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Morgan, Khoury, Bernier, Rivera win league track and field championships

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Valley League team league track and field championships are decided based on the results of dual meets. Individual league championships are given to the winner of each event at the league meet, which this year took place May 6 at Valley Center High School. The league champions included four Fallbrook High School juniors.

Shea Morgan won both the girls 100-meter dash and the girls 200-meter dash. Maya Khoury had the highest girls pole vault height while Aiden Bernier won the boys pole vault. Jose Rivera had the fastest boys 800-meter time.

Morgan won the 100-meter dash in 12.39 seconds with Mission Hills sophomore Nayla Rosas placing second at 12.70 seconds. Morgan set a personal record of 25.93 seconds in the 200-meter dash; the second-place time of 26.22 seconds was posted by San Pasqual sophomore Nadia Miechowicz.

“Just an incredible performance overall the whole year,” Fallbrook head coach Marco Arias said of Morgan. “I knew she was fast. I didn’t know how special she was.”

This was Morgan’s first year participating in track and field. “She’s an amazing runner,” Arias said.

Morgan actually won three league championships this spring, as she was also on the girls lacrosse team which won the Valley League. “We really truly have to come to an agreement about sharing them,” Arias said of athletes participating in multiple sports during the same season. “I don’t mind sharing with anybody.”

Another Fallbrook junior, Jasmine Uresti, also split time between the girls lacrosse team and the track and field team during the spring. Arias had been hoping to entice Morgan to participate in both sports for the previous two years, and Uresti lured Morgan onto this year’s team. “She was already thinking of doing it, but having Jasmine come out just solidified it,” Arias said.

Uresti ran the girls 400-meter race at the league meet and placed third with a time of 1:03.19. Fallbrook’s third-place finishes also included the girls 4x100 relay team of senior Kilala Stone, Uresti, Morgan, and senior Hailey Reed; the quartet finished the race 51.32 seconds after it began.

Fallbrook took first and second in both the girls pole vault and the boys pole vault. Maya Khoury cleared 11’3”, which set a personal record. “I think that she’s less intimidated,” said Fallbrook pole vault coach Jim Curran.

“Her biggest competition is her sister,” Arias said.

The twin sister, junior Sahara Khoury, had a height of 10’3”. “They’re enjoyable to coach,” Arias said.

Sahara Khoury was deprived of Fallbrook’s two previous meets due to a sore back and a sprained ankle. “Sahara’s coming back from an injury,” Curran said.

The third-place and fourth-place girls, Valley Center juniors Kacey Tarlton and Roxana Contreras, had heights of 8’3”.

Bernier cleared 13’6” at the league meet. His relative lack of experience involves the pole he has been using to obtain greater heights. “He needs to get used to that bigger pole,” Curran said.

Arias believes that Bernier can set a school record before he graduates next year. “I’m very excited to see what he does,” Arias said.

The second-place distance of 11’6” was achieved by junior Damien Votaw. “Damien is going to figure it out,” Curran said.

Votaw’s height was still higher than the third-place height of 11’0” obtained by Ramona freshman Logan Barrera.

A high jumper or pole vaulter has three chances to clear each height and misses at that height or at lower heights are used as the tiebreaker. Three girls including Fallbrook sophomore Claire Bernier cleared 7’9” to share the fifth-highest distance; Bernier was given sixth place.

“It’s just remarkable what Jim Curran’s been able to do with these young athletes,” Arias said.

Rivera won the boys 800-meter race by less than a second; his time was 2:06.36 while San Pasqual sophomore Joshua Neal finished in 2:07.18. Arias noted that Rivera had goals at the beginning of the season. “We set up a plan for him to achieve some of those goals,” Arias said.

Rivera wanted to win the league championship in either the 800-meter race or the 1,600-meter run. Rivera and Arias agreed that Rivera had a better chance in the 800-meter competition, so Rivera scratched out of the metric mile to focus on the 800-meter event. “He went after it,” Arias said.

“He’s a workhorse,” Arias said. “He loves to train, loves to compete.”

The tiebreaker of previous missed attempts cost junior Sammy Carmona the boys high jump league championship. Carmona and Mission Hills senior Cayden How both cleared 6’4” with How being given first and Carmona taking second. Ramona junior Jamil Kassab had the third-place height of 5’8”.

During Carmona’s failed attempts to clear 6’6”, he knocked down the bar on his descent. “It was unfortunate. He cleared at 6’6” by at least two or three inches,” Arias said.

Carmona had not competed in the high jump prior to this year. “First year, that’s incredible,” Arias said.

The triple jump has no tiebreaker. Carmona and San Pasqual sophomore Curren Anderson each had distances of 38’6” to share third place. A triple jump distance of 35’2” gave Fallbrook senior Reese Holmes seventh.

Abby Petersen, who is a junior, also placed both second and third at the league meet. Mission Hills senior Anne Tedrow won the girls 1,600-meter race with a time of 5:39.56 while Petersen finished in 5:50.42. Petersen completed the 800-meter run in 2:32.03 while Tedrow placed second at 2:31.68.

Fallbrook senior Jade Boltinghouse was fifth in the 1,600-meter race at 6:04.07 and seventh in the 800-meter event with a time of 2:40.40. Fallbrook took both seventh and eighth in the 1,600-meter run with junior Avery Lynas completing her laps in 6:09.41 and sophomore Cynthia Mills setting a personal record of 6:09.60.

The winning time in the boys 110-meter hurdles race was 15.42 seconds, which was posted by Ramona sophomore Sterling Bryant, while Fallbrook senior Drew Tegt finished second at 15.79 seconds and Mission Hills junior Ivan Huerta was third and had a time of 15.88 seconds.

Tegt finished the 300-meter hurdles in 41.92 seconds for third place. Mission Hills won the boys 4x400 relay in 3:38.04 while Carmona, Holmes, Rivera, and Tegt had the second-place time of 3:40.01.

San Pasqual won the girls 4x400 relay in 4:20.12. Fallbrook’s quartet of junior Brittany Fabry, Reed, Uresti, and Petersen earned second place by finishing in 4:24.16. Reed was third in the girls triple jump with a distance of 30 feet 1 1/2 inches. The girls 3,200-meter run included sophomore Lucia Mochel crossing the finish line 13:33.29 after the start of the race for fifth place.

A time of 11.21 seconds gave senior Andrew Williams fourth in the boys 100-meter dash. The boys 4x100 relay team of junior Chris Bausch, Williams, junior Javier Valdez and freshman Grant Hall had a time of 45.34 seconds which was worth fifth place. A personal record of 55.10 seconds gave sophomore Oliver Kurnik seventh in the boys 400-meter run.


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