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Lee wins Frontier Conference 100 championship, reaches CIF finals

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Bonsall High School junior Jeffrey Lee won the boys 100-meter dash at the Frontier Conference track and field championship meet May 4 at The O'Farrell Charter School and subsequently became the Legionnaires' first-ever track and field athlete to compete in the CIF San Diego Section finals.

"I'm super excited, super happy. It's a big accomplishment," said Bonsall coach Manuel Ramirez. "I'm proud of him."

The Frontier Conference had four cluster meets (a cluster meet involves all of a league or conference's schools), all at O'Farrell, prior to the league championship meet. The meet races are run in heats with the fastest times overall determining positions.

Lee finished first in the 100-meter dash at the first cluster meet March 23. In the second cluster meet April 6, Lee won both the boys 100-meter dash and the boys 200-meter dash. Lee was third in the 100-meter dash and second in the 200-meter dash at the third cluster meet April 12. He won the 100-meter race at the fourth cluster meet April 20 while taking third in the 200-meter dash.

Lee's winning time of 11.44 seconds April 20 set a personal record, which was broken at the conference championship meet when he finished in 11.39 seconds.

"Definitely a big win for Bonsall High School," Ramirez said.

Lee became the third Bonsall High School track and field athlete to win a Frontier Conference championship in an individual event. Bonsall's first-ever championship was in 2017 when Alex Green, Florian Semrau, Lawrence Starks and Zel Molino won the boys 4x400 relay at the conference championship meet.

In 2018, Greene became Bonsall's first individual event conference champion when he won the boys 400-meter dash in 52.99 seconds. The 2018 Legionnaires also won the boys 4x100, girls 4x100, and girls 4x400 relay championships. Bonsall's next Frontier Conference championship was won at the 2021 championship meet when Henrik Nylund had the winning time of 44.52 seconds in the boys 300-meter hurdles race.

Bonsall did not win a track and field championship in 2022. Ethan McFarland finished second in the boys 3,200-meter race. Lee was third in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, and the 400-meter run. This year, Lee finished second in the boys 200-meter dash, posting a time of 23.37 seconds.

Bonsall sophomore Samantha Kylestewa placed 12th in the girls 1,600-meter run at the conference championship meet. Her time of 7:30.21 set a personal record. "Over time she's really overcome everybody's expectations of where she was at," Ramirez said.

The league champion automatically qualifies for the CIF meet preliminaries while the best times or distances from throughout the section determine who else has lanes or field event flights at the CIF preliminaries.

The CIF San Diego Section went from two track and field divisions to three in 2021, and this year's Division III preliminaries were held May 13 at Canyon Hills High School (which was Serra High School prior to the rebranding). The athletes in each division preliminaries with the top nine times or distances in each event advanced to the CIF finals, which this year were held May 20 at Mount Carmel High School.

Lee also earned a lane in the 200-meter dash at the CIF Division III preliminaries, although his time of 24.00 seconds placed 24th. His 100-meter dash time of 11.50 seconds placed ninth to advance him to the finals.

In 2021, Nylund was fifth among 300-meter hurdlers in the Division III preliminaries, but the CIF finals were replaced by an Open Championship Meet, which invited each division champion and athletes with the next six fastest times or longest distances from all divisions. Lee thus became the first Bonsall track and field athlete to qualify for the CIF section final.

"Bonsall High School ended up putting its name out there," Ramirez said.

Lee was eighth among Division III boys in the 100-meter dash at the CIF final. His time of 11.31 seconds set a personal record.

Eighth place in an event is worth one team point, and Bonsall's boys shared 30th place among Division III schools.

Lee did not run for the Legionnaires as a freshman. He was on Bonsall's cross country team as a sophomore and joined the track and field program during the 2022 season. In the 2022 CIF preliminaries, Lee scratched out of the 400-meter run, was disqualified for starting too soon in the 200-meter dash, and had the 15th-place 100-meter dash time of 11.63 seconds.

"He is up and coming. I'm looking forward to the next season," Ramirez said.

 

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