Track & Field 2015

Ron Smith, Girls 4 x 400 Relay Are State Champions!

June 7th, 2015

4x4 - 2

To cap of what has been nothing short of a remarkable 2015 season, triple jumper Ron Smith and the Girls 4 x 400 meter relay team of Avi Wilson-Perteete, Kenady Jackson, Zoie Campbell and Chloe Jenkins won California State Championships on Saturday in Clovis.

For Ron, a San Diego State bound footballer competing in the last track & field meet of his career, his victory was well-deserved and hard fought. Behind to several of his competitors in the first 5 rounds, he pulled it together on his very last jump… sailing a wind-legal 49’ ¼” to eek out a 1/2 “ win. Ron becomes the first Panther to win an individual state championship since Trinity Wilson in 2011… and the first boy since Ed Wright in 2004.

For the vaunted girls 4 x 400 squad, their victory wasn’t nearly as close as Ron’s but in many ways more historic. Their win is only the 4th by a Northern California school in the 40 years that the CIF has contested girls track & field at the state level; it ranks as the 3rd fastest time ever run by a girls team in the history of the North Coast Section; and it represents the only relay state championship in Saint Mary’s school history.

Coach Jay Lawson added some perspective after the meet. “Only 1 Northern California school won a state championship on the track this weekend… at it was us! How special is that?”

Special indeed. Only 2 individual athletes from the North Coast Section won championships… and Ron Smith was one of those.

** Watch the Girls 4×400 Relay Win here **

** Watch Dyestat’s Interview with Ron Smith here **

** Watch Dyestat’s Interview with Girl’s 4 x 400 here **

In addition to the two state championships, several athletes were able to compete their way from Friday’s qualifying rounds into Saturday’s finals. Among them, sophomore Avi Wilson-Perteete shattered the school record in the 800 meters… running 2:09.31; freshman Kali Hatcher not only made the triple jump final but narrowly missed earning herself a medal… settling for 7th place overall. Long jumpers Ma’ane Mosley and Sanjay Kettels both made the final… as did the boys 4 x 400 team of Marquis Mahone-Chambers, Sanjay, Tamarick Pierce and Cameron James… who ran 3:17.87 in qualifying before eventually finishing 8th in the final.

In sum, what a year 2015 was. TCAL, Bayshore, and North Coast Section team titles preceding 2 individual state championships. Congratulations Panthers!!

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Track & Field Banquet Program

June 2nd, 2015

** Click Here to Access The 2015 Track & Field Banquet Program **

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School Records Smashed; State Bests Established as Panthers Dominate NCS Meet of Champions!

May 30th, 2015

B4x4(III)

“Our team was nothing less than spectacular,” exclaimed coach Jay Lawson after the Panthers’ off-the-charts performance at this weekend’s North Coast Section Meet of Champions. “We kept getting one PR after another…. one great jump, then another great time, then another huge win…. we never slowed down, never gave up, never lost sight of our goals… and the results were phenomenal.”

The record-setting stampede began on Friday with an impressive 1-3 finish in the boys triple jump. San Diego State footballer-to-be Ron Smith captured the victory on his first jump – bounding 48’11” to secure a 2 foot win. Teammate Malik Stinson needed all six of his jumps to claim a spot…. finally stamping his ticket to State on his very last jump. In the other field event final on Friday, Kali Hatcher hopped, stepped and jumped her way to the #2 triple jump in school history… as well as theGLJ 5th farthest jump in the U.S. by a freshman this season… finishing at 39’8¾”.   Clearly Friday was a huge day for Coach Rogers’ jump squad.

On Saturday, the performance onslaught continued with the finals in the running events being contested. The first event, the girls 4 x 100 relay, would serve as a precursor to things to come for the Panthers. The quartet of Ma’ane Mosley, Kenady Jackson, Giauna Nu’man, and UCLA-bound senior Chloe Jenkins raced their way to a huge 46.77 win… establishing a new school record in the process. “The race played out very well for them,” explained coach Lawson. We had O’Dowd inside of us and Deer Valley outside… so we had teams pushing and pulling our runners simultaneously. Ma’ane gave up nothing to any of the other first runners… and at that point I knew something special was about to happen. Kenady and Giauna competed great and their baton passes were excellent. Then, when Chloe got the stick in front, I knew we were home free.”

