By Ryan Menzie
For The Signal
Santa Clarita Valley’s best in track and field came together one more time Saturday at Moorpark for the CIF-Southern Section Finals.
Golden Valley’s athletes continued to take care of what coach Lonnie Davis referred to as “unfinished business” on his team’s social media, with the Grizzlies claiming a number of championships in track and field events.
The SCV also produced two of the Southern Section’s top throwers at the meet and saw a number of competitive local finishes from the area’s track programs.
Golden Valley High
“The kids, they kept their composure, they were ready to compete no matter what,” said Davis. “The growth and maturity and experience. They know what it’s all about. They looked over and saw who came in first place and they wanted that feeling, as well.”
A bit of a late start didn’t slow down Kylee Davis, a junior from Golden Valley, who set a new personal record of 19 feet, 2 inches during the long jump, which also was good enough for first place. Davis also came in first place for the high jump Saturday by clearing 5 feet, 6 inches. Meagan Humphries, who earned Freshman of the Year for the Grizzlies, came in third with 5 feet, 4 inches.
“I’m very relieved. I was glad I finally got that long jump personal record, because I’ve been stuck at 19 for a while,” said Kylee Davis. “It was a lot of practice. I was a little scared because I was a little late to the meet. I was trying to get as much warm up as I could. I practice every day so I was definitely prepared and ready for this.”
Sophomore Adonijah Currie, who competed in four events for Golden Valley, finished first in the 400 meters with a school-record time of 55.64 seconds. Currie also helped Golden Valley finish first in the girls 4 x 100 relay, along with Jade Teal, Tylar Gallien and Ta’ahjah Fann, setting a Foothill League record of 47.36 seconds.
“It was very good and relieving. We worked very hard for that,” said Currie. “I thought I was going to do pretty good before the race and I started getting locked in. Coach just told us to give it our all, don’t worry about anyone else, focus and stay in our lane and that’s what we did.”
Kienan Donovan, senior for Golden Valley, won first place in the discus and shot-put events. Donovan is going to compete at the University of California, Riverside, next year.
“It felt very good. I’m glad we got a CIF meet and got to compete in a regular meet,” said Donovan. “I’m proud of everyone that stuck through the adversity. We pulled through as a team and we finished as a team.”
At the end of all the events, the Grizzlies girls squad ended just seven points behind John W. North of Riverside for first, and Golden Valley boys finished tied for sixth. The Grizzlies made 10 individual trips to the podium and all three participating relay teams made it, too.
Canyon High boys finished ninth overall in Division 2. The Cowboys’ highlights included their boys 4 x 100 team coming in seventh place, while setting a new school record. The boys team consisted of Austin Hernandez, Dylan Roof, Brandon Hill and Paul Sekyi-Appiah.
Hernandez, senior from Canyon and the school’s Male Athlete of the Year, was the only boy competing in four different events. Hernandez competed in the long jump, high jump, 4 x 100 relay and the 4 x 110 hurdles. He finished second in the long jump and first for the 4 x 110 hurdles. Hernandez is committed to West Point Academy next year.
“I feel like I competed well today — there was a lot of great competition and a lot of good people out here,” said Hernandez. “It felt good finishing where I finished. I got to meet a lot of new people I will be competing against in college. This is the end of high school but the start of a new chapter.”
Despite a year when all the events were much faster and far fewer breaks, Hernandez and the rest of the team came out to compete.
“Ninth is the highest we’ve placed in quite a while,” said Canyon head coach George Velarde. “With all the teams we’ve had during the pandemic and the low number of participants we’ve had competing — we’ve had a heck of a season. What more can you ask for?”
West Ranch High
West Ranch’s Alexis Fernandez placed fourth and fifth in the 1,600 and 3,200 races, respectively. Hayden Washington got fourth in the 3,200.
Matthew Krogh finished in second place in the shot put, throwing a personal record of 56 feet, 4 inches.
“It felt great, the entire competition was awesome,” said Krogh. “They’ve done an amazing job, as a team we worked very hard. We did a good job supporting each other and our growth. It’s really been a great season.”
West Ranch track head coach Jonathan Choi said he was grateful the team had the chance to compete, referring to the experience as a “humbling” one, and also added that it helped clarify the focus for next year. His teams finished in the top half of those invited for girls (12th place) and boys (15th).
“I think this is a great experience. The meet was definitely humbling,” said Choi. “It was a learning experience. It gave us a clear vision for next year. We made it this far and we weren’t expecting it. Now we know what the goals are for next year. It really solidifies them.”