Track season cut short but not for a lack of effort by local preps

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Steele Canyon’s Emelliah Vaught and Jarel Sayles both qualified to compete in their respective hurdles events at last year’s state championship meet.

A high school track and field meet consists of 16 events — 10 running events and six field events — in both gender fields.

It provides an ample showcase for top performances, and electrifying finishes, in front of cheering crowds.

Christian’s Alaina Zamorano advanced to last fall’s state cross country finals as the San Diego Division V girls champion.

At this point of the season many high school standouts would be celebrating a spring campaign filled with glory after a trip to the state championship meet.

But there was no celebrating or cheering at this year’s state finals, or even the San Diego Section finals, due to the cancellation of the season due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Neither high profile event took place.

In fact, many schools participated in just one dual meet before the season was abruptly called off.

It stands as a lingering shame, especially for graduating seniors, because East County schools had a number of talented student-athletes who would have left a lasting mark on this season, whether it be at the league, section or state finals.

For underclassmen, the shortened 2020 season will serve as a primer for next year.

Follow the leaders

Granite Hills’ Richard Harris Williams qualified for last year’s state meet in the boys triple jump.

Granite Hills senior Ciara May-Horn turned in the fastest time among Grossmont Conference sprinters this spring in the girls 100-meter dash in 12.82 to rank fifth in the section while Helix junior Michael Boone paced the conference in the boys 100 dash in 11.40 to rank sixth in the section.

Conference leaders in the 200-meter  dash included Grossmont sophomore Thomas Warsaw (23.26) in the boys field (ninth in the section) and Helix senior Mia Marquez (26.99) in the girls field (15th in the section).

Helix senior Magnus Larsen clocked 51.85 as the conference’s top male 400-dash runner (sixth in the section), while El Capitan senior Carolinh Calvert topped the girls field in 1:01.54 (ninth in the section).

Santana freshman Mikayla Horning turned in the top time among conference mid-distance runners in the girls 800 meters in 2:27.09 to rank 12th in the section, while Monte Vista sophomore Davian Campos-McWilliams paced the conference in the boys 800 run in 2:03.63 to rank 17th in the section.

Calvert posted the top time in the conference in the girls 1600 run in 5:13.45 to rank third in the section, while Helix senior Jaden Forester posted the top conference time in the boys 1600 distance this spring in 4:30.47 to rank sixth in the section.

Steele Canyon senior Richard Cleaves ranked as the conference’s top boys runner in the 3200 distance with a time of 10:07.16, while Steele Canyon junior Inela Diaz topped the conference’s girls long-distance runners in the event in 12:25.56.

Steele Canyon senior Jarel Sayles, a returning state qualifier, topped the section with fastest times in both the boys 110-meter high hurdles (15.31) and 300 intermediate hurdles (40.68) this spring.

He placed 14th at last year’s state prelim meet with a time of 14.63 in the high hurdles after producing a personal record 14.47 to win the event at the section finals.

Steele Canyon senior Emelliah Vaught, another returning state qualifier, sped to the fastest time in the conference in the girls 100 low hurdles (15.67) to rank fourth in the section while Helix junior Audrey Kull (49.67) topped the conference in the 300 low hurdles to rank ninth in the section.

Granite Hills hurdler Levi Knobloch exults after placing second in the boys 300-meter intermediate hurdles at last year’s San Diego Section finals to qualify for the state meet.

Steele Canyon ranked first in the conference in the girls 4×100 relay (50.74) to rank sixth best in the section. Grossmont ranked first in the conference in the boys 4×100 relay (44.30) to rank eighth in the section.

El Capitan led the conference in the boys 4×400 relay (3:35.46) to rank fourth overall in the section while Valhalla topped the conference with the fastest time in the girls 4×400 relay (4:23.07) to rank 13th in the section.

West Hills junior Brandy Atuatasi, a two-time returning state qualifier, perhaps not surprisingly topped both the conference and the section in the girls shot put (41-8) and girls discus throw (141-4.5), the latter a personal record.