** Watch the girls 4×100 relay here **

** Watch the boys 4x 100 relay here **

After the 4×100 win, the day would continue to shine. Ma’ane Mosley, who last year was the long jump runner-up by a mere ½ inch, made her final MOC memorable. After a 19’2” opening jump, followed by a hug foul, she uncorked a 20’0” jump in the third round that not only blew away the competition but broke the school record by 8 inches. She now has the 4th farthest jump in California heading into this weekend’s State Meet.

Chloe Jenkins also broke her own school record in the girls 400 (55.23), finishing third, while sophomore Avi Wilson-Perteete finished 2nd in the girls 800 with a massive 4 second PR. Her 2:11.95 ranks 3rd in school history and was 3/1000ths of a second from first!

Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 1.01.19 PM
(Dan Honda/Bay Area News Group)

The final event for the MOC Champions girls was their best. The team of Avi, Kenady, senior Zoie Campbell, and Chloe out-did even the most optimistic of predictions. Their 3:43.97 blew away the previous school record and established themselves as the fastest team in California!

Not to be outdone, the boys team finished a mere 6 points from first place. The foursome of Ron Smith, Kameron Jackson, Tamarick Pierce and Marquis Chambers ran their seasonal best in the 4 x 100 (42.14) while capturing a State Meet birth. Later, Tamarick and Marquis teamed with sophomore Sanjay Kettles (who unleashed a huge 23’5” in the long jump to earn 2nd and a State Meet spot) and junior Cameron James to win the vaunted 4 x 400 relay. “Of all the events, that’s the one that most surprised me,” said coach Lawson. “Not because I doubted those guys, but because they so thoroughly dominated the race. We’ve run many races this season and have not really been close to winning a big 4×400 race. So this was special. I am really proud of how those guys stepped up to the challenge and competed.”

Finally, a State Meet qualifying spot was also earned by sophomore De’Jah Robinson in the girls 300 hurdles. Her time of 45.60 ranks in the top 5 in school history and bodes well for her future as a Panther. “I was really proud of all 4 of my 300 hurdlers today,” said hurdle coach Halilh Guy afterwards. “We had a freshman (Kali), two sophomores (Miles Joyner, De’Jah) and a senior (Ron Smith) make the finals of the Meet of Champions… with De’Jah advancing. I’d say the future looks pretty.”

Indeed, the future does look good, this past weekend looked spectacularly good … but the present is still here and filled with huge possibility. Good luck to the 15 girls and boys who qualified for the State Championships this weekend in Clovis. Go Panthers!

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Panthers Girls Win NCS Bayshore Championship; Boys 2nd!

May 25th, 2015

Zoie 400

This past Saturday, both boys and girls teams had an outstanding meet, with the girls defending their NCS Bayshore Area, defeating rival track powers James Logan and Bishop O’Dowd. Final team scores were Saint Mary’s 99 – James Logan 84 – Bishop O’Dowd 73.

   Meanwhile, the boys team performance was equally as impressive. The Panthers final team score of 77 was second behind James Logan’s 104 and ahead of Castro Valley’s 69. Meet highlights included:Chloe 4x400

Chloe Jenkins double win in the 400 and 800. Her 400 win in 55.30 set a new school and is currently the 6th best time in California.   Chloe also narrowly won the 800, with teammate Avi Wilson-Perteete a mere .01 second behind. Avi’s time (2:15.99) is the 3rd best in school history.

The Girls 4 x 400 relay team, comprised of Avi Wilson-Perteete, Kenady Jackson, Zoie Campbell and Chloe Jenkins, finished a full 13 seconds ahead of second place San Leandro in posting a dominant win. Earlier, the 4 x 100 team (Giauna Nu’man, Kenady, Zoe Roberts and Chloe) finished 2nd in the 4 x 100 relay.

