SCV track and field preview  

Jordehn Gammage, right, of Canyon takes the lead in the Boys 110 Meter Hurdles at College of the Canyons on Friday, 042823. Dan Watson/The Signal
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Foothill League track and field begins on Thursday, as hundreds of varsity athletes will compete in their events for the next four months with plenty to be accomplished. 

Canyon enters the season as Foothill League champs on both the boys’ and girls’ side, but a handful of other teams are looking to dethrone the Cowboys. 

Here is everything you should know ahead of the Foothill League season: 

Canyon returns bulk of league championship squad 

The season has barely started and the Cowboys are already heating up. Canyon set records and made a ton of noise at both the California Winter Championships as well as the Simplot Games in Idaho. 

Mikaela Warr set new state winter records with her 7.28-second finish in the 60-meter dash and her 17.42-second mark in the 150-meter.  

Mikaela Warr of Canyon finishes the last leg of the girls 4X100 meter relay against Hart at Canyon High School on 031623. Dan Watson/The Signal

Warr is part of the Canyon-school-record-holding 4×100 relay team and will look to improve on the 47.38-second mark, alongside Brianna Bartone, Madison Desvarieux and Cayden Panariello. The latter will also defend her title in the 100-meter hurdles. 

Canyon’s boys sprint teams are also looking strong early to defend their title. The Cowboys return Jordehn Gammage, Jeremiah Taylor, Josh Cambaliza, Keyshawn Wooten and Emrys Coleman.  

“We’ve got all these really good sprinters who are just getting better,” said Canyon coach Chris Jackson. “They’re improving their times from where they were last year, getting stronger and faster. We’re very excited about what they can do this year.” 

Canyon had 29 athletes competing at the California winter championships earlier this month.  

George Stansell will be a threat for the team in throws. The 2023 league cross country individual champion, Cynthia Herrera, also returns to the distance group. Saul Jimenez also enters the season looking to defend his 800-meter run title in league. Erick Leal will again be one of Canyon’s top distance runners.  

Nathan Hernandez and Isi Eichie will defend their titles in pole vault. 
CIF or even state may be in the future but for now the Cowboys will above all look to stay healthy and begin their journey to defend their title on Thursday at West Ranch. 

Castaic hungry for more 

While the Coyotes may appear to be a one-star show, there are numerous Castaic athletes who will likely be atop many podiums. 

The focus still remains on senior Meagan Humphries, a Texas commit, who won all four of her events in league at CIF last season. Humphries, a future pentathlete, is ready to defend her titles in all three jump events and in the 200-meter dash, which she topped Division 3 with a time of 23.85 seconds. 

Meagan Humphries of Castaic wins the varsity 100 meter dash against Golden Valley at Castaic High on Thursday, 041323. Dan Watson/The Signal

“After what she did last year, I’m very excited,” Castaic coach Eric Charles-Johnson said via email. “I’m just waiting to see her build upon what she did last year. As amazing as her season was last season, she’s hungry for more … I’m expecting to see her defend her titles and score even more than she did in State, which was already incredible.” 

Right behind Humphries is UCSD commit Regan Thompson, another multi-event standout. Thompson is generally right there with Humphries in the high jump and the 200, but also excels in the 400-meter dash. Thompson won the league title race last season with a time of 58.01 seconds. Last year, the junior made it to state prelims but is looking to finish off her senior year with a strong finish in Clovis. 

Castaic distance runners Laura Lazzorotto-Bosque and Kassidy Vargas fuel the team in the 800, 1600 and the 4×400-meter relays. Mallory Palm will compete for a league title in both hurdle events. 

Charles-Johnson is excited for a number of athletes as this season the team finally has the depth of a track and field program. The new depth has brought out possibly the best boys’ team Charles-Johnson has seen in his program’s short history. 

“This may be, with no disrespect to my boys in years past, the best boys’ team we’ve ever had,” Charles-Johnson wrote. “Look for Elijah Reid and Brandon Marshall to lead us in the sprints. Devon Black will lead us in the throws. This is only year two for him and he showed rapid growth during the season last year.” 
The coach is also excited for senior Paul Lotz, who excelled as a tailback in football. His track future is unclear but Charles-Johnson knows he’ll be a threat wherever he ends up. 

Twins Ryan and Andrew Woods are both coming off of injuries but will be dangerous in multiple events. 

Castaic embarks on year five of varsity on Thursday when it heads to Golden Valley at 3 p.m. 

Golden Valley rebuilding fast 

The Grizzlies will again roster a younger team with high hopes. It may be a rebuilding year for the program but Golden Valley still has standouts who could find their way deep in the postseason. 

Addae Ma’at returns to lead the team in jumps. Ma’at was a Foothill League champion in the high jump with a 6-foot, 2-inch leap and the triple jump with his mark of 43 feet, 7 inches. The junior jumper fell just short in the long jump but will be a threat to sweep the jumps this season. 

Golden Valley sophomore Addae Ma’at places first in the boys varsity high jump event during a dual track meet between Valencia and Golden Valley High Schools at the Valencia football field on Thursday, March 23, 2023. Chris Torres/The Signal

Kiera Donovan also returns after winning the league discus title as a sophomore with a heave of 129 feet, 11 inches. Donovan could also take the league shot put title but, like Ma’at, is aiming high. Both juniors have their eyes on making it to state. 

Antonio Moore will be a threat in both hurdle races and is looking to catch Gammage this season. Nyah Fields will be a name to keep an eye on in the long jump, while Noa Prothais and 

Audrey Tait could go head-to-head in the 400-meter dash. 

The boys’ program has grown tremendously this season, giving coach Megan Cooper a lot to be excited about this year and the seasons to come. 

