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2014 Foothill League boys track and field preview

Posted: March 26, 2014 11:02 p.m.
Updated: March 26, 2014 11:02 p.m.
Canyon’s Jarrett Davidson competes in the 110-meter hurdles in the CIF-Southern Section prelims on May 11 at Moorpark High School. Canyon’s Jarrett Davidson competes in the 110-meter hurdles in the CIF-Southern Section prelims on May 11 at Moorpark High School.
Canyon’s Jarrett Davidson competes in the 110-meter hurdles in the CIF-Southern Section prelims on May 11 at Moorpark High School.

It was April 19 of last year when Golden Valley and Canyon boys track and field went at it.

By the end of the day, no winner was decided. It was a 68-68 tie. And thus, those same two teams ended up splitting the Foothill League title.

It could very well come down to those same two teams again for this year’s league crown.

But there are teams like West Ranch and Hart who are returning the lion’s share of the previous year’s talent. And Saugus and Valencia are very strong in certain events, which makes those teams dangerous.

And outside the team dynamic, there are plenty of athletes in this league with chances to make a lot of noise in the CIF postseason and beyond.


It’s going to be difficult to find ways to score points on the Canyon boys, who are seeking their fifth straight league title after splitting with Golden Valley last year.

Many of Canyon’s top athletes return in several areas.

Likely the two biggest point scorers will be seniors Jeremy Kimmer and Brett Molster, who both reached the CIF finals in the high jump last season.

Kimmer went on to the state meet in that event, but he’ll also contribute in pole vault, long jump and triple jump.

Another returning senior, Jarrett Davidson, will challenge for league titles in both hurdles events.

And once again, Canyon rotates in a deep group of strong sprinters in junior Steven Childs and brothers Israel and Liam Cabrera.

Seniors Caleb McClain and Jason Hillquist will hold things down in the distance races while the junior pairing of Jordan Sykes and Joey Galindo will lead Canyon in shot put and discus.

“I don’t think we have a real weakness,” said Canyon head coach Paul Broneer. “We just don’t have a lot of 1-2-3 (finishers in events.) We have a lot of 1s and a lot of 1-2s. ... I’m feeling pretty good as long as we can stay healthy.”

Golden Valley

Though Golden Valley has established itself as a track and field powerhouse in recent years, there are a few questions for this year’s squad to answer.

The main task for this team will be finding replacements for elite sprinters Leon Jacobs and James Chevious along with top-notch jumper Jonathan Tolentino after all three graduated.

In the sprint events, it will be up to a pair of football crossover athletes, seniors Jacob Ortiz and Malik Young, who is also a strong hurdler.

Senior Arnold Bautista is Golden Valley’s best long-distance runner and he currently holds the Foothill League’s best time of the season in the 800 meters at 1 minute, 58.24 seconds.

Outside of those events, Golden Valley will shuffle around athletes in the jumps and throwing events.

“We’re going to hope and pray that we can score in the field events,” said Golden Valley head coach John Quam.


Injuries and graduation losses haven’t made things easy on Saugus to start the year, but that doesn’t mean this team is out of contention.

With and immensely talented group of distance runners coming off a cross country state championship in the fall, Saugus is always assured a big chunk of points from the get-go in dual meets.

“A heavy weight is going to have to fall on distance. It’s just going to have to,” said Saugus head coach David Russell.

That distance group is led by junior Brian Zabilski and senior Alex Pearson.

Though senior Reid Rupe has big potential as a sprinter, he’s still not fully recovered from a knee injury suffered during football season.

Even worse, versatile senior jumper and hurdler Cameron Engle tore his ACL and will miss the entire season.

Junior Michael Parker and senior Devin Penick will contribute in sprinting events while first-time track and field athlete Timmy Kahovec will be asked to do multiple jumping events and hurdles.

Matt Pratchard is Saugus’ top thrower in replacement of graduated Denley Rodriguez.

West Ranch

There are athletes with point-scoring abilities all around West Ranch’s roster, but few that can guarantee wins.

Junior Nathan Bultman should be rock solid for West Ranch in both the shot put and discus, where he’ll try to advance to the state meet this season.

His throw of 61 feet, 6 inches at the Redondo Union Invite two weeks ago is among the top marks in the state this season.

“We’ve got some good balance, but there’s nobody who is going to dominate other than Bultman,” said West Ranch head coach Steve Welker.

Fellow thrower and senior Mason Falahat should help West Ranch go 1-2 in the throw events in most league meets.

Beyond those two, West Ranch can get some points from impressive junior jumper Max Cawley, who will be helped by sophomore Will Braxton and Thomas Idomoto in the high jump.

In the distance races, sophomores Ryan Painter and Tucker Welker look to be the strongest runners, though Welker is battling a knee sprain for the time being.

West Ranch will need to replace Pierce Miller, who graduated after making the Masters Meet in the 800 last year.

Seniors Max Mazur and Aaron Danny are looking to make some noise as West Ranch’s top two sprinters.


The elite athletes are there for Valencia. It’s just a question of if there are enough to match up across the board in dual meets.

Senior sprinter Nick Jones returns with hopes of reaching the state meet. He was last year’s 400-meter league champion.

Another Valencia sprinter, senior Chase Berney, clocked an impressive 11.13-second 100-meter dash two weeks ago against Birmingham.

From there, Valencia will count on senior distance runners Nick Lentz and Alex Allevato along with senior jumpers Austin James and Christian Brouws.

“We’ve got some very good athletes in a variety of places,” said Valencia head coach Jeff Gilkey. “The question in dual meets is do we have enough depth to win the duals. It should be a really fun league.”


After a long, rough stretch dating back more than a year, Hart is finally getting healthy.

In particular, the distance runners are shining early in the season and showing signs that this team could catch someone by surprise in league competition.

Seniors Bailey James, Ryan Ortiz and Andrew Orona make up one of the best long-distance trios in the area.

Another senior, Connor West, is looking to repeat as double league champion in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles.

He came up just short of winning a CIF title in the 300 hurdles a year ago.

That group of seniors provides a solid foundation for Hart.

“We had a rough year last year finishing dead last,” said Hart boys head coach Gio Guzman. “We wanted to just sort of redeem ourselves and we know the kids want to.”

Helping out Hart in the sprints will be juniors Mac Kaufman and Skyler Nivon.

The team should also get help from versatile sophomore David Wilder and senior thrower Pierce Stubblefield.



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