Kenady Jackson won the 200 25.20 and was 3rd in the 400, 56.96, both 3rd fastest in school history.

Freshman sensation Kali Hatcher was second in the triple jump at 38’7½”, which is the 3rd best jump in school history and ranks her in the top 3 of all triple jumpers heading into this weekend’s North Coast Section Meet of Champions. She also won the 300 meter hurdles in 45.99, good for 5th best all time is school history.

Ron Smith continued his triple jump dominance, winning in 48’9”. Later, Ron placed second in the 300 meter hurdles while earlier Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 8.29.34 AMplacing second in the 110 hurdles. To complete his day, Ron teamed with Kameron Jackson, Tamarick Pierce and Marquis Chambers to win the 4×100 relay.

Sophomore Sanjay Kettles pulled a bit of a shocker in the boys long jump, winning by a scant ¼” – 22’8¾” to 22’8½”. Sanjay’s jump makes him the leading qualifier heading into MOC this weekend.

 Finally, sophomore Owen Woo dropped over 20 seconds in the 3200 to qualify for the Meet of Champions. His 9:45 two-mile time also places him 3rd all-time in school history.

 Congratulations to all the athletes on a great season thus far. The Panthers will be back at it this Friday and Saturday at UC Berkeley. The top 3 in each event this weekend qualify for the California State Championships the following weekend!

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Panthers Wrap Up Big Week of Track & Field!

May 3rd, 2015

 

The Panthers were back on track this week with 3 meets: the penultimate TCAL meet against Albany & El Cerrito on Thursday, the annual Warren/Eaton Relays hosted by Acalanes High School on Friday, and the highly touted Sacramento Meet of Champions on Saturday.  “We don’t normally schedule 3 meets back-to-back like this,” said coach Jay Lawson.   But each meet served a purpose and very few athletes competed in all three.”

  On Thursday, both Panther boys and girls teams extended their undefeated TCAL season by defeating Albany & El Cerrito.  For the boys, junior Malik Stinson won the long and triple jump; senior Ron Smith won both hurdle races; and senior Mickey Tessema, just back from a series of nagging injuries, won a spirited 800 meter race to lead the Panthers to victory. 

  On the girls side, a trio of double winners led the victory charge with senior Chloe Jenkins running her way to wins in the 400 and 800, junior Gianna Nu’man sprinting to a double victory in the 100 and 200, and freshman Kobi Thompson bounding out to wins in the triple and high jump.

  On Friday, the Panthers sent a team of mostly freshman/sophomore athletes to the Warren/Eaton Relays.  This meet features many teams from the Contra Costa “Tri-Valley” area.  While the competition may have been unfamiliar, many of the results were the same with the Panthers picking up several outstanding performances.  Freshman Kali Hatcher continued to show impressive potential  while winning the triple jump with a more-than-dominant 36’9 ½.  Her winning jump places here 5th on the current NCS leader board.  The girls 4 x 100 team of Janelle Ingram, Tori O’Sullivan, Xandra Kirkman and Kali also made quite an impression in winning their race going away… crossing the line in 50.65… a scant .08 seconds slower than the winning varsity time!  Sophomore hurdler Mile Joyner, freshman jumper Robert Wood, freshman thrower Gracie Arevalo, and sophomore distance runner Owen Woo also performed notably on Friday.

  Saturday’s meet in Sacramento was reserved for the elite track & field athletes from around Northern California.  Each year, the Sacramento Meet of Champions culminates the high school invitational season with an elite level meet that acts as a preview for the impending post-season.  This year’s meet was no different… with the Panthers right in the heart of action.  Both boys and girls relay teams served up season-best performances on Saturday evening.  The girls 4 x 100 team of Gianna Nu’man, Kenady Jackson, Zoe Roberts and Chloe Jenkins finished 3rd in 48.12, while the 4 x 400 team finished 2nd in 3:48.60.  Both performances rank on the school’s all-time list and both were received very well by the coaching staff.

