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Difficult run for track, but fielders shine at CIF divisional finals

Seven Foothill League athletes qualify for next week's Masters Meet

Posted: May 21, 2016 5:36 p.m.
Updated: May 21, 2016 5:36 p.m.
Mariah Castillo runs the 1600 meter run at the CIF Southern Section track and field finals at Cerritos College in Norwalk on Saturday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze Mariah Castillo runs the 1600 meter run at the CIF Southern Section track and field finals at Cerritos College in Norwalk on Saturday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze
Mariah Castillo runs the 1600 meter run at the CIF Southern Section track and field finals at Cerritos College in Norwalk on Saturday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze
Shyann Franklin of Golden Valley throws the shot put at the CIF Southern Section track and field finals at Cerritos College in Norwalk on Saturday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze Shyann Franklin of Golden Valley throws the shot put at the CIF Southern Section track and field finals at Cerritos College in Norwalk on Saturday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze
Shyann Franklin of Golden Valley throws the shot put at the CIF Southern Section track and field finals at Cerritos College in Norwalk on Saturday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze
Jeremiah Chow of Canyon prepares to clear 14 feet in the boys pole vault at the CIF Southern Section track and field finals at Cerritos College in Norwalk on Saturday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze Jeremiah Chow of Canyon prepares to clear 14 feet in the boys pole vault at the CIF Southern Section track and field finals at Cerritos College in Norwalk on Saturday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze
Jeremiah Chow of Canyon prepares to clear 14 feet in the boys pole vault at the CIF Southern Section track and field finals at Cerritos College in Norwalk on Saturday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze
West Ranch's Bailey Pate, left, goes toe to toe with Mission Viejo's Taylor Arco in the 800 meter run at the CIF Southern Section track and field finals at Cerritos College in Norwalk on Saturday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze West Ranch's Bailey Pate, left, goes toe to toe with Mission Viejo's Taylor Arco in the 800 meter run at the CIF Southern Section track and field finals at Cerritos College in Norwalk on Saturday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze
West Ranch's Bailey Pate, left, goes toe to toe with Mission Viejo's Taylor Arco in the 800 meter run at the CIF Southern Section track and field finals at Cerritos College in Norwalk on Saturday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze
Adaugo Oguejiofor of West Ranch prepares to land in the girls long jump at the CIF Southern Section track and field finals at Cerritos College in Norwalk on Saturday. Oguejiofor finished third out of all divisions, and will move on to next Friday's Master's meet at Cerritos. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze Adaugo Oguejiofor of West Ranch prepares to land in the girls long jump at the CIF Southern Section track and field finals at Cerritos College in Norwalk on Saturday. Oguejiofor finished third out of all divisions, and will move on to next Friday's Master's meet at Cerritos. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze
Adaugo Oguejiofor of West Ranch prepares to land in the girls long jump at the CIF Southern Section track and field finals at Cerritos College in Norwalk on Saturday. Oguejiofor finished third out of all divisions, and will move on to next Friday's Master's meet at Cerritos. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze
Jonathon Bay of Golden Valley runs the boys 1600 meter run at the CIF Southern Section track and field finals at Cerritos College in Norwalk on Saturday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze Jonathon Bay of Golden Valley runs the boys 1600 meter run at the CIF Southern Section track and field finals at Cerritos College in Norwalk on Saturday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze
Jonathon Bay of Golden Valley runs the boys 1600 meter run at the CIF Southern Section track and field finals at Cerritos College in Norwalk on Saturday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze
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NORWALK  The tears had already dried from Bianca Tinoco’s face.

The reigning CIF-Southern Section Division 2 800-meter champion sat on the floor, her legs crossed in front her, with a bag of ice wrapped around both of her feet.

Golden Valley’s senior had a disappointing seventh-place finish at the CIF-Southern Section track and field finals Saturday in her signature event. The event that she won outright just one year ago. The event she finished eighth overall at state last season.

“I couldn’t help but shed some tears. It does mean a lot to me and of course I wanted to perform better,” Tinoco said, “but things happen for a reason. My body, my feet, were just not doing it today. I was able to push myself to the absolute limit that my body would let me do. My body just needed a break. It sucks for it to end right here in Cerritos instead of in Fresno, but it is what it is.”

Tinoco started the race well, but began dropping back into second, fourth and finally finishing seventh with a time of 2 minutes, 17.29 seconds.

The senior, though, has been battling plantar fasciitis all season, and has a bone bruise in her right heel. And on Saturday, it was just too much to overcome.

“I think this year was a little strenuous for her because time and time again she had to triple for us to win,” said Golden Valley head coach Sara Soltani. “And that goes to show the type of athlete she is, (the kind) that‘s willing to do anything for her teammates.

