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Khoury twins are two highest girls pole vaulters at league meet

For the fourth consecutive year, Fallbrook High School had the two best girls pole vault heights at the Valley League track and field championship meet.

This year’s meet took place May 3 at Valley Center High School. The Khoury twins, who are seniors, had the two highest girls pole vaults. Sahara Khoury cleared 11’0” and Maya Khoury had a height of 10’6”.

“It’s delightful,” said Fallbrook pole vault coach Jim Curran.

“I’m very happy,” Sahara Khoury said. “It was definitely satisfying to me.”

The Khoury twins placed first and second in the league championship meet the day before their 18th birthday. The lifelong Fallbrook residents were born on May 4, 2006; Sahara is 10 minutes older than Maya.

“They’re not big girls like some of the other girls in the county,” Curran said. “They’re both very strong.”

In the twins’ freshman year at Fallbrook High School, the Warriors had the top four girls pole vault heights at the 2021 Valley League championship meet. Sahara Khoury took second with a height of 9’6” while Maya Khoury cleared 9’0” for fourth place.

Fallbrook had the top three girls pole vault heights at the 2022 Valley League meet. Maya Khoury had a height of 10’6” for second and Sahara Khoury had the third-place height of 9’0”.

Rose Wagner, who graduated from Fallbrook High School in 2022, won the Valley League girls pole vault championship both in 2021 and in 2022. In 2023, Maya Khoury cleared 11’3” to win the league championship and Sahara Khoury had a height of 10’3” for second.

A high jumper or pole vaulter has three chances to clear each distance, and misses at that distance or at lower distances are used as the tiebreaker.

This year’s Valley League boys competition lasted until the final running event, with seven boys clearing 12’0” and four boys clearing 13’0” before Fallbrook’s Aiden Bernier cleared 13’6” and Fallbrook’s Damien Votaw won the meet with a height of 14’0”, so the girls pole vault competition didn’t begin until all running events had concluded.

“Given the circumstances, we did really well,” Maya Khoury said.

Nine girls cleared at least 8’0” including Bernier’s sister, Fallbrook freshman Brooke Bernier, who placed eighth with her 8’0” mark. Four girls cleared 8’6” but not 9’0”. Valley Center junior Grace Hawranik was the only girl not from Fallbrook with a 9’0” height, but she was unable to clear 9’6”.

Not only did both Khoury sisters clear 9’6”, but they also both cleared 10’0” and 10’6”.

“I thought it was pretty cool to have Fallbrook finish first and second in the girls and boys for pole vault,” Maya Khoury said.

Maya Khoury was unable to clear 11’0”. Sahara Khoury missed her first two attempts at 11’0” but went over the bar on her third try. “I was on the right pole. My step was correct,” she said.

“She ended up having a great day,” said Fallbrook head coach Marco Arias.

Neither Khoury sister set a personal record at the league meet. On March 9, Maya Khoury cleared 11’7” to take sixth at the Don Jones Bronco Invitational meet at Rancho Bernardo High School, and she matched that April 19 at the Escondido Invitational to win that meet while Sahara Khoury was second with a personal record of 11’1”. A height of 11’6” at the league meet would have given Sahara Khoury a personal record.

Individual league championships are given to the winner of each event at the league meet. Team championships are based on the results of dual meets. Fallbrook’s girls were 1-4 in dual league meets this year. “In the events we could fill, we were pretty competitive,” Arias said.

Position points are given for first, second, and third in each of the 14 individual events and for first only in each of the two relay races. An athlete may compete in up to four events at a meet.

Fallbrook freshman Kaylee Fulks had two second-place finishes including a relay race at the league meet. San Pasqual junior Nadia Miechowicz won the girls 400-meter race in 58.60 seconds and Fulks finished in 1:03.51. The 4x400 relay team of senior Lacy Fabry, senior Abby Petersen, freshman Natalie Pineda, and Fulks had the second-place time of 4:24.28.

“I’m really happy,” Arias said of Fulks.

“She showed her potential,” Arias said. “She’s only going to get stronger and wiser as far as race strategy.”

Fabry finished fourth in the 400-meter race which took her 1:03.81.

Petersen had Fallbrook’s other second-place girls mark, taking 5:35.92 for the 1,600-meter race. Her 800-meter time of 2:29.98 placed third.

“I felt good about where she ended up,” Arias said. “She had a wonderful career, a good career. She just got everything out of her abilities that she can.”

The only other Fallbrook girls senior, Avery Lynas, completed the 1,600-meter race in 5:53.81 for sixth and the 800-meter event in 2:44.91 for 10th.

Three of Fallbrook’s girls are juniors, and all placed in the top 10 in one of their events. Brianna Lucchesi had the eighth-place triple jump of 27 feet 9 1/2 inches while placing 12th in the 200-meter dash at 28.64 seconds and 13th in the long jump with a distance of 13’8”. Cynthia Mills had a 1,600-meter time of 5:57.09 for ninth place and finished the 800-meter race in 2:45.41 for 11th place. Danielle Roberts threw the discus 80’3” to earn ninth place and had the 16th-longest shot put distance of 21’8”.

Fallbrook’s only female sophomore on the team, Yamilee Rico, was seventh in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 19.53 seconds and had the 10th-place time of 56.91 seconds in the 300-meter hurdles.

The all-freshman 4x100 relay team of Shailyn Cope, Fulks, Pineda, and Karmen Barksdale finished fifth with a lap of 53.17 seconds. Barksdale took sixth in the 100-meter dash with a time of 13.36 seconds while Cope was seventh at 13.37 seconds. Fulks had the ninth-place time of 28.17 seconds in the 200-meter dash.

“Got a great group,” Arias said. “The kids are doing the work.”

Author Bio

Joe Naiman, Writer

Joe Naiman has been writing for the Village News since 2001


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