  “Our girls stepped up and ran very well tonight,” said coach Lawson.  “We had to move the relay order around and had to sub Kali in for Avi in the 4 x 400 and our girls handled it well.  I am very pleased with how we’re running right now.”

  Equally as impressive were the boys relay teams.  The 4 x 100 team of Ron Smith, Kameron Jackson, Tamarick Pierce, and Marquis Chambers devoured their previous seasonal best by running 42.15, which was good for 3rd.  Later, the two seniors, Ron & Marquis, teamed with junior Cameron James and sophomore Sanjay Kettles to finish 4th in a spirited 4 x 400 competition. 

Not to be outdone, earlier in the meet Ron Smith won the triple jump with a leap of 47’6”… with teammate Malik Stinson in 3rd at 44’7½”. 

Next up for the Panthers will be their final TCAL meet on Thursday against Hercules.  The meet, originally scheduled at Hercules, has been moved to Saint Mary’s.  Starting time is 4:00 pm.   

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Girls Medley Relay Runs to #2 Time in U.S. at Arcadia

April 11th, 2015

  

When the girls sprint medley relay team stepped on the track at the nationally renowned Arcadia Invitational on Friday night, coach Jay Lawson was hoping the team could establish a new seasonal best and was interested to see how the team would fare against many of the best team’s from California and around the country. 

  “Thus far, our girls had proven that they were amongst the best teams in Northern California, but we had yet to race the teams from Southern California,” said coach Jay Lawson.  “I’d say any questions our coaching staff had going into the race have certainly been answered.”  Indeed, coach Lawson’s praise may have even been under-stated.  The team of Ma’ane Mosley, Kenady Jackson, Avi Wilson-Perteete and Chloe Jenkins ran the 2nd fastest time in the United States while finishing 2nd in the “Invitational” section of the 200-200-400-800 relay.  For an encore, senior Zoie Campbell replaced Ma’ane Mosley to comprise the 4 x 400 team, which won the “Seeded” section” race in a California #3 time of 3:48.29. 

   **  Watch the girls 4 x 400 relay here **

   ** Watch the girls Sprint Medley relay here **

The girls relay teams, while impressive, were not the only headliners for the Panthers at Arcadia.  Senior Ron Smith backed up his Stanford Invitational win with a third place Arcadia finish in the boys triple jump.  Teammate Malik Stinson, making his inaugural Arcadia appearance, bounded his way to a huge 46’1” PR while winning the “Rated” section boys triple jump.  Fellow jumper Ma’ane Mosley made her 2015 invitational debut with a 4th place “Seeded” section finish in the long jump. 

  Other highlights from the weekend included a 2:14.01 – 800 meters from Chloe Jenkins, an NCS #3 time from the boys 4 x 400 team of Marquis Chambers, Kameron Jackson, Sanjay Kettles and Cameron James, and an NCS list-leading 1:42.98 from the girls 4 x 200 team. 

  Overall, the team showed very well at Arcadia Invitational.  “Arcadia is THE most competitive high school meet in the country,” said coach Lawson.  “Teams from all over California and the United States come here to test themselves and their teams.  For our school of 600 to be able to line up alongside the nation’s best says a lot about the state of our program.  As a staff, we are quite pleased about where we are right now.”

 Up next for the Panthers is the Woody Wilson Invitational at UC Davis on Friday, April 17th.   

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Ron Smith, Girls Relays Lead Big Day at Stanford Invitational

April 5th, 2015

 

Bolstered by a California state-leading triple jump by Ron Smith and two NCS-leading relay wins from the girls squad, the Panthers emerged from the Stanford Invitational even more highly regarded and highly touted by the Northern California high school track world than before.

  “We had an incredible meet today,” said coach Jeff Rogers.  “Even without a couple of kids who are nursing injuries, our team made quite a statement.” 

  Indeed, and no other statement rang as loud as Ron Smith’s.  After bounding out to a state-leading 48’6” early in the competition, he stretched that mark even further in the 5th round, finally touching the sand at 49’3”… cementing him as a state meet favorite as well as moving him up #4 all-time in school history. 

