Canyon and Golden Valley shine at track prelims 

Hart runner Owen Ahter, center, is flanked by his teammates Carson DeSpain, left, and Jaden Wiley as they compete in the Varsity Boys 1600 at College of the Canyons on Thursday, 042122. Dan Watson/The Signal

By Justin Vigil-Zuniga 

Signal Sports Writer 

Foothill League track and field teams met for preliminaries on Thursday at College of the Canyons. 

Golden Valley had its usual day, highlighted by sweeping the top five fastest times in the girls 200-meter dash.  

Grizzlies’ junior Adonijah Currie again took the top spot with a top-10 state time of 24.42 seconds. 

Currie also finished first in the 400-meter dash with a 58.53 mark. 

“Adonijah is an amazing teammate,” said Golden Valley head coach Lonnie Davis. “She has a ‘mamba mentality’ mindset. She works hard in practice and seeks out to get the results that she puts her mind to.” 

However, in the 100-meter dash, Canyon sophomore Mikaela Warr stole the show, winning in 12.31 and beating out four Golden Valley runners in the top five. The Grizzlies will still send five runners to finals for the 100 to Canyon’s three. 

“Mikaela is very talented and she is only beginning to see how good she can be,” said Cowboys head coach George Velarde. 

Warr’s teammates, Briana Bartone and Madison Desvarieux, also qualified for league finals with top-eight finishes. 

Canyon’s Caitlyn Leao also knocked a few milliseconds off her last tri-meet 300-meter hurdles, finishing Thursday in 48.61 seconds. 

Alexis Fernandez of West Ranch ran away with the girls 1,600-meter run. The senior hit a new personal record of five minutes and 8.37 seconds. Saugus’ Isabella Duarte finished second and was one of four Centurions to qualify for finals. 

Isabella Duarte, left, and and Hayden Washington of West Ranch compete in the Girls Varsity1600 at College of the Canyons on Thursday, 042122. Dan Watson/The Signal

On the boys’ side, Christopher Goode didn’t crack his state-leading mark in the 400-meter dash but still won comfortably with a mark of 47.13, .08 seconds shy of his record. 

Christopher Goode of West Ranch wins the Boys Varsity 400 Meter Dash at College of the Canyons on Thursday, 042122. Dan Watson/The Signal

Canyon freshman Jordehn Gammage stole the show in the boys’ 300-meter hurdles. Gammage finished in 43.71 seconds, beating out three of Saugus’ best who finished the event second through fourth on the day. The Centurions will send four 300 hurdles runners on to finals. 

Canyon also will have two runners move on in the boys’ 800-meter run, including senior Sam Regez, who won the event in 2 minutes and 1.25 seconds. Hart had four runners qualify in the 800. 

Hart’s Kyle Rutherford will also move on after a quick finish in the boys’ 200-meter dash in 22.78 seconds. 

Golden Valley seniors Elijha Ellis and Jared Giles will also both move on after great days in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.  

Davis believes Ellis can hit a 10.6-second mark in the 100 and a sub-22-second mark in the 200. 

“They have no ceiling,” said Davis. “As long as they trust, believe in the training, get plenty of sleep and do all the small things, they’ll continue to progress.” 

Every Foothill League team sent some runners to move on, but Canyon and Golden Valley shared a good bulk of the qualifying marks. 

The Grizzly girls remain the No. 1-ranked team in the CIF Division 2 polls, but Canyon has crept into the honorable mentions after grinding all season. 

Canyon High coach George Velarde, left, congratulates Canyon runner Jason Brown for his efforts during the Boys Varsity 1600 at College of the Canyons on Thursday, 042122. Dan Watson/The Signal

“Our team is peaking at the right time,” said Velarde. “Our team training has been solid and our athletes are wanting to continue to improve.” 

West Ranch remains the only Foothill League boys team to be ranked in the CIF polls and currently sits at ninth in the CIF Division 2 polls. 

The day showcased all the speed and endurance of the Santa Clarita Valley with just runners competing. Finals next week will showcase all throwers, jumpers, relays and finals of the same preliminary runs. 

The qualifying athletes will return to COC for league finals on Thursday at 2 p.m. 

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