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Saugus boys track and field, Golden Valley girls win second Foothill meet

Centurions and Grizzlies continue to contend tight league race

Posted: March 30, 2016 11:05 p.m.
Updated: March 30, 2016 11:05 p.m.
Golden Valley's Bianca Tonoco, center, leads a pack of Saugus runners as the sole runner from Golden Valley at the start of the girls 1600 meter run during a dual track meet on Wednesday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze. Golden Valley's Bianca Tonoco, center, leads a pack of Saugus runners as the sole runner from Golden Valley at the start of the girls 1600 meter run during a dual track meet on Wednesday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze.
Golden Valley's Bianca Tonoco, center, leads a pack of Saugus runners as the sole runner from Golden Valley at the start of the girls 1600 meter run during a dual track meet on Wednesday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze.
Saugus' 400 meter relay anchor Louis Eusebi takes the baton from third leg runner Amir Bishop during an uncontested race at Golden Valley on Wednesday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze. Saugus' 400 meter relay anchor Louis Eusebi takes the baton from third leg runner Amir Bishop during an uncontested race at Golden Valley on Wednesday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze.
Saugus' 400 meter relay anchor Louis Eusebi takes the baton from third leg runner Amir Bishop during an uncontested race at Golden Valley on Wednesday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze.
Golden Valley's Azaria Hill sprints out of the blocks at the start of the girls 100 meter dash during a home track meet against Saugus on Wednesday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze. Golden Valley's Azaria Hill sprints out of the blocks at the start of the girls 100 meter dash during a home track meet against Saugus on Wednesday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze.
Golden Valley's Azaria Hill sprints out of the blocks at the start of the girls 100 meter dash during a home track meet against Saugus on Wednesday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze.
Saugus' Louis Eusebi celebrates as he crosses the finish line in first in the boys 100 meter dash during a track meet at Golden Valley on Wednesday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze. Saugus' Louis Eusebi celebrates as he crosses the finish line in first in the boys 100 meter dash during a track meet at Golden Valley on Wednesday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze.
Saugus' Louis Eusebi celebrates as he crosses the finish line in first in the boys 100 meter dash during a track meet at Golden Valley on Wednesday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze.
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Azaria Hill and Bianca Tinoco have been responsible for several significant victories against Saugus during their Golden Valley running careers, the former in the sprints and the latter in the distance events.

But after last year’s loss at Saugus that denied the Grizzlies another Foothill League girls track and field championship, Hill and Tinoco were ready to do whatever was necessary, in any event they were asked to run, Wednesday in order to emerge victorious in their final career meet against the Centurions.

Tinoco won the 800 and 1600 meters, in addition to crossing the line simultaneously with teammate Mykasia Simpkins in the 3200, with Hill sweeping the 100 and 200, along with contributing to a first-place finish in the 4x100 relay to lead the Grizzlies to a 77-59 victory over the defending-champion Centurions.

“They were crushed and disappointed with last year’s results and they’ve committed to doing whatever it takes for the team to be successful,” said Golden Valley head coach Sara Soltani. “We’re lucky to have two great leaders like Azaria and Bianca. They’re not selfish. They’re not in it for themselves, they make whatever sacrifices are necessary to make sure we’re the best possible team we can be.”

Louis Eusebi prevailed in the 100 and 200 in 11.16 and 23.25 seconds, in addition to running legs on victorious 4x100 (44.55) and 4x400 relays (3:41.31), to lead the Saugus boys to an 87-49 victory over Golden Valley.

Ryan Tate doubled in the 1600 in 4:30.88 and 3200 in 9:37.64, with Mikey Publicker adding victories in the 300 hurdles (43.79) and pole vault (10 feet, 6 inches) for Saugus (2-0 Foothill League), which is focused on an April 28 showdown with six-time champion Canyon that should decide the boys championship.

“I like racing hard. I’m not a slow-paced guy,” Tate said. “I like to race as hard as I can consistently because I don’t have a great speed kick. I’m excited about where I’m at (with my training).”

Tate prevailed in the 3200 against Johnathon Bay (9:49.41), who won the 800 for Golden Valley (0-2 Foothill League) in 1:59.34 and was coming off a 4:15.67 performance Saturday in the 1600 at the Meet of Champions Distance Classic at Azusa Pacific University.

Gabriel Coronado swept the shot put (49-6) and discus (151-0), with Nathan Ray winning the 110 hurdles (16.09) and triple jump (38-10 1/2) for the Grizzlies.

Freshman Shyann Franklin won the girls shot put (38-0) and discus (112-4 1/2) for Golden Valley, which clinched the meet when Tinoco and Simpkins secured eight points in the 3200, both clocking 12:00.3.

Tinoco ran the 800 in 2:16.58 and the 1600 in 5:17.15 for the Grizzlies (2-0 Foothill League), who won the league crown in 2013-14, and placed second to Saugus following a 71-65 setback last year.

“We all need to have a mindset that we’re going to get on the line and no matter what, we’re going to win it for our team and win it for ourselves,” Tinoco said. “We needed to be confident and we had to dig deep and regardless of our time, we had to get out there and run our best and get the clutch win.”

In addition to winning the 4x100 in 49.47 with Alexxys Banuelos, Lonyaa Merriweather and Marianne Tolentino, Hill prevailed in the 100 in 12.07 and led a Golden Valley sweep in the 200 in 26.36.

“We might not have a lot of girls, but we have quality over quantity and that’s really special, and that’s something we have over a lot of teams,” Hill said. “We want to come through and have the responsibility and score as many points as we can for our team and try to win league. We all want it for each other. Whatever (Coach Soltani) needs from us, we’ll do it and we’re ready to jump to it and get it done.”

Merriweather won the 400 in 58.65 and Banuelos prevailed in the long jump (16-3 3/4) for Golden Valley, which has combined with Saugus to win nine of the past 10 girls titles, with the Grizzlies’ meet April 14 against West Ranch now expected to determine this year’s champion.

Audrey Chiu won the 100 hurdles (17.11) and 300 hurdles (49.60) for the Centurions (0-2 Foothill League), who lost their March 24 league opener 72-64 against West Ranch.

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