by clearing a height of 6 feet, 7 inches. Golden Valley senior Jordan Kennon took second by clearing 6 feet and Grizzlies junior Daniel Bernat took third place.
In the triple jump, GV junior Elijha Ellis and Kennon took first and second place, with jumps of 43 feet, 9 inches and 43 feet, respectively. Canyon’s Felo Ibrahim jumped 40 feet, 10 inches for third.
Ellis took first place in the long jump with 23 feet, 10 inches, Hernandez took second place and GV’s Giles claimed third.
Canyon junior Hamilton Davis took first place in the pole vault, followed by West Ranch junior Christopher Johns, who both cleared 11 feet. West Ranch frosh Cole Andres claimed third place by clearing 10 feet.
Golden Valley senior Kienan Donovan led all throwers for the shot put with 58 feet, 3 inches, followed by Grizzlies seniors Steven Eakins, who threw 51 feet, 11.5 inches and West Ranch junior Matthew Krogh who threw 51 feet, 8 inches. Donovan also led in the discus, with a distance of 174 feet, 7.5 inches. GV junior Terrain Wiggins Jr. threw 157 feet, 2 inches. Krogh came in third with a distance of 139 feet, 9.5 inches.