by Alexander Hill
The weekend belonged to Track and Field. After what seems like a lifetime of waiting the season finally got underway and East Palo Alto Greyhounds received the nod this weekend as they played hosts to the 3rd Annual EPA Greyhound Youth Sectional. Track junkies could not have hoped for a better weekend. As the temperatures got warmer and the precipitation turned the grass to green. Teams, Coaches, Athletes, Moms, relatives and friends scramble to get their seats for some front row action.
The meet served as an early preview of some of the Top Athletes in the Pacific Association and gave others a chance to make a statement in beating some of its best. And unless you were reveling in the view from a penthouse suite in Monte Carlo you were there to catch the action!
The day unfolded with some very solid sprint performances. Leading the charge for the Bantam girls was 3M's Sarahvaughn King. Sarahvaughn took home 3 Blue ribbons with her performances in the 100, 200 and Long Jump. Teammate Dejah Robinson would come behind Sarahvaughn in the 200 meter to take 2nd, while Cynthia Smith (who took top honors in the BG 400) would follow close behind to take 3rd.
In the Bantam Boys section Jordan Grant of Umoja came out as the fastest 100 meter sprinter. Jacob Williams of Sacramento Heat grabbed second and Wesley Lee of the Stockton Saints took third to finish off. Wesley would later return to claim the BB 200 meters in front of 3M Jonathan-Miles Hall. Teammates Bradon Baines and Nicholas Anderson of EPA would sweep the third and fourth spots.
Jelia Montgomery of the Stockton Saints would take the honors in the MG 100 meters. With former Greyhound standout Aisha Ahmad (now of Mission Valley) at 2nd. Newcomer Brianne kunkle of Roseville Express secured the 3rd spot to finish.
Pre-race favorite Tera Hurley of City Track is showing good form in the early season Tera took the victory in the MG 200 with 3M standout Jowhari Hill at a close 2nd and again it would be Brianne Kunkle of Roseville to tape the 3rd spot. In the MG 400 it would be the usual suspects of Jasmine Hardy and Chloe Jenkins (both of 3M) for a one-two punch. Chloe who sat out last year on a foot injury is back in action. Happy to have you back Chloe!
Aaron Jones, Mission Valley Standout got things off to a fast start for the Midget Boys as he sprinted to victory in the 100 Meters. No surprise to any, after a stellar year in 2008, Jones is back and in early season form. But Jones would opt out of the 200 meters leaving Ledre McCollough to take the tape in front of Umoja's Da Shon Ridgeway. Jordan Beasley of Sacramento Heat managed to get third.
The Youth Girls are in the spot light this year, as they are most years, with firepower up front. With Sasha Wallace and Alexandra Diaz to lead the way they flexed their muscles to prove it! Alexandra Diaz has been impressive in the indoor season, running her fastest mark of 7.86 while winning the Junior Olympic Indoor Championships in the YG 60 meters. Alexandra's notable performances would take place in the YG 100 and 200 as she was double the trouble taking top honors in both events. Finishing 3rd at the 2008 Youth National, Alex has her eyes set on upgrading!
Sasha Wallace of 3M "The Big Easy" as I like to call her ran to an easy win in the YG 400. The only one to run sub-60 and nearly 5 seconds ahead of the field she will not be leaving room for many challengers. With a reputation that has grown almost taller then she has, Look for Sasha to make some waves in the YG Hurdles. Bronze medalist at the 2008 JO Championships at 28.19 makes Sasha the pre-race favorite in the event.
Perhaps one of the biggest rivalries cooking this season is in the Youth girls 100m hurdles. Amira Godfrey-Woods(E.O.Y.D.C) showing some senior experience would take the tape this weekend. Trading places with last meet favorite Jennifer Waldo of Roseville Express, and taking nothing for granted Amira would race to a Personal Best. while seeing Taylor Craft of LSI move into to second place.
On the Youth Boys side, emerging from the field it would be Jalen Williams of Umoja to take the crown in the YB 100 Meters. Tyler Livy of City Track took a close second in front of Umoja's Michael Pinal.Missing from the action was ISC's Gerald Belong. Gerald a member of that record setting Youth Boys 4x100 last season is looking to fan the flames as things heat up in the youth boys section. After settling for third in the 100 meters Michael Pinal would capture the 200 title in front of pre-race favorite Christopher Kirtman of City Track. It would be Devon Gillum(Stockton Saints) and Jalen Doss(The Flying Jaguars) for the third and fourth spot.
Another bantam National Junior Olympic Cross Country Champion Julia Bounds of Palo Alto Lighting took the BG 800 meter run. One of only two girls to run sub-2:40. San Luis's Tally Hill was not far behind to take second place. Rylee Bowen of Santa Rosa Express won the third spot in front of Marielle Friedman(Santa Cruz Track).
The Bantam Boys division saw Jason Gomez of San Jose grab a double victory in both the 800 run and 1500 meter race walk. Earlier in the season Jason also competed at the Arizona Indoor Classic where he finished first in the 1 Mile run.
