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Trio of locals picks up wins at Tiger Invite

Track and field: South Pasadena, St, Francis and Crescenta Valley claim victories at third annual event Friday evening.

April 05, 2013|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com
  • St. Francis High's Caleb Simmeth won the 110-high hurdles in 15.30 seconds at the Tiger Track and Field Invite at South Pasadena High.
St. Francis High's Caleb Simmeth won the 110-high… (Tim Berger/Staff…)

SOUTH PASADENA — While the goals were twofold at Friday evening’s third annual South Pasadena High Tiger Track and Field Invite, achievements were more than plentiful for the several local schools and athletes who competed.

Blair, Crescenta Valley, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, Muir, Pasadena, St. Francis and South Pasadena all enjoyed measures of success, led by the host Tigers.

PHOTOS: South Pasadena Tiger Track and Field Invite

South Pasadena notched two varsity victories, including back-to-back wins from varsity 1,600-meter junior runners Helena Van Loan and Josh Wilson.

Van Loan, the 2011 All-Area cross-country Runner of the Year, was in the middle of the pack through two laps before climbing in front by the end of the third lap and expanding her lead in the final lap of a victory in a season-best time of 5 minutes, 22.23 seconds.

“I was kind of boxed in early in the race and had trouble breaking free,” Van Loan said. “Once I was able to get free, I made my move.”

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Similarly, Wilson found little elbow room over the first two laps before breaking free in the third lap en route to a victory in 4:28, which was about four seconds off his personal-best time.

“I felt like I had to win here. I had to defend my track and my home,” Wilson said. “This is the Tiger Invitational, so I had to win.”

While distance events served South Pasadena well, St. Francis senior Caleb Simmeth flew to a victory in the 110 hurdles.

Simmeth entered with a seeded mark of 14.90 and romped to a victory in 15.30, over a second a half ahead of the next closest runner, California’s Chris Rodriguez (16.88).

“I thought it was cool to race in a local event against people I’ve never ran against,” said Simmeth, who finished second in the 300 hurdles (40.72). “I’ve never competed against Crescenta Valley, so that was different.”

Simmeth outpaced Falcons senior Davit Shahamanyan (third, 17.13).

Despite the bronze effort, the Falcons weren’t denied a victory.

Crescenta Valley junior Kayleigh Carrillo also clinched a championship, winning the third heat of the 400 in an overall event-best time of 57.59, which topped her seeded mark of 58.75.

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