“Our girls team coming into the season — it was no secret — we didn’t have the depth that we’ve had in the past four years, but they have stepped up to the plate so many times in league, and they’ve almost killed themselves for each other.”

The Golden Valley girls team was in contention for medalling as a team, but finished fifth overall with 35 points.

Grabbing 13 of those points was Golden Valley’s Shyann Franklin.

Franklin is the only athlete from the Santa Clarita Valley to qualify for the Masters Meet in multiple events.

The freshman thrower took second in the girls discus throw (132 feet, 02 inches) and fourth in the shot put (39-10.50). But despite qualifying for both events, Franklin was not pleased with her performance.

“(My throws) were horrible,” Franklin said. “I just need to practice harder. It’s fixable, but it’s becoming a habit, which makes it hard to fix. I’m throwing and not putting.”

She’ll have less than a week to make adjustments before Friday’s Masters Meet.

Franklin will be joined by Canyon’s Gabby Sanchez in the discus at Masters. The sophomore finished right behind Franklin with a 130-06 mark. The third-place finish is a new school record for Canyon.

Also hitting big marks for Canyon was John Elam, who hit a personal record with a 162-7 throw in the boys discus in Division 2. The fourth-place finish earned him a ticket to Masters.

Canyon's Jake Bennett and Jeremiah Chow both advanced to next week’s meet in the pole vault. Bennett PR’d with a 14-6 mark, with no misses, to finish fourth. Chow finished fifth with the same mark (14-6), but had one miss.

Even though Golden Valley’s Tinoco wasn’t able to defend her crown in the 800, West Ranch’s Bailey Pate shined in the run.

After getting stuck in traffic behind two runners on the second lap, she found a way to get loose. Her third-place finish in 2:14.33 was good enough to qualify for the Masters Meet next Friday.

“(The race) didn’t go exactly as I wanted it to go,” Pate said. “I’m not used to running on the outside of lane two. But I’m happy with how well I did, and feel lucky that I made it (to Masters).”

Pate’s teammate Adaugo Oguejiofor also qualified for the Masters Meet, taking second place overall in the girls long jump.

On her first jump, in her first CIF finals, the junior went 18 feet, 4 1/2 inches. And that was all she needed to earn the third-overall seed next week.

“I knew I had to make my first jump my best,” Oguejiofor said. “I’m excited to move on.”

There was a total of seven Santa Clarita Valley athletes to move on to next week’s Masters. Golden Valley’s Jonathon Bay is listed as an alternate in the boys 1600-meter run after a great finish in the D2 race.

He moved from the back of the pack with 500 meters to go to pull into fourth place.

“The past few weeks I was finishing but never kicking,” Bay said. “Once I made the move I tried to make another one, but they were just too far in front of me. I started off too slow. I pushed, and at 75 and I sprinted. When I finished I was like, 'I can’t breathe.’”

There were a number of SCV athletes that still had great finishes, but did not qualify for the Masters Meet.

Take Golden Valley’s Azaria Hill, who was next to stiff competition in the 100- and 200-meter dash. Hill took sixth in both D2 races, improving on her prelim times. In the 100, she ran a 12.01, down from her 12.10 prelim time, and in the 200 her 24.70 improved from 24.87.

Grizzly teammate Lonyaa Merriweather also had a sixth-place finish in the 400 (57.55).

The GV girls 4x100 relay team finished eighth (49.45), but nabbed a fourth-place spot in the 4x400 relay (3:58.19).

“The competition is deep,” Soltani said. “Before the day started, I wanted them to realize the opportunity they have in front of the them. They are the nine best in CIF in their respective events. That alone is a great accomplishment.”

Saugus’ Mariah Castillo finished the 1600 in 5:07.23 (seventh, D2), while her teammate Ashley Heys took ninth with an 11:21.25 mark in the 3200. Ryan Tate had a strong showing in the boys 3200 meter, finishing fifth with a 9:23.92 mark for the Centurions.

The Canyon boys relay team — Taylor Tepesano, Steven Arrington, Troy Chairz, and Connor Holcomb — had an interesting day. The 4x100 team nearly missed its race. But thanks to a false start, the team was able to get on the track. It was a setback as they finished in ninth place with a 43.60 mark.

“I’m just glad we got to race,” said Troy Chairz, who was an alternate for the relay team. “We know there is definitely room to improve.”

They didn’t have to make a late entrance in the 4x400 relay, but they did have a lot of ground to make up after getting out to a rough start.

But Arrington’s third leg got them out of ninth place, and Holcomb’s anchor leg nearly put them in fifth, finishing in 3:26.35. Holcomb also nabbed an eighth-place finish in the 400 (50.30).

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