The complete results for the 2011 Bay League Track & Field Championships are now posted in the Meet Results section on the right. They include both the Prelims held on May 3rd and the Finals held on May 6 at Mira Costa High School. Lap splits are included for the 800 meters, 1600 meters and the 3200 meters races, with the exception of the Frosh/Soph Boys 3200. To go straight to the results page click here. To go straight to the Meet Results list of links for this season’s track meets, cllick here. To go straight to the list of links of photos taken at this season’s meets, click here. Scroll down to the bottom of the list to find the links to the Bay League Prelims and Finals pictures.
Finishing the season with team championships in both the boys and girls varsity divisions, it was now time to determine the individual champions for each event, and to compete for a chance to move on to the post-league CIF meets to take place over the next few weeks. These meets will culminate with the California State Championships on June 3rd and 4th in Clovis (basically, Fresno). There were many great performances by our Seahawks at all levels of competition, including 6 individual and 2 relay champions. 16 took second place, and 12 took third place, for a total of 36 top-3 finishers.
Many of our fine young athletes set PRs (Personal Records) in this meet. There were 10 PRs set in the Prelims, but true to the Seahawk do-or-die-when-it-matters-the-most competitiveness, 31 more PRs were set in the Finals. One runner set PRs in both the Prelims and the Finals. Alexis Thibodeau set a PR of 2:24.99 in the Varsity Girls 800 meters Prelims, and then came back in the Finals three days later to drop it down again to 2:23.79. One runner set PRs in two events. Siena Hsu ran a 6:04.46 PR in the Frosh/Soph Girls 1600 meters Prelims, and then came back that same evening and ran a 2:44.07 PR in the 800.
Our individual Bay League Champions all won their events in dramatic fashion:
Chris Ward won the Frosh/Soph Boys 400 meters coming from behind off the second turn to steadily eat up the distance between him and his rivals from Palos Verdes and Mira Costa, snatching first in the final meters with a PR of 54.24. The announcer said it was too close to call, but sitting above the finish line I could see that indeed it was our man Ward who took the honors. He then came back to anchor the 4X400 relay team of Dustin Herold, Antony Nasrollahy and Serge Ganous to victory, by again making a strong surge down the final stretch.
Mahmoud Hassanyn annihilated the competition with a 43 foot 6 inch triple jump in the Varsity Boys event to win by almost two feet. What else can you say? He was in a league of his own. Or should I say, that as far as the triple jump is concerned, Mahmoud owns the Bay League.
Aundrea Yancy won the Varsity Girls High Jump at 5 feet 2 inches over Palos Verdes superstar Keiko Hector, handing her her only individual event defeat of the day. One of the most versatile athletes on the team, Aundrea also took second in the Triple Jump with a 35 foot 10.5 inch PR, and sixth in the Shot Put with a 32 foot 4.5 inch put.
After running a blazing fast 4:21.86 1600 meters in the Varsity Boys event that only resulted in a third place finish, sophomore Evan Malone-White took the lead at the half-way point in the 800, and accelerated. Despite charging down the backstretch, he was challenged by Mira Costa 800 meter journeyman Brett Douville and soon the two seemed to be sprinting, side-by-side around the final turn. Evan emerged onto the straight-away back out in front, still in control, and at the finish line, still in the lead. His victory seemed greater than the fraction of a second difference between his 1:58.12 to teammate Dezhan Bland’s 1:58.40 second place, as he also powered past a spent Douville and his 1:58.88 third place. Then in the day’s last event, Evan ran the third leg in the winning 4X400 Relay.
Another Seahawk who emerged to dominate the competition was Derrick Duran who got out to a good start in the Varsity Boys 400 meters, and just kept improving from there. Making up the stagger on most of the Bay League’s finest going into the second turn, he hit the home stretch first and smoothly lengthened his lead over his struggling adversaries, cruising across the finish line and making his 50.48 PR look easy. Derrick later returned to the track and took third in the 200 with another PR, 22.32. But the day was not yet over as he also ran the lead-off leg on the first place 4X400 Relay.
The Varsity Boys 100 meters race was on and over in less than a dozen short seconds. At the gun, a line of sprinters that stretched across eight lanes dashed down the straight-away in front of the stands, shoulder to shoulder. As the line moved up the track it began to loose its shape and became jagged, displaying four sprinters from Peninsula, two from Leuzinger and one each from West and Redondo, as they began to separate. The depth of the Peninsula team was a reflection of the elite nature of their sprint program, but only one can win, and at 70 meters it was already apparent that on this day, in this place, that winner would be Christian Bassman. But as he increased his lead, the perfect picture of pure speed in human form, it was clear that on any day, in any place Christian Bassman would still win this race. His 10.79 PR was .22 of a second ahead of second place and double that ahead of third. And in a 100 meter sprint race like this, that’s a lot of ground. And how good is 10.79? Good enough to rank 13th in the state of California as of May 10th 2011. But it didn’t end there for Christian, he soon returned to take second in the 200 with a 22.16 PR, and followed that up by running the second leg of the winning 4X400 Relay.