“We have a lot of young talent this year,” Cooper wrote in an email. “I’m excited to see who is ready to make the headlines … We have a really big boys program this year. I’m actually super excited to see how it will all come together throughout the season.” 

Golden Valley hosts Castaic on Thursday at 3 p.m. 

Saugus looks to PR and go far 

The Centurions may be brewing another strong season at Saugus.  

Saugus will look to build off a solid 2023 season and another impressive cross country season. 

Centurions distance runners Lucia Pearson, Makenna Blum, Sydney Kasahara and Anikka Mark all return to Saugus, none of whom are seniors. The group will be led by seniors Giselle Ruiz and Victoria Jamison. 

Makenna Blum, right, and Annika Mark of Saugus come to the wire of the Girls 1600 Meter at College of the Canyons on Friday, 042823. Dan Watson/The Signal

Sebastian Peraza, like Mark, is a cross country champion who will lead the way on the boys’ side, along with transfer freshman Adrian Cantu, who helped West Ranch make it to state this past season.  

Junior David Pineda also heads up to varsity this season after an impressive frosh championship season in both hurdles and the high jump. 

Centurions coach Kevin Berns’ goals are simple: Set new personal records and keep working hard. 

“Obviously our goal for every athlete is to PR from the previous season,” Berns said. “It comes down to some of the other girls getting close to five minutes in the 1600, putting together a good 4×1600 relay. Those are the goals, obviously, qualify for the postseason.” 

Saugus sent over a dozen athletes to the Division 1 postseason last year. The team will aim to take even more Centurions this year and extend the season into late May for the state meet. 

Saugus welcomes Hart for a league dual meet on Thursday at 3 p.m. 

West Ranch enters 2024 loaded with young talent 

The Wildcats are excited for the 2024, 2025 and 2026 seasons, with the amount of underclass standouts rostered this year. 

West Ranch will be led by young sprinters Aidan Lynch, Tyler Lankford, Anton Sims, Desmond Nformi, Stephanie Douille, Ella Akraiwe, Analisa Ortiz, Avery Prestridge and Mckenna Cochran. The group are all underclassmen and will be the bulk of the Wildcat sprint and relay teams. 

Spearheading the sprints group is returner Obi Ogbuagu, a league title contender in the 100.  

In jumps, David Farag finished top three in both triple and long jumps at the Foothill League championships. The team is expecting Farag to again compete for a league title but also a state opportunity. Sebastian Recio will also be a name to keep an eye on in both events. 

West Ranch’s strong distance runners Nicholas Raigosa, Tyler Halvorsen, Tyler Barke and Aiden Bodell are all returning. 

Senior Ali Orwin will look to take the 1600 title after having a strong cross country season and impressing her coaches heading into track. 

“We’re coaching aggressiveness and winning,” said Cats coach Chris Taylor. “We want to compete at the highest level. We’ve challenged our athletes this year, we have much tougher workouts in the offseason, and are challenging their commitment and their drive and they’ve stepped up to it.” 

West Ranch hosts Canyon on Thursday at 3 p.m. 

Valencia on the rise 

After a developmental 2023 season, Vikings first-year coach Josh Pikes is ready to bring the program back on top. 

Valencia will have talent all over its meets this season. Sophomore Brian Bonner returns to track after his phenomenal freshman season last year, and strong football season earlier this year. Bonner finished third in league in the 100 last season and will likely be in that conversation for a title again this year. 

Deandre Kermah and Ronald Bruner are two other football stars who will impact Valencia’s sprint teams.  

Freshman Brian Cole will be another athlete to keep an eye on. Cole excels in the high jump and the 400, but Pikes could see his freshman competing in all the sprint events. 

The Vikes return Foothill League champion Angelina Teymouri, who will look to defend her title in the 800. 

Last season’s JV champion in the 200 and 400, Symeon Wilkins, will also make an impact on varsity. 

Anthony Gregorian will be one of the Vikes’ top throwers while Ava Francis looks to become one of the league’s top hurdlers. 

Most of the Vikings will be seen all over their meets, as Pikes expects his team members to be diverse and compete in multiple events. 

“You’re not going to see certain people in only one event,” Pike said. “You’re going to see them all over the track and that’s what I like to pride myself on with coaching, is being able to have athletes that can run anything.” 

The team will aim to just get 1% better every day, but as for long-term goals, Pikes would like to take around eight to 10 athletes to CIF. The postseason road will be tough for Valencia, as one of two teams in Division 1. 

Hart looking to stay healthy and compete 

The Indians have plenty to be excited about in 2024. First-year head coach Isaac Zamora will lead the program looking to get back its glory days. 

Zamora will have standouts like Nikki Stockton, Michaela Okuyama and Eli Ahten ready to help lead the way. 

Stockton is one of the team’s top sprinters while Okuyama and Ahten lead from the distance side.  

“Senior Michaela Okuyama works diligently and stands out as a distance runner,” Zamora wrote in an email. “Her positive attitude, team spirit and strong work ethic are going to take her far this season and beyond. The distance runners are a dedicated group.” 

Ahten, part of the Hart cross country league championship team, also remains healthy and will likely be near the front of the pack in the 1600 and 3200. AJ Cueto, Nicolas Zamora and freshman Sam Aina will be some other distance runners to keep an eye on. 

Hart will welcome Graysen Rivera to varsity after the sophomore won the frosh league title. Rivera has impressed Zamora all summer, leading the coach to expect big things from his thrower. 

The Indians are gearing for another long season, where they hope to compete to the best of their abilities while staying healthy.  

“Our main goal is that students stay healthy, compete as a team, and that individual athletes set and reach their personal goals,” Zamora wrote. “The coaches are here to support and foster that growth.” 

Hart heads to Saugus on Thursday at 3 p.m. 

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