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Foothill League track and field athletes advance to CIF finals

Golden Valley advances most competitors to next weekend

Posted: May 14, 2016 10:19 p.m.
Updated: May 14, 2016 10:19 p.m.

The usual suspects shined at the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 track and field prelims on Saturday at Moorpark High School.

Golden Valley had the most qualifiers among Foothill League teams for the second year in a row, while Saugus, Canyon and West Ranch athletes also advanced to next Saturday’s finals at Cerritos College.  

The Grizzlies advanced athletes in 13 events  three more than it did in last season’s prelims.

The Cowboys hit a few personal records to qualify in six events, and the Wildcats and Centurions each had three.

The Golden Valley girls relay team of Azaria Hill, Bianca Tinoco, Alexxys Banuelos and Lonyaa Merriweather are heading to the finals in the 4x100 and the 4x400 relays.

They finished the 4x100 in 48.71 seconds, and the 4x400 relay in 3 minutes, 53.39 seconds – first in their heat.

“They’re extremely confident,” said Golden Valley head coach Sara Soltani. “It came down to that to go on the podium and they’ll remember that, so they won’t take a chance for granted.”

Hill qualified in the 100-meter (12.10) and 200-meter (24.87) dashes. Tinoco finished first in her 800 heat with a 2:15.14 qualification time, while Merriweather clinched a spot in the 400 with a 57.55 time. She finished first in her heat.

Entering unfamiliar territory was Grizzlies freshman Shyann Franklin, but you could hardly tell.

“She’s going up against seniors and juniors, but when you see her, she’s very calm and confident,” Soltani said. “It’s amazing to watch her progression.”

Franklin finished first in the girls shot put at 43 ¾. Franklin also finished second in the discus, tossing 132 feet, 2 inches.

“I didn’t think about it,” Franklin said. “I just did it.”

Teammate Me’Lani Brown also qualified in shot put (36-1 ¼) and in discus (123-2).

For the Golden Valley boys, Jonathan Bay qualified in the 1600, finishing 4:18.70. Gabriel Coronado advanced with a 53-7 ¼  shot put, and a 160-2 discus throw.


Pole-vaulter Jeremiah Chow hit the top score with a 14-foot vault, while teammate Jake Bennett also qualified with a 13-9 score.

Brandon Wilson, Steven Arrington, Taylor Tepesano and Connor Holcomb finished the 100 relay second in their heat with a 43.11.

Holcomb finished the 400 in a qualifying time 49.61.

Gabby Sanchez qualified in the discus for Canyon’s girls, while John Elam qualified in the event for the boys.

Sanchez posted a personal-best 130-6 in discus for the school’s second-best mark ever. She was off the record by 5 inches. Elam’s 161-7 discus throw was Canyon’s third best.

“I’m pleased that our throwers are starting to come on. I think all of them have a shot at making the Masters (Meet),” said Canyon head coach Paul Broneer. “But every week gets a little tougher.” 


Saugus distance runners Ashley Heys, Mariah Castillo and Ryan Tate all advanced to the finals. Heys finished the girls 3200 in 10:58.18, while Tate finished the boys race in 9:21.28.

In the girls 1600, Castillo made it in 5:04.54.

West Ranch

West Ranch’s Bailey Pate qualified in the girls 800, finishing second in her heat with a 2:14.21. She was the only Wildcat track athlete to advance.

Adaugo Oguejiofor advance in the high jump (5-4) and long jump (17-4).

Hart also competed at Moorpark, but didn’t advance anyone to the finals. Trinity Classical Academy competed at the Division 4 prelims at Carpinteria High School.


Knights sophomore Carissa Bixler finished the 100 with a 13.63 and posted a 15-1 3/4 in the long jump. Her teammate, Ryan DeMarois, finished the long jump 18-4 1/2.

But neither qualified.

Valencia participated in its Division 1 prelims at Trabuco Hills High School in Mission Viejo, but didn't have anyone advance. Cheyenne Cheshier came clostest, posting a 35-9 in the triple jump. Anna Biele of Beckman High was the final qualifier at 35-9 1/2


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