 Joining Ron on the top podium spot Saturday were both of the girls sprint relay teams.  The 4 x 100 team of Ma’ane Mosley, Kenday Jackson, Alex O’Sullivan and Giauna Nu’man races their way to the day’s fastest time, clocking a season best 48.52 in the heats and 48.63 in the final.  “Both races surpassed our previous season best,” said coach Jay Lawson. 

 

Later, the team of Avi Wislon-Perteete, Kenady Jackson, Zoie Campbell and Chloe Jenkins sent a mid-season message to the rest of Northern California that it is the team to beat in the girls 4 x 400… clocking 3:54.10 to win by 5 seconds.  The  4x 400 capped a busy day for Chloe, who earlier ran an NCS-leading and seasonal best 2:13.76 to finish 3rd in the girls 800.  Less than 2 hours later, she ran 56.03 in the girls open 400 to place 2nd … missing the top  prize by a scant .14 seconds. 

 Five other seasonal bests were notched on Saturday.  Juniors (and brother & sister) Kenady and Kameron Jackson each scored PR’s in their best events… Kenady in the open 400 (58.73) and Kameron in the boys 100 (10.99).  Senior Marquis Chambers-Mahon flirted with breaking the 50 second barrier in the open 400 before finally succumbing…. still finishing in a lifetime best 50.16.  Triple jumper Malik Stinson established his 2015 best when he bounced 43’7” in the first round of the boys triple jump… and the boys quartet of Kameron Jackson, Tamarick Pierce, Cameron James and Ron Smith finished 3rd in the boys 4 x 100 in a season best 42.77.

 Overall, Stanford offered a mid-season glimse of the quality and depth of the 2015 squad.  7 different girls combined to win both sprint relays, 6 different boys earned top 8 prizes in 4 different events… while high jumper Briahn Brown (groin injury), long jumper Ma’ane Mosley (schedule conflict), and 800 meter runner Avi Wilson-Perteete (quadricep soreness) didn’t even compete in their specialty events!  Each of these girls is ranked in the top 2 of their respective events in the NCS!  Obviously, this group of track & field Panthers is primed to do big things in the second half of the season.

  Next, the Panthers travel to southern California for the venerable Arcadia Invitational.  Good luck to the Panthers next weekend! 

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Panthers Relay Dominance on Display at Saint Francis Invitational

March 21st, 2015  

  Because track & field is widely viewed by many as an individual sport, the team aspect of the sport is often times overlooked.  Team scores, team championships and relay events that comprise quartets of runners are all cornerstones of the sport.  Saturday’s meet at St. Francis, while brandishing several individual winners and fine performances, reinforced for Panther track fans the success that can be found when you combine talented athletes onto one team.   Relay teams at all levels – frosh-soph boys and girls as well as varsity boys and girls – finished either first or second in every relay they were entered in on Saturday at the St. Francis Invitational.  Headlining was the varsity girls 4 x 400 team, which smashed the meet record by nearly 5 seconds while winning easily.  The defending North Coast Section champions, featuring runners Avi Wilson-Perteete, Kenady Jackson, Zoie Campbell and Chloe Jenkins, gave early notice to other teams in California that they will once again be a force to be reckoned with. 

  The varsity boys on Saturday won the 4 x 100 meter relay, besting their already section leading time from 42.94 to 42.89.  The team of Cameron James, Kameron Jackson, Marquis Chambers and Tamarick Pierce easily outdistanced runner-up Bellarmine for the top prize before coming back later in the day to win the 800 meter sprint relay (this time with senior Ron Smith replacing Marquis.) 

  The frosh-soph girls crossed the line first in the aforementioned 800 meter sprint relay (100-100-200-400), only to have their place disqualified because of a bad baton pass. 