It would be double trouble in the midget girls 800 when teammates Jade Hardy and Ashanti Johnson of 3M took the track. It would be a one-two punch as both girl's;s cross the line holding off Dariya Smith who would take an easy third.
3M was strong again in the midget boys 800 meters. This time with teammates Bryan Morris and Joshua-Lanston Hall. Both boys looked relaxed as they coasted to take the top two spots. In third place was Ben Zaeske(Palo Alto Lightning) to go the distance along with Mission Valley's David Frisbie to claim the fourth spot.
On the women's side it was Selena Friedman from Santa Cruz Track to take top honors in the Youth Girls 800 Meter run. But newcomer Olivia Rintala would be there trying to close the deal for a close second. Teammates Christina Chenault and Spencer more of 3M would be third and fourth to round out the top 4 spots.
Overall the weekend saw some outstanding performances. Many athletes ran exceptionally well and proved to be in good shape as the season gets underway. with many other notable performances and almost too many to name here. Pacific association athletes continue to proved their tradition of success in a sport we all Love.
On behalf of the Track and Field Community and the Pacific Association I would like to thank Eric Stuart, Sylvia jones, East Palo Alto Greyhounds, Coaches and Staff for hosting a wonderful weekend of excitement.
Girl's top performances
King, Sarahvaughn, 3M Track Club / BG 100m
King, Sarahvaughn, 3M Track Club / BG 200m
Smith, Cynthia , Umoja TC / BG 400m
Bounds, Julia, Palo Alto Lightning / BG 800m
Mumma, Paulette, Sacramento Heat / BG 1500RW
Richmond Half Steppers / BG 4x200m
King, Sarahvaughn, 3M Track Club / BG LJ
Moren, Cerah, Central Valley / BG Javelin
Montgomery, Jelia, Stockton Saints / MG 100m
Hurley, Tera, City Track / MG 200m
Hardy, Jasmine, 3M Track Club / MG 400m
Hardy, Jade, 3M Track Club / MG 800m
Palacio, Caitlin, San Jose / MG 1500RW
Redmon, Christin, Norcal Pacesetters / MG 80m Hurdles
King, Sarahvaughn, 3M Track Club / MG 100m
Umoja TC / MG 4x200m
Arnold, Mackenzie, Roseville Ex / MG LJ
King, Taujay, Stockton Saints / MG Javelin
Diaz, Alexandra, LSI Sprint / YG 100m
Diaz, Alexandra, LSI Sprint / YG 200m
Wallace, Sasha, 3M Track Club / YG 400m
Friedman, Selena, Santa Cruz Track / YG 800m
Haba, Lila, San Jose / YG 3000RW
3M Track Club / YG 4x200m
Evans, Janaa, City Track / YG LJ
Brown, Direese, Richmond Half Steppers / Open 100m
McConico, Angela, Richmond Half Steppers / Open 200m
McConico, Angela, Richmond Half Steppers / Open 400m
McConico, Angela, Richmond Half Steppers / Open 800m
Potts, Emily, Roseville Ex / YG LJ
Boy's top performances
Grant, Jordan, Umoja TC / BB 100m
Lee, Wesley, Stockton Saints / BB 200m
Lowe, Anthony, Top Pacers Track / BB 400m
Gomez, Jason, San Jose / BB 800m
Gomez, Jason, San Jose / BB 1500RW
Umoja TC / BB 4x100m
East Palo Alto Greyhounds / BB 4x200m
Troclair, Elijah, American Canyon / BB LJ
Booker, Dauson, Central Valley / BB Javelin
Jones, Aaron, Mission Vall / MB 100m
McCollough, Ledre, Team McCollough / MB 200m
James II, Oscar, Umoja TC / MB 400m
Morris, Bryan, 3M Track Club / MB 800m
Haba, Adam, San Jose / MB 1500RW
Shyne, Armand, 3M Track Club / MB 80m Hurdles
Umoja TC / MB 4x200m
Runels, Matthew, Mission Valley / MB LJ
Shyne, Armand, 3M Track Club / MB Javelin
Williams, Jalen, Umoja TC / YB 100m
Pinal, Michael, Umoja TC / YB 200m
Kirtman,Christopher, City Track / YB 400m
Crippen, Cameron, Central Vall / YB 800m
Todd, Daimon, Umoja TC / YB 3000RW
Lux, Blajon, Umoja TC / YB 100m Hurdles
Umoja TC / YB 4x200m
Bryant, Reyshawn, Stockton Saints / YB LJ
Shyne, Armand, 3M Track Club / YB Javelin
Robinson, Eddie, Richmond Half Steppers / Open 100m
Robinson, Eddie, Richmond Half Steppers / Open 200m
Montano, Vincent, Roseville Ex / Open 400m
Osgood, Andrew, Central Valley / Open 800m
Montano, Vincent, Roseville Ex / YG LJ