By Joe Naiman
Village News Reporter 

Wagner sets pole vault school record in first high school meet


Last updated 3/27/2020 at 4am

Rose Wagner had not competed in a high school track and field meet until March 5, but she set a Fallbrook High School team record when she cleared 11 feet, 8 inches in the pole vault.

“It was quite incredible,” Marco Arias said, who this year is the head coach of both the Fallbrook High School girls’ and boys’ teams.

Wagner is a sophomore. She broke her ankle during her freshman year and did not compete for the Warriors in 2019.

“She worked hard and did her own training after the season,” Arias said. “She ended up taking up pole vault on her own with the club team.”

Becky Gausepohl previously held the school record with a pole vault distance of 11 feet 7 inches. Gausepohl cleared that height in 2003.

The March 5 meet was a tri-meet involving Fallbrook, Rancho Buena Vista and Carlsbad high schools. Rancho Buena Vista hosted the meet.

“I felt that we did really well against Rancho Buena Vista and in some parts against Carlsbad,” Arias said.

Fallbrook also took the second-place points for the girls’ pole vault; senior Maya Rink cleared 8-0.

Including girls who failed to clear their initial height, Fallbrook had eight varsity and junior varsity participants in the girls’ pole vault March 5. Five Fallbrook boys competed at the varsity or junior varsity levels in the pole vault that day; although Rancho Buena Vista junior Aron Pfeffer cleared 12-0 for first place, two Fallbrook vaulters had heights of 11-0 and two others had distances of 10-6.

“We have a tremendous turnout on pole vault,” Arias said.

Logann Williams, who is currently a junior, transferred to Fallbrook from Murrieta Mesa High School. Last year Williams finished second in the CIF Southern Section Division I meet’s girls 100-meter hurdles and seventh in the Southern Section’s all-division masters meet in that event.

“She’s going to be one to watch this year,” Arias said.

Although Williams did not win any individual events March 5, she anchored the winning 4x100 relay team which also included juniors Jade Kennedy and Hanniah Crayton and freshman Kelsey Rossi. The quartet had a time of 50.87 seconds.

“Our 4x100 team is still pretty strong,” Arias said.

Last year the Warriors won the 4x100 league championship with Crayton, Kennedy, junior Erin Murray and 2019 senior Darriale Yarbrough. Murray won the 200-meter dash and 400-meter race at last year’s league championship meet and Yarbrough was the 2019 Valley League 100-meter dash champion. Although Murray was unable to compete March 5 due to a hamstring injury and Yarbrough has graduated, Fallbrook has new sprinters including not only Williams and Rossi but also freshman Panther Espinoza.

On March 5, Espinoza won the 100-meter dash in 13.13 and also won the 400-meter race with a time of 1:06.63. Fallbrook also took second-place points in the 400-meter event as freshman Hailey Reed had a time of 1:08.41.

Fallbrook seniors took the top two positions in the boys 1,600-meter event; John Regan won the race in 4:36.07 and Josh Hernandez posted a time of 4:39.44. Hernandez won the boys 3,200-meter race with a time of 10:53.23, while junior Danny Contreras was second at 10:56.75.

“On the boys’ side, our distance is still the strength of our program,” Arias said.

The distance races may also be an asset for Fallbrook’s girls team points. Two of the March 5 races were won by freshman Maya Papoulias, who had times of 5:53.52 in the 1,600-meter run and 13:51.95 in the 3,200-meter race. The second-place time in the 3,200-meter competition belonged to sophomore Maddy Gaul, who completed her eight laps in 14:24.68.

“It’s a little bit bigger team on the girls’ team this year,” Arias said.

Between the boys’ and the girls’ teams, Fallbrook has 70 track and field athletes. A runner or field athlete can compete in no more than four events in a meet. For individual events, each school is allowed up to four competitors and five team points are given for first place, three points are awarded for second place and third place is worth one point. The 4x100 and 4x400 relay races provide five team points to the winner and no other team points.

“We’re able to fill pretty much all the slots,” Arias said. “How competitive is the question.”

Four of the Warriors’ assistant coaches return to the program: Juwan Sumpter returns as the Warriors’ assistant coach for sprints; Joeryll Irchirl is Fallbrook’s assistant coach for jumps; Joel Rivera is the distance coach and Jim Curran works with the pole vaulters. Miguel Castaneda is Fallbrook’s new coach for throws and volunteer assistant Mike Crane will help with both hurdles and sprints.

“Overall we have a really strong coaching group,” Arias said.

The Warriors’ scheduled March 12 home meet against Mission Hills High School was canceled due to rain.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected]


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