School, meet and league records were shattered on Friday at College of the Canyons in the Foothill League Finals.
The local programs watched their young stars compete, and now all seven teams will send numerous athletes to the CIF preliminaries at various locations.
Castaic’s Meagan Humphries broke four records on the day. Humphries set a new meet record in the 200-meter dash and swept through the jump events.
Humphries won the 200 in 24.05 seconds, another top-five mark in the state. The junior set a new meet and league record in triple jump with her mark of 40 feet, 8.75 inches. Humphries also flew 19 feet, 6 inches in the long jump, a new Foothill League Finals meet record.
“I actually didn’t feel that much pressure,” Humphries said in a phone interview. “I used to have a lot of anxiety before competing, but I’ve started to realize that I perform a lot better when I go into a meet expecting to have fun rather than stressing over my performance. I like to remind myself that although, yes, I am competing against other athletes, I’m really competing against myself in the sense that I’m always trying to do better than I have before.”
The track star rounded out jumps in the high jump, where she won her third straight league title after clearing the 5-foot, 6-inch bar. The latter two jumps were a little off Humphries’ personal best but the best may be yet to come for her in the postseason.
“I was really happy with my time in the 200,” Humphries said. “Several people asked me if 23 was coming today and I honestly thought it was. I’m by no means disappointed with the way I ran but I definitely think that had I run my curve better, it would have been possible, but I eased up a bit too much. Technically it wasn’t my fastest time but showed a lot of progress in terms of things I’m trying to work out. I’ve had a habit of getting out too slow in my blocks but the race on Friday was definitely my best block start so far.”
Castaic’s Reagan Thompson also brought the program a league title in the 400-meter dash, after a 58.01-second finish. Thompson also finished second in the high jump with her 5-foot, 4-inch mark.
The Cowboys finished the day with 14 varsity individual league champions.
Canyon sprinter Mikaela Warr broke the meet record and her own school record in the 100-meter dash, finishing in 11.94 seconds. Warr also finished silver in the 200, just behind Humphries.
Warr ran anchor for the two-event league championship relay team, running behind Briana Bartone, Madison Desvarieux and Cayden Panariello. The team broke the school record in the 4×100 twice this season, but just missed the mark to snap the record a third time with their 47.51-second finish while also winning the 4×400 in 4 minutes, 0.95 seconds.
Panariello also topped the podium in the girls’ 100-meter hurdles.
Valencia’s Angelina Teymouri is the 2023 800-meter run champ after her 2-minute, 17.24-second finish.
In throws, Golden Valley sophomore Kiera Donovan hit a new personal best in discus en route to her first league title. Donovan heaved the disc 129 feet, 11 inches for the crown.
CIF and league shot put champ Laura Brennan defended her title with a throw of 42 feet, 8 inches, a top-three mark in the state.
On the boys’ side, Canyon freshman Keyshawn Wooten is the 2023 league champion in the 100, after his 10.85-second finish. Wooten also brought home a championship in the 4×100, winning in 42.55 seconds running with Jeremiah Taylor, Keston Banos and Josh Cambaliza.
Taylor also finally cracked the 49-second mark in the 400, a season-long goal of his, and won the event in 48.88 seconds.
Cowboys sophomore Jordehn Gammage won both the 100-meter and 300-meter hurdle races with finishes of 15.10 and 41.01 seconds, respectively.
Taylor, Gammage, Cambaliza and Emrys Coleman also won the boys’ 4×400-meter relay in 3 minutes, 22.28 seconds to lead Canyon to a relay sweep.
“Our relay teams didn’t disappoint,” Cowboys coach George Velarde said in a phone interview. “They did really well. Our sprint teams are just loaded. They’ve been busting their butts, and the fruits of their labors are starting to show.”
Canyon’s last but not least two-event champion was thrower George Stansell. The junior reached 155 feet, 2 inches in discus, the best throw by nearly 30 feet, and a 49-foot, 3-inch mark in shot put.
Saugus’ Jacob Fredericks won the 1600-meter run crown with a finish of 4 minutes, 16.72 seconds. Teammate Gavin Dion was just behind Fredericks at 4 minutes, 17.39 seconds.
Centurion senior Jonathan Durney also will head to Ventura for CIF preliminaries after winning the 800-meter run in 1 minute, 58.01 seconds.
Golden Valley’s Addae Ma’at took home gold in both triple and high jump events. Ma’at cleared the 6-foot, 2-inch bar in high jump while reaching 43 feet, 7 inches in the triple.
Castaic senior Imudiase Aimuwu brought home the boys’ 200 title with a 22.24-second finish.
West Ranch senior Bille Issa won his second straight league championship in the 3200-meter run, winning the event in 9 minutes, 6.61 seconds.
Hart’s Edgar Lopez won the boys’ long jump title. Lopez launched for 21 feet, 4.75 inches on his final attempt of the day, which was his best mark by nearly 4 inches.
Velarde was pleased to send the majority of his top athletes to Ventura, including Saul Jimenez. The junior took home the league bronze in the 800 but displayed grit and discipline to close out the race.
Four racers were in a tight pack in the final 20 meters of the race, but Jimenez edged by two of them, running through the finish line and leaning in.
“Saul ran through the finish and leaned in at the end,” Velarde said. “That’s what got him to CIF prelims, because he ran through it and leaned at the end. These are things we practice but sometimes the kids don’t do it. These next races are going to come down to running through the line and leaning at the end. It’s gonna come down to milliseconds. We’ll be talking to all the kids about that.”
Canyon, Golden Valley and Castaic will send quite a few non-seniors to CIF, an invaluable experience for these young athletes.
“Since league prelims, we’ve been telling the team how valuable the experience is for our younger talented athletes,” Velarde said. “You can’t put a price on experience. That experience is going to help them in every round moving forward.”
The competition will be fierce this Friday at the CIF Prelims. West Ranch, Golden Valley, Canyon and Hart head to Ventura for Division 2 preliminaries. Division 1 teams Saugus and Valencia will ship off to Trabuco Hills while Castaic will heads to Yorba Linda for Division 3.