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Rico, Subish win events at Julian track and field meet

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Vallecitos Elementary School eighth-grader Yamilee Rico and Pauma Elementary School seventh-grader Matthias Kai Subish won events at the Julian Junior High Invitational Track Meet held May 19 at the Julian High School stadium.

Rico won two events, taking first in both the girls 200-meter dash and the high jump. Subish had the superlative shot put throw in his division.

The monthly tournaments involving small middle schools and K-8 elementary schools in North San Diego County and South Riverside County concluded for the 2021-22 school year with the Julian Junior High Invitational Track Meet which consisted of eight different events in four divisions. The eight events were the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, the 400-meter run, the 1,600-meter run, the 4x100 relay, the shot put, the long jump, and the high jump. Each event had a boys seventh grade, girls seventh grade, boys eighth grade, and girls eighth grade division.

Borrego Middle School and Warner Middle School were unable to participate, but Julian Junior High School, Cottonwood Elementary School (Aguanga), and Hamilton Elementary School (Anza) joined Vallecitos and Pauma in the meet. Each athlete was limited to four events.

"It's a well-run meet. All athletes displayed good sportsmanship, and it's a great experience for these up-and-coming young kids," said Pauma coach Jaime Lopez.

Pauma brought 24 athletes to the meet. "We only came with 12 athletes," said Vallecitos coach Ray Hanbeck.

"I'm just happy that we were able to do well with the kids that we did have. They were able to compete," Hanbeck said. "We were able to get first and second places in some of the events."

Subish had the winning shot put distance of 29 feet 3 1/2 inches. Pauma also took third in two other shot put divisions; Shanae Carrasco had a distance of 21 feet 1/2 inch in the seventh-grade girls competition and Roman Cardenas had an eighth-grade boys throw of 35 feet.

"We did really well in the shot put," Lopez said.

Rico won the eighth-grade girls 200-meter dash with a time of 31.21 seconds. "Considering especially all the competition she had to go against; she did fantastic. I'm very happy for her," Hanbeck said.

Azul Cervantes of Hamilton finished second at 31.39 seconds. Hailey Bennett of Julian had the third-place time of 32.01 seconds.

In the seventh-grade boys 200-meter race, Pauma's Azael Robles took third with a time of 33.16 seconds.

High jumpers are allowed three attempts at each height, and ties are broken based on misses at lower heights. Rico and Bennett both cleared 3'11", but Rico first missed at 3'10" and Bennett missed at 3'9", so Rico was the winner and Bennett earned second place for eighth-grade girls.

"She had never done high jump before," Hanbeck said of Rico. "She accomplished a lot."

In the eighth-grade boys high jump, Julian's Jayden Fernandez cleared 4'8" for first place while Jordan Anicete of Vallecitos was second with a height of 4'6". Julian's Mason Stanley was the seventh-grade boys winner with a height of 4'0" and Irvin Velazquez gave Vallecitos second place with a height of 3'11".

Although Paisley Mendenhall is a Julian seventh-grader, she competed in the eighth-grade girls 1,600-meter race and still won. Mendenhall finished her four laps in 6:33. Vallecitos eighth-grader Berenice Yanez had the second-place time of 6:42. "She was actually ahead. She had a really good lead against her, but Paisley set her pace," Hanbeck said.

"Berenice was able to keep up the same pace, which is commendable," Hanbeck said. "She still was not that far behind."

The Julian High School track is at 4,250 feet above sea level. Vallecitos Elementary School is at an elevation of 1,043 feet. "She trained at that altitude," Hanbeck said of Mendenhall. "It's much harder for someone who is coming from our area to be able to compete."

The actual seventh-grade girls 1,600-meter competition included a third-place time of 7:52 for Pauma's Yesenia Saldana.

Vallecitos did not take one of the top three positions in the seventh-grade boys metric mile, but fifth-grader James Sharkey finished fourth and fifth-grader Jerardo Moreno was the fifth runner across the finish line. "I am proud of the fifth-graders who are the future, and I'm looking forward to being able to coach them in the future," Hanbeck said.

In the eighth-grade boys 100-meter dash, Pauma's Christian Huerta tied Julian's Ricky Aceves for third with identical times of 13.53 seconds.

Pauma took second in two 4x100 relays. Cottonwood's seventh-grade boys had a winning time of 1:04 while the Pauma quartet of Brandon Zuniga, Jacob Hernandez, Daniel Bautista, and Robles finished in 1:05.

Hamilton's time of 1:03 won the eighth-grade girls relay. Pauma used girls in lower grades and Daniela Ochoa, Carrasco, Saldana, and fifth-grader Camila Vazquez had a time of 1:07.34 for second place. Julian's time of 1:07.84 placed the Timberwolves third.

"My kids gave it their all. They gave 100% from the beginning to end. They learned a lot about themselves, what they're capable of doing," Lopez said. "I'm proud of them."


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