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Late push earns title

Drake wins CIF title in 800-meter, Saugus contingent has strong day

Posted: June 6, 2009 11:22 p.m.
Updated: June 7, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
CLOVIS – Aly Drake had only been so excited once in her athletic career.

The Valencia senior won a state championship in club soccer, and she celebrated that achievement with her teammates.

But her victory Saturday at Buchanan High School was different.

“Now, it’s just me,” she said. “It’s the individual. I did this.”

Drake headlined a proud day for the Foothill League by winning the state title in the 800-meter run in 2 minutes, 7.45 seconds at the CIF State Track and Field Championships.

Saugus sophomore Kaylin Mahoney repeated her third-place finish of a year ago in the 3,200, while sophomore teammate Stephanie Bulder finished fifth. Saugus senior Daniel Swarbrick finished fourth in the discus and fifth in the shot put.

The top six finishers in each event receive medals.

In the 800, Drake stayed a couple paces back of Marlborough’s Carlyle Davis for most of the race, saving her kick until the 70-meter mark.

As she gradually began to overtake Davis, the moment began to set in.

“I saw I was passing her,” she said. “I was like, ‘Dude, I’m doing this.’”

Drake’s time broke the Santa Clarita Valley record, which was set by Canyon’s Alysia Johnson at 2:08.97 when she won the state title in 2004.

The plan all along, according to sprints coach Darryl De La Vega, was to stay with Davis, who finished second at 2:07.82.

“I felt she was due to have a win over Carlyle,” he said. “I told her to stay with Davis no matter what. When you get past the 400 mark, the race is on.”

From there, sheer determination pushed Drake to the finish line.

“It was the last race of my career,” Drake said. “Might as well go as fast as I can.”

Mahoney ran the 3,200 in 10:27.70 to finish third in the state for the second straight season.

“I’m extremely happy,” she said. “With my teammates and coaches, I felt way better than last year. I’m glad we were all able to make it this year.”

Mahoney joined with Bulder, senior Anne Randall and freshman Karis Frankian to form the Saugus contingent in the 3,200.

Like everyone else, however, they fell victim to Mission Prep’s Jordan Hasay, who won her fourth straight state title in the event with a time of 10:05.29.

Bulder crossed fifth at 10:30.70, exactly three seconds behind Mahoney. All season long, Bulder ran the 1,600 before running the 3,200 at meets, so racing just the 3,200 was an adjustment she made on the fly.

“She was a little tired,” said Saugus distance coach Rene Paragas. “This is her first time running the 3,200 fresh. She improved by almost a minute this year, and I’m looking forward to the future.”

Frankian finished 15th with a time of 10:47.15, and Randall was 18th at 10:49.55.

“It was everything I asked of them,” Paragas said of the group. “We had four Saugus girls in the top six or seven after six laps.”

Daniel Swarbrick tossed the discus 181 feet, 2 inches on his second-to-last throw, which placed him fourth. Frontier’s Matt Darr won the event with a throw of 192-0.

It was a strong rebound performance after Swarbrick struggled on Friday.

“(Friday) night I was so embarrassed by my performance that I stayed up doing footwork outside the hotel,” he said.

Later in the evening, Swarbrick hurled the shot put 58-4, good for fifth. Darr won the shot put as well with a mark of 62-1 1/4.

Although Swarbrick came to Clovis with visions of winning the state title, his two medals are an impressive achievement.

“I’d like to thank my loving family for supporting me,” he said. “I’d like to thank my brother for being my inspiration in everything I do, and I’d like to thank God for giving me the gift.”

Swarbrick will now throw at Iowa State.

Saugus throws coach Art Baldi had high praise for the senior.

“Daniel has nothing to be ashamed of,” he said. “There aren’t very many double medal-winners. He’s the purest thrower I’ve ever coached.”

jgulino@the-signal.com

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