The 4X400 Relay is the traditional final event in a track meet, its encore so to speak. Typically, the runners have all competed in some one or more prior events and now they return to go head-to-head once more. This time in teams. With no official team scoring for this meet, all the skin in the game belongs to those in the race. Running lead-off, Derrick Duran made a fast start and circled the track in 52.98. All the teams were so close together that if it were not for the three turn stagger keeping everyone in their lanes through the hand-off and the next turn, there would have been a multi-team collision as they broke to the inside trying to get the advantage. Fortunately, that extra turn in lanes kept them separated until the next straight-away. But it was still a crowded race as Christian Bassman took control of the second leg and charged down the back stretch, into the second turn, then moved up the home straight to hand off to Eric Malone-White, clocking a 50.84. Eric, with a mile and a half of racing already under his belt, took off like a man on fire. The race had been shaking out to a three team contest now that Palos Verdes had been dropped and Peninsula had lost contact. Mira Costa, West and Redondo had been running in close quarters, frequently and begrudgingly exchanging the lead between them. But now it was looking like Eric and the Costa runner were controlling the race with West hanging on for dear life. The spectators in the stadium had been brought to their feet and were cheering their runners on, almost as enthusiastically as the couple hundred screaming athletes still on the infield where, as they ran back and forth from the far side of the track to the near side and back. The announcer implored them to “stay behind the yellow line”, but no one heard him. Athletes and fans from all the teams crowded along the inside lane and pushed out onto the track, retreating only as the runners approached. Eric handed-off the baton, clocking a 51.87, and now this last leg was looking like a replay of the Costa dual meet from two weeks prior. Dezhan Bland, with a second place 4:18.51 1600 and a second place 1:58.40 800 already to his credit, was now looking for a win, and it showed as he pulled up behind the Costa runner coming around the first turn and followed him down the back stretch playing it smart. In the pandemonium that broke loose in that last half minute of the race, I don’t recall exactly what happened, but when the Costa runner came off the final turn, Dezhan went wide and gradually pulled up along side him, then kept on going. This was not to be a replay of the dual meet, but rather, it was going to be a case of setting-the-record-straight. It would still be close, but this time it was going to be Redondo first, Mira Costa second, and as Dezhan crossed the finish line, with a 52.95 split, there was no doubt as to who was the best of the South Bay. The final time, 3:28.64.
There were many other outstanding efforts throughout the two days of competition. Dustin Herold’s second place finish in the Frosh/Soph Boys 1600 with a PR 4:37.80 followed by his third place in the 800 in 2:07.00 were gutsy races showing a strong competitive drive and some serious stubbornness.
Ruby Davis started off by running on the second place Varsity Girls 4X100 Relay with teammates Kayla Patterson, Haley Miller and Shelby Bassman. She then took third in the 100 in 12.67, and second in the 200 in 26.04.
Lyndsey Mull and Cara Ulizio ran the Varsity Girls 1600 and 800 as if joined at the hip. They took second and third respectively in each race with almost no daylight between them. 5:03.01 to 5:03.98 in the 1600, and 2:21.14 to 2:21.46 in the 800. Cara then returned one more time to run the third leg of the third place 4X400 Relay.
In the Varsity Boys Shot Put, Redondo throwers took second through fourth place, with Taylor Bongiovanni putting the shot 47 feet and 1/2 inch for a slight PR, followed by Sam Ben-Amor’s 42′ 8″ put, and Lofti Ben-Amor’s 41′ 1/2″. Taylor also took second in the Discus with a 135′ 6″ throw followed by third place finisher Lofti Ben-Amor and his 116′ 4″ PR.
Sam Bodin scored two second places, a 17.82 in the Frosh/Soph Boys 110 Hurdles and a 5′ 2″ in the High Jump.
The Varsity Boys Pole Vault had outstanding marks by Max Niebergall in second clearing 13′ 0″, and Jhonathan Ruiz clearing 12′ 6″ for third. The excellence and consistency of the Redondo vaulters across all divisions in the Bay League became evident this season and was confirmed in by the depth of their rankings in this meet.
In a race that could have gone to anyone until the last 20 meters, Ryan Patrick burst from the pack in the Frosh/Soph Boys 200 right at the end, and took second with a 24.00 PR. Only .43 of a second separated second through fifth place.
Sophomore Erin South, who moved up from Frosh/Soph to the Varsity ranks mid-season, took third in the Varsity Girls 400 with a time of 61.21.
One of the great races of the day was that of Laura O’Neill in the Varsity Girls 3200. Running bunched inside the lead pack through the first mile, she took the lead on the fifth lap, notched up the pace and kept it there, stringing out the pack and turning it into a two girl race with 800 to go. Only Palos Verdes’ Rebecca Mehra could hold on, and only in the last 200 meters did she pass Laura to take the win. Laura’s second place finish in a PR time of 10:53.16 is currently ranked as the 32nd fastest in the state of California.
All told twenty-four Redondo Union athletes have qualified to advance to this Saturday’s CIF – Southern Section Division 2 Prelims at Moorpark High School, including four who are only on relay teams. Eleven have qualified in two events. A contingent of this size will make Redondo Union a recognizable presence at this meet and the sight of the red of Redondo will surely remind their peers on teams from all over Southern California that the competition will be first class. Come out to Moorpark and cheer our athletes on as they compete to qualify for the CIF – Southern Section Finals the following week.
Field events start at 11:00 am, track events start at noon.
Wear red, be loud, go Seahawks!
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