Men of Steele getting the jump on section’s prep track and field competition

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The Steele Canyon High School boys track and field team placed runner-up for the San Diego Section Division II championship in 2007, captured the Division I title in 2008 and also the Division II banner in 2009. 

The Cougars look to be pushing for a top spot on the awards podium again this spring, according to coach Gary Stathus.

The Steele Canyon High School boys track and field team placed runner-up for the San Diego Section Division II championship in 2007, captured the Division I title in 2008 and also the Division II banner in 2009. 

The Cougars look to be pushing for a top spot on the awards podium again this spring, according to coach Gary Stathus.

“We’re young but I think our performance has not really surprised me,” Stathus said. “I didn’t expect to have the performance we’ve had from our sophomores and juniors but I did expect our seniors to perform like they have. We have some very good juniors on our team.”

Steele Canyon, which has regularly out-distanced opponents on the track in dual meet competition this season, captured the Blue Division title at the 2014 Mustang Relays held April 26 at Otay Ranch High School.

The Cougars scored a meet best 95 points to place ahead of runner-up Eastlake (75 points) and third-place Sweetwater (57 points), the resident powers among the Metro Conference’s boys track and field programs.

For good measure, Steele Canyon’s girls team placed second by four points—100 to 96 in the Blue Division standings to Mesa League leader Otay Ranch.

A total of 20 teams participated in the April 26 event, which took place amid exceptionally breezy conditions. Monte Vista finished second in the Silver Division boys standings and fourth in the Silver Division girls standings while Valhalla placed fourth in the Blue Division girls standings and ninth in the Blue Division boys standings.

Men of Steele

Cody Rhodes secured three gold medals at this year’s Mustang Relays to help pace the team champion Cougars.

Rhodes helped guide Steele Canyon to a victory in the meet-closing 4×400-meter relay along with teammates Markell Lindley, Javonte Wafford and Malcolm Anders with a time of 3:28.85.

Rhodes also took part in the Cougars’ victorious 4×800 and distance medley relay teams.

Josh Paradise, who brought home two gold medals from the meet, anchored Steele Canyon’s winning distance medley unit (legs of 1,200, 400, 800 and 1,600 meters) while also running a leg on the winning 4×800 relay. 

Rhodes ran the third leg in the distance medley event, taking the baton from teammates Derek Tyler and Luis Pina. The foursome timed 10:48.22 over the combined 4,000-meter distance.

The Cougars scored first-place finishes in seven events overall at the Mustang Relays, also producing winning efforts in the 4×100 relay (43.17), 800 sprint medley relay (1:35.47), 4×200 relay (1:30.36) and long jump relay (combined mark).

Among individuals, Ryan Larceval won the 300-meter intermediate hurdles (41.70) while Steele Canyon teammate Alex Wiley captured first place in the long jump (20-0.75). Lindley also recorded a runner-up finish in the 300-meter invitational (37.02).

Wiley ranks second in the section in the long jump with a season best mark of 22-7 while Rhodes ranks third in the section in the 800 run (1:55.03). The Cougars’ 4×400 unit also ranks third in the section (3:22.73).

Stathus places Poway as the team favored to capture this year’s Division I boys’ championship but doesn’t count out his own squad from challenging for the top spot on the podium. 

“We’re going to go in there and do as much damage as we can and qualify as many people as possible for the state meet,” the Steele Canyon coach said. “In a big meet like that, you never know what can happen. We’ll hope for the best.”

Above the rest

In scoring its runner-up finish in the Silver Division, Monte Vista’s boys team captured first-place showings in the 4×100 shuttle hurdles relay (1:06.21), 4×100 relay (43.08), 800 sprint medley relay (1:35.92), 4×200 relay (1:32.02), distance medley relay (11:19.70) and 4×400 relay (3:30.01).

The Monte Vista girls’ team also captured first-place honors in the distance medley relay (13:38.90).

Among top Silver Division individual performances, Monte Vista’s Celina Lepe won the 1,500 invitational (5:00.97) while Monte Vista’s Jordan Thibodeaux won the boys 300 intermediate hurdles (40.05).

Thibodeaux ranks third in the section in the boys 110 high hurdles (15.04) and fourth in the 300 hurdles (40.05).

In scoring its runner-up finish in the Blue Division, Steele Canyon’s girls team claimed first-place nods in the shuttle hurdles relay (1:08.03), 4×400 relay (4:13.95) and discus relay (combined mark).

Valhalla’s girls’ team took first-place nods in the sprint medley relay (1:51.03), 4×200 relay (N/A) and distance medley relay (12:58.97).

Isabelle Feller, Myha Castro, Kristin Semancsin and Shea Ricketts comprised the VHS distance medley team.

Among Blue Division individuals, Steele Canyon’s Sabrina Dozier recorded the top girls discus mark on the day at 114-4. Dozier ranks second in the section in the discus throw (124-11).

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