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Golden Valley highlights Foothill League track and field finals

Posted: May 3, 2013 10:29 p.m.
Updated: May 3, 2013 10:29 p.m.

Golden Valley's Courtney Maduike launches a shot put on Friday at Valencia High during the Foothill League finals.

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The Foothill League track and field finals delivered the tight competition everyone expected — and at least one dominant victory that few expected.

Thrilling finishes peppered the boys track events Friday at Valencia High, especially in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, while Golden Valley backed up its twin Foothill League team titles by winning 14 of the 32 total varsity events between the boys and the girls.

Golden Valley’s Azaria Hill won four Foothill League titles, while Imani Dixon and Crystal Orellana each won three.

Of all the boys races, the least competitive was the 800, which many expected to be among the highlights of the night. West Ranch’s Pierce Miller went out hard and won with a time of 1 minute, 55.99 seconds, comfortably defeating a league finals field that was entirely made up of sub-2-minute qualifiers.

“I went out faster than I’ve ever gone this season,” Miller said. “I had to maintain pace. I noticed the separation and just pushed.”

The boys 200 turned out to be the best finish of the night. Valencia’s Michael Kojin edged West Ranch’s Chu Oguejiofor by two thousandths of a second, with a time of 22.216 seconds. Oguejiofor finished in 22.218 seconds.

The UC Riverside-bound Kojin said he felt confident he won in the moment, and appreciated the push in competition.

“I’m gonna be running against DI athletes soon enough,” Kojin said. “I might as well get started now.”

The 100-meter dash saw a pair of Division I football commits race in Canyon’s Drew Wolitarsky (Minnesota) and Golden Valley’s Leon Jacobs (Wisconsin). Wolitarsky won by a hundredth of a second, with a time of 11.05 seconds to Jacobs’ 11.06.

In the 400, Valencia’s Nick Jones (48.65) edged Golden Valley’s James Chevious (48.69), and in the girls’ 200, Hill (24.91) held off teammate Dixon (24.96).

Hill also won the 100 in 11.99 seconds, and she was part of both winning relays. She joined Dixon, Orellana and Alex Fernandez in winning the 4x100 in 47.97, while Hill, Dixon and Orellana teamed with Jada Selexman to win the 4x400 in 3:56.27.

Golden Valley’s Courtney Maduike completed a dominant run through the league throws, winning the shot put at 37 feet, 2 inches, and the discus at 131-2.

Maduike, the defending league champion in the shot, was more excited for the team as a whole.

“Knowing my teammates won, it’s more awesome,” she said.

Dixon won the 400 in 56.57 seconds, while Orellana won the long jump by going 16-11 1/4. Grizzlies standout runner Chelsey Totten burned through the 1,600 field with a time of 4:55.96, and Caitlyn Zindroski won the 100 hurdles in 16.27.

Valencia’s girls won three league titles, including Briana Pica in the pole vault (10 feet), Jennifer Anumba in the triple jump (36-7) and Kaitlyn Matthews in the high jump (5-4).

West Ranch’s Marisa Magsarili broke through and won the 800 with a time of 2:14.49, while Saugus’ Samantha Ortega completed her 3,200 dominance with a time of 10:42.98, and teammate Monica Allen won the 300 hurdles in 47.59.

Hart’s Conner West finished an undefeated league run in the hurdles, winning the 110-meter race in 14.97 seconds and the 300 race in 39.88 seconds.

“I had confidence,” West said. “I knew there was a lot on line. I knew I had to maintain my focus and take it.”

Canyon teammates Timmy Tomizawa and Jeremy Kimmer staged an exciting pole vault final, with Tomizawa clearing 13-6 before Kimmer, who finished second in three events on the day.

Cowboys jumper Brett Molster cleared 6-6 to win the high jump, and West Ranch’s Nate Bultman followed in his brother Nick’s footsteps by winning league in the discus at 159 feet.

Saugus’ boys distance team produced two league champions, including Alex Pearson in the 1,600 (4:21.47) and Rodrigo Ornelas in the 3,200 (9:35.43), who finished a little more than a second ahead of Canyon’s Zach Wims.

Valencia’s 4x100 team of Kojin, Jones, George Dowling and Austin James won league gold in 42.46 seconds, just ahead of Canyon’s 42.52 mark.

Golden Valley’s 4x400 team of Chevious, Jake Ortiz, Kyle Cornes and Aaron Kinard won with a time of 3:22.66, and the Grizzly boys also did well in the field. Jacobs won the long jump at 21-7 1/4, while Jonathan Tolentino won the triple jump at 44-3 1/4.

Diontre Harris rounded out Golden Valley’s league champions with a shot put mark of 54-5 1/4.



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