Santana junior Liam Clark (44-0) topped the conference in the boys shot put (tied for 15th in the section) while Valhalla junior Allen Kalasho (133-1) topped the conference in the boys discus throw (11th in the section).

Grossmont’s Warsaw cleared 6-0 to rank in a tie for fourth best among section boys high jumpers, tops in the conference, while Monte Vista sophomore Sofia De La Cruz cleared 4-10 to lead the conference (tied for 18th in the section).

Steele Canyon senior Leoncio Zamaro cleared 11-0 to record the top boys pole vault mark in the conference while Steele Canyon senior Moira Bryson cleared 8-6 to lead the conference in the girls pole vault.

El Capitan senior Ramahn Yokley, a returning state meet qualifier, topped the conference in the boys long jump with a mark of 21-11.75 to rank third in the section while Monte Vista sophomore Kendall Herren jumped 17-4 to lead the conference on the girls side to rank fourth overall in the section.

Helix senior Jahari Hill recorded a mark of 42-10-5 in the boys triple jump, a personal record, to lead the conference and rank fourth overall in the section while Valhalla sophomore Allison Slater turned in a mark of 34-3 in the girls triple jump to lead the conference and rank fifth in the section.

Fast lane

West Hills sophomore John Youhanna ranked second in the conference in the boys 100 dash with a time of 11.44 to rank eighth in the section.

Monte Vista senior Federico Villanueva (52.23) ranked second in the conference in the boys 400 dash to rank 10th in the section.

East County hurdlers were definitely in the fast lane this spring. Valhalla juniors Ty Janson (15.51) and Marshalis Childs (15.95) ranked second and third, respectively, in the conference and fourth and seventh, respectively in the section in the high hurdles.

Granite Hills senior Levi Knobloch, a returning state meet qualifier, ranked second in the conference in the 300 event — fourth in the section — after placing second in last year’s Division I finals.

Knobloch ranked fourth among conference high hurdlers (16:05) — 10th in the section.

Steele Canyon ranked 10th in the section in the boys 4×400 relay (3:38.11).

Granite Hills senior Richard Harris Williams, a silver medalist in the triple jump and bronze medalist in the long jump at last year’s CIF finals, ranked second in the conference and fourth in the section with a long jump mark of 21-10.5. He qualified for last year’s state meet in the triple jump.

Helix senior Kelshon Trice matched Harris Williams at 21-10.5.

Granite Hills senior Lamont Taylor ranked second in the conference in the boys triple jump event with a mark of 42-4, seventh overall in the section, while Grossmont senior Marcus Austin (42-2.5) ranked third in the conference, eighth overall in the section.

Monte Vista’s Herren (12.95) recorded the second-best time in the conference in the girls 100 dash and the 10th-best time in the section this spring.

Christian senior Madelynn Worley ranked sixth in the section in the girls 400 dash in 1:01.28 while El Capitan’s Calvert ranked ninth in 1:01.54, a personal record.

Christian junior Alaina Zamorano, the Division V cross country champion in the fall, ranked fifth in the section in the 1600 run (5:14.44) and seventh in the section in both the 800 run (2:23.86) and 3200 run (11:38.99).

Helix’s Kull ranked second in the conference in the girls 100 hurdles in 16.22, fifth in the section, while West Hills senior Lillian Locken ranked third in the conference in 16.51, ninth in the section.

Christian ranked sixth in the section in the girls 4×400 relay (4:20.63) while Helix ranked ninth in the section in the girls 4×100 relay (51.17).

Christian junior Miranda Nichols ranked third in the section in the girls discus throw (118-11) and sixth in the section in the girls shot put (36-10.5).

But the season was only getting started.

Changing of the guard

The San Diego Section underwent an administration change-over on Tuesday as outgoing section commissioner Jerry Schniepp and assistant commissioner John Labeta finished their terms upon retirement.

Schniepp, a former coach and teacher at Helix High School, began his term in 2011 while succeeding former commissioner Dennis Ackerman (2001-2011).

Joe Heinz takes over as the new section commissioner while Todd Cassen takes over as the new assistant commissioner.