Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Warriors 12th among Division II boys at CIF track and field meet

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Fallbrook High School’s boys track and field team concluded the Warriors’ 2022 season with a 12th-place finish among Division II schools at the CIF track and field finals May 21 at Mount Carmel High School.

Position points given to each division’s top eight athletes or relay teams for each event determine team standings. Fallbrook had 24 points. Lincoln and San Pasqual shared 10th place with 25 points apiece. Hilltop had the 13th-place total of 22 points.

Both Washington brothers took third place among Division II boys with junior Marcus Washington having a triple jump of 42 feet 7 1/4 inches and sophomore Marquise Washington achieving a long jump of 21 feet 6 1/2 inches. An injury limited senior Max Meisterlin to a height of 6’0” in the high jump, but that still placed third in the division. A pole vault of 12’11” gave sophomore Aiden Bernier fourth among Division II boys. Fallbrook’s 4x100 relay quartet of sophomore Chris Bausch, junior Andrew Williams, Marquise Washington, and Marcus Washington placed eighth after finishing in 44.08 seconds.

The athletes in each division preliminaries with the top nine times or distances in each event advanced to the CIF finals. The CIF Division II preliminaries took place May 14 at University City High School. Meisterlin placed first in the preliminaries with a high jump of 6’2”. Marcus Washington had the third-place triple jump distance of 43’0”. Bernier had the sixth-place pole vault of 12’11”. Marquise Washington had a long jump of 20 feet 9 1/2 inches for seventh place. Bausch, Williams, Marquise Washington, and Marcus Washington placed eighth in the 4x100 relay by completing their lap in 43.87 seconds.

The Washington brothers also both ran the 100-meter dash in the preliminaries although Marcus Washington was 13th at 11.23 seconds and Marquise Washington had a time of 11.30 seconds for 19th place. Marquise Washington also ran the 200-meter dash in the preliminaries and finished in 23.05 seconds for 15th place. Drew Tegt, who was a sophomore, competed in both boys hurdles races and had a 110-meter time of 17.07 seconds for 13th place and a 300-meter time of 46.43 seconds to place 26th.

The pole vault preliminaries also included Fallbrook sophomore Danien Votaw, whose height of 10’5” gave him 18th place. Both preliminaries throwing events included junior Kaleb Collings, who had the 17th-place shot put distance of 40’4” and the 24th-place discus throw of 95’7”.

In the 1,600-meter preliminaries senior Dawson Fluck closed out his high school career with the 23rd-place time of 4:51.63.

The pole vaulters from all three divisions with the 13 highest overall heights at the preliminaries competed in the “A” flight in the CIF finals. Bernier was in the “A” flight, and the bar was initially set 11’5” above the ground. Bernier cleared that distance and then cleared 11’11” and 12’5”.

The next height was the same 12’11” which was Bernier’s distance in the preliminaries. That is also Bernier’s personal record, and he matched that at the CIF finals. “It was a great feeling being able to do that,” Bernier said.

“It’s always hard to get your PR and have done it now twice in a row,” said Fallbrook pole vault assistant coach Jim Curran.

The bar was then set at 13’5”, although Bernier was unsuccessful on all three attempts. “I was hoping to set a new PR of 13’5”. I didn’t, but I was happy with my performance,” he said. “I’m not disappointed at all.”

Mount Carmel junior Christian Saia also cleared 12’11” but not 13’5”. The tiebreaker of misses at lower distances gave Bernier fourth place and Saia fifth.

“I was very happy,” Bernier said. “The CIF meet was a very, very fun day.”

The CIF finals meet was Bernier’s 10th of the season. He began 2022 by clearing 12’0” at the March 24 dual meet at home against Escondido. He won the Valley League championship meet May 6 with a height of 12’3”. His height was at least 12’6” in the other eight meets including the CIF preliminaries and finals.

“He cleared over 12 feet 10 times this season, so clearing 12’11” at the biggest meet of the year was a huge season,” Curran said.

“I’m thrilled about that. He’s real consistent,” Curran said. “He’s got as good a plant as any kid I’ve ever seen.”

Curran believes that a lack of experience prevented Bernier from clearing 13’5”. “It’s doable on that pole. He just hasn’t had enough jumps,” Curran said.

“As a sophomore competing in the ‘A’ flight of the CIF finals is quite an accomplishment,” said Fallbrook head coach Marco Arias.

“It’s a major accomplishment,” Curran said of a sophomore clearing 12’11”. “He’s a very good kid and easy to coach.”

