Locals making strides

Track and field: FSHA enjoys best CIF finals, Prep meets goals.

May 24, 2010|By Gabriel Rizk

NORWALK — Having overachieved all year in putting together a highly competitive season that culminated in qualifying five athletes for the CIF finals, the members of the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy track and field team could have been happy just to be at the 2010 CIF Southern Section Track & Field Divisional Finals at Cerritos College on Saturday.

The Tologs came to race, though, and put a fitting exclamation point on the end of a surprising campaign with a fifth-place finish by sophomores Drew Washington and Stephanie Vargas and freshmen Daelyn Moon and Noelle Niederhaus in the Division IV 4x400-yard relay to close a day that also saw sophomore standout Paulina Antaplyan close out her rookie season with two personal records and another pair of fifth-place finishes in her individual events.

“We had some lofty goals, but we did it,” said Tologs Coach Eddie Gorton following his relay team’s finish in 3 minutes 57.96 seconds. “Our goal was to come in top-five and break four minutes. I’m very proud of them.”


The Tologs weren’t the only area team to see some progress from their athletes.

Thrower Melanie Samvalian, distance runners Cali King and Claudia Pham competed for Crescenta Valley High and Flintridge Prep hurdler Brooke Elby and distance runners Dot Silverman and Jason Bunn were also in action.

Hoover hurdler Joseph Roach even got an unexpected chance to race as an alternate.

Because Gorton employed a race-off between his five fastest sprinters in practice to determine the 4x400 lineup for the finals, it was the first time the quartet had raced together.

“When they said we got a 3:57, we were so excited,” Niederhaus said. “We worked really hard for it all week and it was worth it.”

The strong showing capped a season in which the Tologs had a best-ever finish in the Mission League, coming nine points short of winning a league title.

“It was a great way to end the season and I’m just so proud of this team because we put so much effort into it,” Moon said.

The 4x400 race was a fast one overall, as winner Serra broke the old division record by over five seconds with a 3:44.29.

“This feeling is so amazing,” Washington said.

Added Vargas: “This season’s been amazing.”

It was a close head-to-head race within the Division IV 1,600 between Silverman and Antaplyan.

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