East County athletes grab top marks at Mustang relay

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As the 2017 high school track and field season begins to wind down, top marks by student-athletes are starting to go up.

Steele Canyon High School’s Wyatt Holmes and Hannah Hodge each set personal records in the pole vault event at last weekend’s 14th annual Phair Co./Mustang Relays at Otay Ranch High School. 

Holmes, a senior, cleared 12 feet, 6 inches to win the Blue Division boys flight while Hodge, a junior, cleared 8 feet, 6 inches to win the Blue Division girls flight.

As the 2017 high school track and field season begins to wind down, top marks by student-athletes are starting to go up.

Steele Canyon High School’s Wyatt Holmes and Hannah Hodge each set personal records in the pole vault event at last weekend’s 14th annual Phair Co./Mustang Relays at Otay Ranch High School. 

Holmes, a senior, cleared 12 feet, 6 inches to win the Blue Division boys flight while Hodge, a junior, cleared 8 feet, 6 inches to win the Blue Division girls flight.

Both marks were personal records by three inches.

This is Holmes third year competing in the pole vault. Winning the event at the Mustang Relays produced a big confidence boost.

“It feels good,” he said. “I’m working on getting upside more and hope to get on a longer pole soon.”

Holmes set a goal entering this season to clear 13 feet.  Now that he’s almost there, he’s set a new goal to qualify for next month’s San Diego Section championship meet.

A lot goes into a successful vault, including hand-eye coordination, speed and strength. In other words, one has to be built like a gymnast and run like a sprinter.

“You want to be able to land in the pit and not on the runway,” Holmes said, smiling.

Top marks

Four East County teams participated in the April 22 event: Steele Canyon, Valhalla, El Cajon Valley and Helix high schools.

Steele Canyon finished second in the Blue Division girls field while Valhalla finished third among Blue Division teams, edging league rival Steele Canyon by two points. 

Olympian won division titles in both the boys and girls competition.

Next up for many of the athletes competing in last weekend’s meet will be honors in upcoming league, CIF division and state qualifying events.

For instance:

Helix senior Noah Tynes ran to the top time in the Blue Division boys 300-meter invitational in 36.50 seconds while El Cajon Valley’s Ana Grarate finished second in the girls Silver Division in 45.48. Tynes’ time was the best between the two divisions on the exceptionally warm day.

Valhalla junior Alex Lieu recorded the top time in the Blue Division boys’ 300-meter intermediate hurdles in 40.85 while Helix senior Troianah Freeman sped to the top time in the girls’ event with a time of 48.42. Both times were bests on the day.

Steele Canyon junior Eleanor Brandt recorded the top mark (111-03) in the Blue Division girls discus throw while Steele Canyon senior Kyree Woods turned in the top mark (50-10) in the Blue Division boys shot put. Both marks were event bests on the day.

Woods ranks second in the section with a mark of 52-3.5.

Also among top performances, El Cajon Valley senior Gregory Jones captured the top mark (20-11.5) in the Silver Division boys’ long jump.

Meanwhile, Steele Canyon senior Jayden Hays (15-11.5) finished second in the Blue Division girls’ long jump while Lady Cougar junior Mya Cross (34-10.5) was second in the girls’ triple jump.

Relay events

Steele Canyon captured the fastest time (43.31) on the day in the Blue Division boys 4×100 relay while Valhalla finished second in the Blue Division girls 4×100 relay in 49.82, followed by Steele Canyon in 49.94.

El Cajon Valley won the Silver Division girls 4×400 relay in 4:25.27; Valhalla finished third in the Blue Division boys’ 4×400 relay in 3:34.03.

In non-standard events:

Steele Canyon claimed the top time in the Blue Division girls’ 4×800 relay in 10:15.08. The time was the best on the day between the two divisions.

Steele Canyon won the Blue Division boys sprint medley relay (legs of 100, 100, 200 and 400 meters) in 1:37.39 while the Lady Cougars won the Blue Division girls sprint medley relay in 1:52.47.

The Steele Canyon quartet of Lauren Farris, Janelle Shallal, Carlene Masar and Brianna Anders won the Blue Division girls distance medley relay (legs of 1200, 400, 800 and 1600 meters) in 13:07.75.

Masar, running the anchor leg, captured a thrilling finish by out-dueling Eastlake freshman standout Patricia Miessner down the final 100 meters. The Lady Titans finished second in 13:10.81.

Valhalla finished second in the Blue Division girls’ 4×200 relay (1:46.39) while Helix was third (1:49.77) in the event. Valhalla finished third (1:33.45) in the Blue Division boys’ 4×200 relay.

Steele Canyon placed runner-up in the Blue Division boys 4×800 relay with a time of 8:25.67 while the Valhalla foursome of Kyle Gabrielson, Nathan Hernandez, Cooper Olander and Trenton Sikute finished runner-up in the Blue Division boys’ distance medley relay in 10:53.35. 

In other relay events, Valhalla won the Blue Division boys 4×110 shuttle hurdles (1:06.18) while Steele Canyon finished second in the girls 4×100 shuttle hurdles (1:10.63).

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