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An electrifying end at the Foothill League track and field finals

Multiple programs put on a show at College of the Canyons

Posted: May 5, 2016 10:43 p.m.
Updated: May 5, 2016 10:43 p.m.
Saugus' Amir Bishop, center-right, hands off the baton to Luis Eusebi, center-left, in the 4x100-meter relay at the Foothill League track finals at College of the Canyons. Jayne Kamin-Oncea for The Signal Saugus' Amir Bishop, center-right, hands off the baton to Luis Eusebi, center-left, in the 4x100-meter relay at the Foothill League track finals at College of the Canyons. Jayne Kamin-Oncea for The Signal
Saugus' Amir Bishop, center-right, hands off the baton to Luis Eusebi, center-left, in the 4x100-meter relay at the Foothill League track finals at College of the Canyons. Jayne Kamin-Oncea for The Signal
Sam Pica (5) of Valencia edges out Conner Holcomb (4) of Canyon to win the 400-meter dash at the Foothill League track finals at College of the Canyons. Jayne Kamin-Oncea for The Signal Sam Pica (5) of Valencia edges out Conner Holcomb (4) of Canyon to win the 400-meter dash at the Foothill League track finals at College of the Canyons. Jayne Kamin-Oncea for The Signal
Sam Pica (5) of Valencia edges out Conner Holcomb (4) of Canyon to win the 400-meter dash at the Foothill League track finals at College of the Canyons. Jayne Kamin-Oncea for The Signal
Sagus' Triston Pearson of Saugus competes in the shot put at the Foothill League track finals at College of the Canyons. Jayne Kamin-Oncea for The Signal Sagus' Triston Pearson of Saugus competes in the shot put at the Foothill League track finals at College of the Canyons. Jayne Kamin-Oncea for The Signal
Sagus' Triston Pearson of Saugus competes in the shot put at the Foothill League track finals at College of the Canyons. Jayne Kamin-Oncea for The Signal
Golden Valley's Alexxys Banuelos hands off the baton to Marianne Tolentino during the 4x100 meter relay at the Foothill League track finals at College of the Canyons. Jayne Kamin-Oncea for The Signal Golden Valley's Alexxys Banuelos hands off the baton to Marianne Tolentino during the 4x100 meter relay at the Foothill League track finals at College of the Canyons. Jayne Kamin-Oncea for The Signal
Golden Valley's Alexxys Banuelos hands off the baton to Marianne Tolentino during the 4x100 meter relay at the Foothill League track finals at College of the Canyons. Jayne Kamin-Oncea for The Signal
Steven Arrington of Canyon wins the 100-meter dash at the Foothill League track finals at College of the Canyons. Jayne Kamin-Oncea for The Signal Steven Arrington of Canyon wins the 100-meter dash at the Foothill League track finals at College of the Canyons. Jayne Kamin-Oncea for The Signal
Steven Arrington of Canyon wins the 100-meter dash at the Foothill League track finals at College of the Canyons. Jayne Kamin-Oncea for The Signal
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The rain fell Thursday night near the conclusion of the Foothill League track and field finals.

And the lights nearly got turned out in the College of the Canyons stadium, causing the jumping events to almost finish in the dark.

Perhaps they were metaphors for the Golden Valley girls team, along with the Canyon, Saugus and Valencia boys programs, who poured it on the competition and delivered several electrifying performances to add several league individual and relay championships to their team glory achieved during the regular-season dual meets.

Golden Valley senior Azaria Hill secured four titles, sweeping the 100- and 200-meter gold medals for the third time in her career by clocking 12.29 and 25.33 seconds, in addition to contributing to both relay victories for the Grizzlies.

Hill teamed with Lonyaa Merriweather, Alexxys Banuelos and Marianne Tolentino to win the 4x100 relay in 48.50. Hill and Merriweather, along with Bianca Tinoco and Chloe Mielke, captured the 4x400 in 3:58.85.

“It’s really sweet, but it’s also bittersweet,” Hill said. “I came in here wanting to leave it all on the track and do it for my team, but I also wanted to do this for myself because it’s my senior year.”

Merriweather won the 400 in 57.36, with Tinoco capturing the 800 title in 2:12.90.

“It hasn’t hit me being a senior and this is my last league finals,” Tinoco said. “I’ve been enjoying the process and of course it has its ups and downs, but when there are outcomes of days like these, it makes it all worth it.”

Shyann Franklin swept both throws titles for Golden Valley, producing the best shot put by a freshman in the country at 44 feet, 1 inch, with teammate Melani Brown third at 37-3.

Franklin won the discus with a throw of 124 feet, with Brown second at 118 feet.

“It was a lot of hard work and a lot of practice that went into this,” Franklin said. “I honestly don’t know what to say because I’ve never done this before. It’s all new to me.”

Gabriel Coronado swept the boys throws championships for Golden Valley with a 52-9 1/2 shot put and 119-1 1/2 discus throw, edging Canyon’s John Elam, who produced a 49-6 1/2 shot put and 152-8 3/4 discus.

Steven Arrington won the 100 in 11.16 and the 200 in 22.40 for Canyon, in addition to contributing to the victorious 4x100 relay, which was first thought to be disqualified because of a lane infraction but was eventually awarded the title in 43.16.

“I felt like I had something to prove coming into this meet,” said Arrington, who suffered his first league losses in the sprints April 28 against Saugus.

“I feel like this is a very emotional meet, and I’m glad my teammates and I pulled through. In order to play a sport like this and compete at a level like this, you need to have a short memory. You have to put it behind you and move forward.”

Valencia’s Sam Pica denied Arrington a fourth title by anchoring the Vikings’ 4x400 relay to victory in 3:24.14. Pica also won the 400 title in 49.03, holding off Canyon’s Conner Holcomb in 49.07.

Saugus extended its run of dominance in the 3200 to 12 consecutive years crowning a girls champion and five years in a row as boys winners, with Ashley Heys prevailing in 10:49.86 and Ryan Tate capturing the title in 9:16.88. Mariah Castillo won the girls 1600 in 5:02.89.

“Legacy is the word at Saugus, and to be part of it is great, especially my senior year,” Heys said. “To leave my mark at Saugus and in the Foothill League is an amazing feeling.”

Hart’s DJ Aponik swept the boys 110 and 300 hurdles titles in 15.27 and 40.39. West Ranch’s Justin Sherfey won the 800 in 1:58.92, and Golden Valley’s Jonathon Bay prevailed in the 1600 in 4:21.96.

West Ranch’s Adaugo Oguejiofor won the girls 100 hurdles in 15.50, with Canyon’s Seanna Nalbandyan denying her a sweep by rallying for victory in the 300 hurdles in 46.30.

Oguejiofor won the high jump, clearing 5-2, and the long jump at 16-4 1/4.

Saugus’ Noah Turner cleared 6-2 to win the boys high jump, with Canyon’s Jeremiah Chow prevailing in the boys pole vault with a 15-foot effort and teammate Brandon Wilson leaping 20-5 1/4 to capture the long jump. Valencia’s Tanner Berney won the triple jump with an effort of 40-5 1/4.

Hart’s Jordan Taylor cleared 10 feet in the girls pole vault, and Valencia’s Cheyenne Cheshier captured the girls triple jump with a leap of 36-1.

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