Bernier’s height was the third-highest for a Division II freshman or sophomore and the fifth-highest for any pole vaulter in ninth or 10th grade. University City freshman Kai Anderson had a height of 13’11” for third place in Division II. Sage Creek sophomore Jacob Emerson cleared 14’11” for first place in Division II and a share of first place overall with Division I winner Matt Rydbeck of Rancho Bernardo High School.

No Division III pole vaulter cleared 12’5”. Bernier’s height of 12’11” placed 11th overall. He noted that seeing four pole vaulters clear at least 14’5” and six others clear at least 13’5” was a benefit. “It gave me a different viewpoint,” he said. “It’s going to be very helpful later on.”

“It was a great learning experience for him,” Arias said.

Placing first in the preliminaries put Meisterlin into the high jump “A” flight, but he strained his leg muscle during one of the jumps. “It didn’t heal up enough,” said Fallbrook jumps assistant coach Donovan Trumble.

The finals were seven days after the preliminaries. “It just wasn’t enough time,” Trumble said. “For that kind of injury to come around at that time, it’s a real bummer.”

Trumble opted not to recommend adjustments at the CIF final. “Because he’s a senior I didn’t want to mess with his technique at all when he was preparing,” Trumble said. “He pretty much coaches himself.”

Meisterlin initially cleared 5’10” at the CIF finals and then 6’0”. “He was struggling at six feet,” Trumble said.

“I didn’t make anything after that,” Meisterlin said. “I was not happy.”

The next height was 6’2”, and Meisterlin was not able to clear that on May 21. “I had some problems with my timing as well,” he said.

The injury affected his ability to plant prior to his jump. “He just didn’t have a lot of oomph,” Trumble said. “It was just pretty disappointing for him. He had worked pretty hard to get to that point.”

Two other Division II high jumpers cleared 6’0” but not 6’2”. Because Meisterlin had fewer misses he was given third for Division II. “He wasn’t able to perform as well as he liked. He still managed to get third,” Arias said.

Meisterlin set a school record of 6’7” at the league meet, so had he been healthy at the CIF finals, he might have had one of the top three overall distances.

“He was peaking at the right time,” Arias said.

“He had a fantastic season overall,” Arias said. “To set a school record is quite an accomplishment.”

Meisterlin actually attended Oasis High School and competed for Fallbrook under the CIF San Diego Section's Multi-School Teams Status policy which allows athletes from certain schools to compete for a specified other team.

Marquise Washington set a personal record with his long jump distance. “He was in a good group, handled himself pretty well,” Arias said.

“I’m glad I PRed in this event in my last meet,” Washington said.

(The Washington brothers are moving to Mississippi, so the CIF finals meet was their last as Fallbrook High School athletes.)

The second-place Division II distance of 21 feet 8 1/4 inches was achieved by Valhalla junior A.J. Cornthwaite. Mount Carmel senior Ugo Ezeokoli won the Division II championship with a jump of 21 feet 9 1/2 inches.

Washington’s jump of 21 feet 6 1/4 inches placed 10th overall. The third-place overall distance of 22 feet 7 1/2 inches made Eastlake senior Justin Cardoza the final state qualifier.

“Marquise would have had to have an amazing day to make it,” Trumble said.

“He competed to the best of his ability,” Arias said.

The 2022 season was the first as jumpers for both Washington brothers. “Both of them had never done it before,” Trumble said.

Marcus Washington had a triple jump of 42 feet 6 1/2 inches in the April 28 dual meet at Ramona, which was his personal record prior to winning the Valley League championship meet with a distance of 43 feet 4 inches. Although he had a triple jump of 43 feet 0 inches in the preliminaries, he bruised his heel. “He just wasn’t the same,” Trumble said. “The bruise on his heel kind of took him out of it.”

Washington and Point Loma senior Nathan Rohnow both had distances of 42 feet 7 1/2 inches although Rohnow was given second place for Division II and Washington was awarded third place. Mount Carmel senior Darrin Parham had the superlative Division II jump of 44 feet 1 1/2 inches. The distance Rohnow and Washington achieved was 10th overall.

“Marcus came along pretty quickly in the triple jump,” Trumble said. “We’re going to miss that. It’s going to be hard to find another 43-foot triple jumper.”

Chris Bernal holds the school triple jump record at 47 feet 5 3/4 inches. Bernal was a senior in 2012 when he set that record.

“This is my first year of triple jumping, and I’m feeling good about it,” Washington said.

“He’s athletically gifted and so is Marquise,” Arias said. “We’re going to be sorry to see them leave.”


Reader Comments(0)

Rendered 02/27/2024 03:12