Day 1 of West Valley Division Finals has ended with all finals heats determined. As the top 8 athletes score in each event, Day 1 served as trials for many events, with athletes battling to make the Friday final in order to score points for their teams. The top 4 athletes in each event go on to BVAL Championships next week, making the high placings highly sought after as well. Out of the 15 events contested in the West Valley league, The boys had 3 finals on day 1 and the girls had 4. Most of the meet is to be determined but the first points have already been recorded!
The meet began with the final of the girls 1600. Arlet Miranda ran a strong tactical race, coming in 2nd place with a time of 5:42.60. This is the highest placing by a lady comet at finals in the 1600 in the entire BVAL era, and perhaps in school history. Daisy Nava ran a 6 second PR of 6:11.20 to place 7th and score points for the team despite coming in ranked 11th. Elizabeth Guevara ran 6:14 for 9th a solid run in what is likely her final high school race. Unfortunately Eli will not be able to compete on friday in the 3200, her best event, due to a schedule conflict. Carla Manzanares rounded out the group with a PR of 6:34.70.
Meanwhile the girls Triple Jump and Girls Shot Put Finals were also taking place. The Lady Comets struggled in Triple Jump, failing to score a point after taking 8 points in the event last year. Lyndel Ventura and Crystal Nguyen competed hard nonetheless jumping 27-3 and 26-6 respectively. In the girls Shot Put the team excelled, Alejandra Ceron and Valeria Cortez placed 2nd and 3rd with throws of 30-10 and 29-8 to net 14 points for the team and clinch their spots at BVAL championships. Leysmi Saldana placed 9th with a throw of 23-0, narrowly missing scoring in her first year of track. The girls high jump had Elyse Elder placing 4th in a seasons best 4-5 clearance. Brecia Dagio placed 8th with a new PR of 4-3.
The boys Discus Final and boys Long Jump Final were contested on day 1 as well. Daniel Medina threw 90-9.50, Osman Lopez threw 83-5 and Josh Garcia threw 78-5. The absence of top Discus throwers Alex Alonzo and Pablo Segovia showed, demonstrating that while the team has come along way, it has a long way to go including better academic results ensuring no athletes miss meets due to insufficient grades.
Hadji Yono-Cruz had a rough day for the team in Long Jump, jumping 16-6. Chris Okoro went 15-10 and Manuel Villalobos 14-6.50 in their first ever finals experience. The sprints/jumps group is very young on the boys side, and they will feature prominently in the league in coming seasons.
Back on the track the first trials of the day were in the girls 100 hurdles. Andrea Ortiz won her heat in a huge PR of 17.10, breaking 18 seconds for the first time and nearly 17 as well despite a mediocre start. Valeria Cortez then won the 2nd heat in 17.80, a PR as well making the two top Comets the 2 top ranked hurdlers in the final Friday. In the process, Andrea and Valeria become just the 4th and 5th girls in school history on record to run under 18 seconds in the girls hurdles. Susie Peterson matcher her PR of 19.20 to place 7th and move on to finals for the first time in her career as well. The boys 110 Hurdles saw Hadji place 3rd in 18.70 and Jonathan Rodriguez place 8th in 19.30 to advance to Fridays final. Gustavo Aguilera was 9th just behind Jonathan.
The girls 400 saw a PR from Maria Mendoza who ran the 2nd fastest time of the day 1:06.50 to advance to finals. Jackie Landa ran 1:12.20 to place 9th, narrowly missing advancing as well. Jose Limon ran a strong 55.82 to advance to finals in the boys 400 as the 4th ranked runner. Misael Herrera ran 58.88 for his first finals experience.
The two 100m races were always going to be team’s toughest area to advance athletes to finals. Even so, Karen Montes ran 14.19 for 9th, a PR by .25. Lyndel was 10th in 14.24 a PR by .30 and Elyse was 12th in 14.28 a PR by .50. The boys 100 saw the final races in the event of the season fro Jesse Chircop in 12.38, AdrianDeLaRosa in 12.58 and Danny Nguyen in 12.87.
The girls 300 hurdles saw 3 girls advance again. Andrea is ranked 1st in the event for finals after winning her heat in 51.18. Belen Sanchez ran a PR of 54.84 to enter finals ranked 5th and Valeria is ranked 6th with a PR of 57.10 as well. The boys 300 hurdles saw Gustavo place 4th in 46.68 and Jonathan place 6th in 47.32, both boys advancing to finals in an event where no Comet has scored in years.
The girls 200 had Maria placing 9th in 29.54, narrowly missing advancing to finals. Karen ended on a big PR of 30.09 and Aliana Santos did the same running 34.42. The boys event saw 3 PRS, Jose running 24.22 to advance to finals. Jesse ran 25.55 for a PR and Misael ran 25.70 for a PR as well.
While the boys were unable to score any points in the first two events of WVAL finals 2016, they were able to score in the 3rd and final event of day 1. The boys 3200 saw Nathan Bernardo and Erik Olsvold place 4th and 5th with PRS of 10:36.24 and 10:36.88. Hector Ramirez placed 8th in 10:53.07, a poor race by his standards. Azael Zamora and Inteus Castro-Lopez also struggled finishing 9th and 13th with times of 10:59 and 11:12 respectively. This event netted the team 10 points despite being a disappointment for the distance crew overall, who were hoping to place a bit higher, Erik truly excelled however, running an excellent freshmen time, the best I have on record and certainly the best of the BVAL era.
Overall it was a strong showing for the team after day 1. With only 3/15 events accounted for on the boys side, and 4/15 events accounted for on the girls side, here are the current team scores:
- Independence 35 Points
- Live Oak 19 Points
- Overfelt 17 Points
- Yerba Buena 16 points
- James Lick 10 Points
- San Jose 10 Points
- Del Mar 9 Points
- Gunderson 1 point
- Live Oak 31 Points
- James Lick 30 Points
- Yerba Buena 26 Points
- Independence 26 Points
- Gunderson 25 points
- Overfelt 16 points
- San Jose 2 points
- Del Mar 0 points
The meet is taking form as a battle with the girls side looking specially exciting and close. The team needs to lock down 2nd place in order to clinch the league title,though finishing 1 place behind Yerba Buena is sufficient. The team will be looking to finish 1st an finish their season with a statement finals victory, the team never having placed 1st at finals before.
On the boys side, Independence is the clear favorite, but the Comets will look to make a push to come in 2nd. If the team were able to come in 2nd place and Yerba Buena 4th, to the team would leapfrog YB in the standings and finish 2nd.
The biggest day of the season is tomorrow! Come out to Overfelt High School at 4:00 PM to support the team. League finals recap coming soon afterwards.