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CIF track and field: Foothill five

League claims record five individual CIF-SS titles, sends eight to Masters Meet

Posted: May 20, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 20, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Hart’s Tim White competes in the triple jump at Mt. San Antonio College during the CIF-Southern Section track finals on Saturday. White was the Foothill’s only double winner.

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WALNUT — Hart and Canyon are the oldest rivals in the Foothill League, but they weren’t competing against one another on Saturday.

Instead, they partnered up and took the CIF-Southern Section Track and Field Finals by storm.

The two schools combined to win five individual Southern Section titles at Mt. San Antonio College, leading a group of eight local athletes who qualified for Friday’s Masters Meet at Cerritos College.

The five championships is the most won in a single year in Foothill League history.

“It’s good to represent,” said Hart senior Tim White. “Everybody’s out here representing the Foothill League. We can compete with the best schools out there. We have the talent.”

White became the first athlete in program history to win two Southern Section titles on the same day, clearing 6 feet, 7 inches to win the Division III high jump and later going 48-5 1/4 to win the Division III triple jump.

His teammate, senior Austin O’Neil, won the Division III boys 1,600-meter race in 4 minutes, 12.11 seconds.

For Canyon, seniors Taylor Thomas and Tiffini Stone finally experienced CIF glory after decorated four-year Foothill League careers. Thomas dominated the Division II girls 100 hurdles in 14.18 seconds, while Stone leapt 38-5 to win the Division II girls triple jump later in the afternoon.

All four athletes qualified for the Masters Meet in their respective events, along with four others. West Ranch senior Ashley Welker finished as the Division I runner-up in the 800 in 2:14.10, while senior teammate Nick Bultman qualified in the shot put with a throw of 57-5.

Saugus senior Karis Frankian recorded the fourth top-four finish in the Division II 3,200 of her career, finishing third in 10:35.90. Valencia senior Clint Gingrich qualified in the long jump with a mark of 22-5 1/4.

The top 12 performances, regardless of division, qualify for the Masters Meet in the 800, 1,600, 3,200 and field events, while the top nine performances qualify in the rest of the events.

White said he was confident he was going to set personal records in both the high and triple jumps. He was the only jumper in his division to clear 6-7, and his mark in the triple jump – his first and only jump of the competition – was good enough to hold off the rest of the field.

“I wanted to save my legs,” he said. “I was just worried about my second phase and getting my arms pumping. I never use my arms, so I started doing that, and that’s helped me improve.”

O’Neil went out fast and never trailed in the 1,600, the same event that Brett Strahan won in 1994, which was the last individual Southern Section champion for Hart before Saturday.

Illnesses set back O’Neil during his junior season, but his rebound senior year culminated in a Southern Section title.
“Four years ago, this was the dream. This was the goal,” he said. “It looked a little bleak, but now I’m realizing it’s all coming together at the right time.”

Thomas never lost a Foothill League hurdles race in her career, and her title on Saturday was never really in doubt. Her time, a personal record, was almost three tenths of a second faster than runner-up Karsen Sper of Thousand Oaks.

Afterwards, Thomas was nearly speechless.

“Honestly, I could never imagine ever doing something like this in my life,” she said.

To start the day, Stone finished second in the long jump with a personal record of 18-5 3/4, qualifying for the Masters Meet in the process. But her PR of 38-5  1/2 in the triple jump earned her first Southern Section title after four runner-up finishes and a third place.

“It’s been such a struggle for me through injuries and all the trials I had to go through,” Stone said, “and finally getting it in the triple jump of all things? I thought it would never, ever happen. I’m so glad.”

Plenty of other Foothill League athletes competed on Saturday but did not advance.

Thomas finished third in the 300 hurdles in 44.78 seconds, her second straight third-place finish at the Division II finals, and she also finished fourth in the Division II 4x400 relay along with Ahlexhys Hixon, Erica Anunwah and Kendall Bietsch.

Together, the team ran the race in 3:58.36.

Golden Valley had a tough day overall, but Kristian Martinez wound up as the first alternate in the 800. He led most of the race but lagged at the end, finishing fifth in 1:54.93, which was the 13th-fastest overall time of the day.

Martinez also finished ninth in the Division II 1,600 in 4:29.43, while Juan David Garcia finished ninth in the Division II 3,200 in 9:34.43.

Chelsey Totten wound up seventh in the Division II 1,600 in 5:04.24, and Totten, Alexandra Fernandez, Jada Selexman and Imani Dixon teamed to finish third in the Division II 4x400 with a time of 3:57.60.

Gingrich may have qualified for Masters in the long jump, but he missed out in the Division I 4x100, when he and teammates James Berkley, Nick Jones and Michael Kojin finished seventh in 43.50 seconds.

Valencia freshman Chanel Rogers finished fifth in the Division I 400 in 57.11 seconds.

Bultman also competed in the Division I discus but finished fifth at 157-5 – exactly 100 feet farther than his shot put mark.

Welker also competed with Lauren Ross, Amy Falahat and Xiomara Perkins on the 4x400 team that finished eighth in the Division I race in 4:02.76.

Perkins also ran the Division I 400 and finished ninth in 59.64 seconds.

Hart’s Gabe Robinson and Ryan Zielinski also competed in the Division III high jump, with Zielinski finishing third at 6-3, shortly before Robinson also went 6-3 to finish fourth.

Hart senior Sam Peckham finished third in the Division III 3,200 in 9:18.69, while Saugus’ A.J. Yarnall wound up seventh in the Division II 3,200 with a time of 9:26.65.

For Canyon, Robert Wolfe finished sixth in the Division II pole vault at 13-9, while Brett Molster cleared 6-3 to finish seventh in the Division II high jump. Joel Estrada ran the Division II 800 in 2:02.49 to finish ninth.

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