HS Boys Track Team Repeats as Frontier League Champions!!
The high school track and field team entered the Frontier League Championship last Saturday with ambitions of winning back-to-back boys team titles. Not only were they successful in becoming repeat league champions, but they were dominant- winning 12 out of 17 events! Although many of those victories were expected, some were surprising and very exciting.
The boys opened with the 4×800 meter relay on the track. The three fastest Lake County 800m runners were maxed out with individual events, so the relay team’s mission was to cruise through the race without any expectation of a win. James Garrison led off, followed by Aaron Fierro. Both runners kept the race tight. On the third leg, Caleb Osborn pulled into the lead and passed the baton to Richard Fierro, who had never run anything longer than a 400m in a meet. With teammates cheering him around the track, Richard held off the Middle Park anchor and got the Panthers the first victory of the day. Richard ended up with the fastest split on the team, which finished in an overall time of 10 minutes 16 seconds.
Later in the meet, Osborn competed in the high jump. Coming into the event, Osborn was ranked 5th because his previous best jump was 5’4.” On Saturday, he nailed his timing, improved by 5” to clear 5’9,” and won the event!
Joshua Rivera began his weekend of racing on Friday night in Pueblo. Rivera and two coaches traveled to the Pueblo Twilight meet, so that Rivera could run the 3200m at low elevation and against tough competition and improve his time for the state rankings. The trip was a success; Rivera cut 27 seconds off his time, finished in 10:17, and is now ranked 5th in the state!
Despite his big night, the team was counting on Rivera to score significant points on Saturday, and he did. Rivera won the 1600m in 4:57, took 2nd in the 300m hurdles (46.63) and led the Panther crew in the 3200m run. The 3200m looked to be one of Lake County’s strongest events, and the team came through in a big way. Rivera blocked wind and set a pace for teammates Aaron Fierro and James Garrison. They wisely picked up their pace in the 2nd mile to drop other runners, and by the last lap, no more challengers remained. Rivera earned his 2nd championship title by crossing in 12:07. Fierro almost caught Rivera with a finishing sprint, but ended up 2nd in 12:08. Garrison completed the perfect score for the Panthers, taking 3rd in 12:18.
Freshman Anthony Martinez accomplished a hat trick of individual league victories, including cruising to wins in the 110m hurdles (15.91) and the 300m hurdles (45.26). Martinez had to work much harder to win the 200m dash, but he ran half a second faster than his PR to finish 1st in 23.87. Martinez also achieved 4th place in the 100m with a personal best time of 11.81.
Senior German Aguirre dominated the horizontal jumps with wins in the triple jump (40’3”) and long jump (a personal best 20’10”). Aguirre was not only dominant this year; he won the triple jump in all 4 of his high school league championships. He also launched the shot put almost 2’ farther than ever before to take 3rd place with a put of 35‘3.”
Jesus Martinez won the 400m dash in a new personal best of 54.24. In the 200m, he was 6th in 25.05.
Fabian Jimenez completed the tough 400m/800m double. Those are the 2 toughest events on the track, and with only 1 event between them, there is not much recovery time. In the 400, Jimenez ran a personal best 55.79 to hold on to 3rd place. He also accomplished a PR of 2:17 in the 800 and finished 2nd. In the triple jump, Jimenez took 2nd with his leap of 36’7.5.” His brother, Eddie Jimenez, jumped a new best of 33’9” to score 4th place points.
Although Carlos Saucedo didn’t come away with any individual league titles, he did have some of the most significant improvements of the day. Saucedo dropped almost half a second in the 100m dash, ran under 12 seconds for the first time, clocked in at 11.66, and snatched 2nd place overall. He cut 8 tenths of a second in the 200m, coming in 4th with a time of 24.45, and he added almost 2’ to his long jump, surprising the field with his leap of 19’3.5” and a 3rd place finish. For these accomplishments, Saucedo was chosen Panther of the Meet. Caleb Osborn and Richard Fierro were named Honorable Mention Panthers of the Meet.
Besides the 4x800m relay, the 4x400m and 4x200m relays were also victorious. The 4x400m relay team of Eddie Jimenez, Joshua Rivera, Fabian Jimenez and Jesus Martinez overcame multiple challenges from the Middle Park team and took 1st in 3:45, a 7-second season best. Eddie Jimenez, German Aguirre, Carlos Saucedo and Jesus Martinez teamed up for the 4x200m relay. Their winning time was 1:37.
Other Panthers that contributed to the team’s championship were Aaron Fierro, 3rd in the 110m hurdles (20.04) and 6th in the 300m hurdles (49.17); Richard Fierro, 6th in the 400m (59.68); Jon Carreno, 5th in the 110m hurdles (21.10), 6th in the shot put (29’11”) and 6th in the discus (77’10.5”); Eddie Jimenez, 7th in the 100m (12.31); Pablo Mascarenas, 7th in the high jump (4’10”); Bryan Almanza, 8th in the shot put (25’7.75”); Edgar Tarango, 8th in the discus (62’0”); and Diego Arellano, 9th in the discus (57’9”).
The Lady Panthers had one league champion- Taylor Webster won the triple jump by adding almost 1’ to her PR and reaching 32’4.”
Emily Weaver had some great improvement in the jumps. She cleared 4’8” for the first time in the high jump to take 2nd place. She also added 3’ to her triple jump, which was enough for 3rd place.
The officials miscounted laps in the 3200m, so all of the girls ran 9 loops instead of 8. Despite the confusion, Dominika Piech finished 2nd in 16:21. Hannah Holm took 6th with a time of 21:18. Holm also ran 8:28 in the 1600m to place 8th.
Grisel Saucedo had a personal best leap of 12’3” in the long jump and finished 6th.
Dawn Botello, Weaver, Webster and Jasmin Rea joined forces in the sprint medley relay. They ran to a 2nd place finish and a time of 2:12. In the 4x200m relay, Botello, Rea, Saucedo and Weaver earned another 2nd place with their time of 2:03. Running the 4x400m relay for the first time this season, Botello, Webster, Piech and Rea finished in 5:06 and 2nd place. The 4x100m team (Botello, Rea, Saucedo and Webster) was 3rd in 57.56.
The ladies were 4th in the overall team competition.