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CIF track and field finals: Onward they move

In an unusual sight, no Foothill League athletes win titles, but eight qualify for Masters Meet

Posted: May 18, 2013 11:25 p.m.
Updated: May 18, 2013 11:25 p.m.

Canyon's Jeremy Kimmer competes in the high jump at the CIF-Southern Section Track and Field Championships on Saturday at Mt. San Antonio College.

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Was it the traditional display of dominance for the Foothill League? Not exactly.

But Saturday’s CIF-Southern Section Track and Field Championships provided a fair share of success and drama for Santa Clarita Valley athletes at Mt. San Antonio College.

Though no Foothill League athlete won an individual CIF championship, eight competitors from five different schools qualified for the CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet, which will take place on Friday at Cerritos College and will determine which athletes advance to the state finals.

Canyon junior Jeremy Kimmer was the day’s top local qualifier after he finished as the Division II runner-up in the high jump with a school-record jump of 6 feet, 9 inches.

The mark, which broke Phil Malinowski’s previous Canyon best of 6-8 1/2, was the second best of the entire meet. Eric Moore of Carter High won the event in Division II at 6-11, which was best across all divisions.

“Sometimes one division is better than the other,” said Canyon head coach Paul Broneer. “(Kimmer) would been the Division III champion, the Division IV champion and he would have (tied for first) in Division I.”

Kimmer was the only qualifier on the day for Canyon, which had a Foothill League-high 12 athletes at the finals this year.

Saugus led all local schools with three total athletes making it through to the Masters Meet.

The top nine finishers across all divisions qualified in sprint events and relays, while the top 12 moved on in distance races and field events.

Saugus sophomore Samantha Ortega finished second in the Division II 3,200-meter race in 10 minutes, 44.65 seconds, which qualified her with sixth best time of the meet.

Her teammate, senior Rodrigo Ornelas, also qualified in the boys Division II 3,200 race with a third-place time of 9:20.58.

The final Saugus qualifier, sophomore Sabrina Janes, got through in a less traditional way.

In the Division II 800 race, Janes was about to make her kick in the last 200 meters, but she was clipped up by a runner who was trying to prevent her from passing.

Janes and Vista del Lago’s Joy Ngula tumbled to the ground, but Janes quickly got up and finished the race in 2:16.51 for fifth place. Ngula was hurt and didn’t finish the race.

Though Janes’ time wasn’t good enough to qualify, Saugus protested based on the tripping and the CIF ultimately decided to reinstate both Janes and Ngula for the Masters meet.

“I looked up and saw the girls past me,” Janes said of the fall. “I’m really thinking this whole thing is over. And then I got up and finished and I definitely thought this was this was going to be my last race this year.”

Along with Janes, two other locals made it through in the 800.

On the girls side, Valencia senior Olivia Pear posted a 2:14.38 to take fifth place in the Division I race while West Ranch senior Pierce Miller qualified with a 1:55.02 for seventh place in the boys Division I 800.

Miller was West Ranch’s lone qualifier among the school’s four competitors.

“I compared it to winning the NCAA basketball tournament,” said West Ranch head coach Steve Welker of the difficulty of qualifying. “You just have to have one great performance after another. At least Pierce is on that course.”

In addition to Pear, Valencia will also sent junior Briana Pica, who pole vaulted 11 feet even for fifth place in Division I.

“We had two people go through so we’re pretty happy with that,” said Valencia head coach Jeff Gilkey. “Obviously we hoped for a little more, but right now we’re happy to have two people get through and we’re excited about the prospect of next week.”

The final Masters Meet qualifier on the day was Golden Valley senior Courtney Maduike, who made it through as the 12th and final qualifier in the discus with her throw of 125-01.

That mark was good for fifth place in Division II.

Maduike becomes the first girl in school history to advance to the Masters Meet and she’s just the second athlete in either gender to do so. The first was Joey Darko, who made it in the 110 hurdles in 2010.

Other than that, it was a tough day for Golden Valley, which had a school-record nine athletes at finals.

Golden Valley’s promising relay teams both fell short, with the 4x400 team just coming up short despite running a school-record time of 3:53.31 for second place in Division II.

That team was comprised of Imani Dixon, Alexandra Fernandez, Crystal Orellana and Jada Selexman.

“A bit of a tough of day, but we’re moving on,” said Golden Valley head coach John Quam.

Other notable non-qualifiers included Canyon’s Jarrett Davidson, who ran a lifetime-best 39.55 in the 300 hurdles to take fourth place in Division II.

Hart was the only Foothill League school to not have an athlete make it through. The school’s lone competitor on Saturday was Conner West, who came up short in both the Division II 110 hurdles (15.27, eighth) and the Division II 300 hurdles (39.26, third).

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