  Individually, the Panthers were led by several winners and top 3 placers.  UCLA-bound senior Chloe Jenkins narrowly edged teammate Avi Perteete in the open girls 800 meter run, high-jumper Briahn Brown opened her season with a relatively easy win in the high jump, and freshman Kali Hatcher won the frosh-soph girls triple jump.  Runner-ups on the day included sophomore Sanjay Kettles in the frosh-soph boys 400, Avi Perteete in the girls 800, Kameron Jackson in the varsity boys 100 meters… while junior Kenady Jackson finished 3rd in the varsity girls 400. 

 “Overall, it was a solid day for us,” said coach Jay Lawson.  “This meet allows us to compete against a lot of teams from the CCS that we don’t normally get to see.  The meet is run very well, the facilities are great, and I think our kids took advantage of the opportunities here.”

  Next up for the Panthers is a TCAL league meet, at home, against Salesian and Kennedy on Thursday.  First race starts at 3:30.  

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Panthers Sprint, Jump to 5 Wins at East Bay Invitational

March 15th, 2015

  Due to Enrichment Week activities, the Panthers sent a depleted squad to the annual East Bay Invitational at Monte Vista High School in Danville on Saturday.  Despite missing several headliners, the Panthers showed their depth and resilience by posting 2 relay and 3 individual wins in the meet, which featured about 25 teams from 6 different counties.  Both varsity and frosh-soph girls sprint medley relay teams claimed top prizes, each flirting with the meet record in the 100-100-200-400 medley relay.   Both boys teams (varsity and frosh-soph) earned the runner-up spot in the sprint medley.

“Our relay teams ran well today,” quipped coach Lawson.  “Avi did a great job on the anchor leg of the varsity sprint medley, as did Kali Hatcher on the end of the girls frosh-soph relay.   Cameron James, however, was the most impressive leg today.  His 49.9 split was our fastest of the year so far. ”

 Along with the sprint medley teams, several individuals posted seasonal and personal bests, including a trio of jump winners.  Junior Malik Stinson bounded his way to a win in the varsity boys triple jump (43’0”), while a pair of underclassmen – Sanjay Kettles and Kali Hatcher – scored wins in the long and triple jump respectively.  Sanjay tied his personal best by jumping 20’0” and Kali came within 6 inches of her personal best .  Sanjay’s long jump victory was wrapped between a pair of 400 meter races… one in the open race where he places 2nd, the other on the anchor leg of the runner-up sprint medley. 

  Other notable performances were turned in by sprinters Kameron Jackson and Tamarick Pierce who both ran seasonal best 100 meter races… and by a pair of freshmen – Kobe Thompson and David Watts – each posting lifetime bests in the high and triple jumps (4’8”, 32’1”) for Kobe and in the 400 meters (54.54) for David. 

 “Overall, we had a very good meet,” said coach Jeff Rogers.  “Our varsity kids continue to show that we are amongst the top teams in the entire North Coast Section this year… while our younger athletes are beginning to show that they will have no problem having the baton passed to them in the future.  It’s exciting to see so much promise in so many areas.  We’re very pleased.”

  Next up for the Panthers will be the TCAL league opener, this Tuesday at Saint Mary’s at 3:30 against rivals St. Joseph’s and St. Patrick’s. Come out and support the Panthers in their home opener!

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Big Wins for Avi Wilson-Perteete, Boys 4×100 at Dan Gabor Invite

March 8th, 2015 

   The Dan Gabor Sprint & Distance meet, hosted by Amador Valley High School of Pleasanton, featured a “track only”  meet this year… meaning no field events were contested.  So, with just running events and plenty of competition to focus on, several Panthers recorded season and lifetime bests.  Leading the way was a huge individual win in the girls 800 meters by Avi Wilson-Perteete.  Training with defending NCS champ Chloe Jenkins everyday in practice has certainly paid dividends for the talented sophomore, who didn’t appear intimidated nor willing to give any ground to some of the best 800 meter runners in the NCS in the Gabor 800 meter finale.  After taking control of the race early, Avi simply dominated the rest of  the race to win by nearly 2 seconds in a new PR 2:17.19. 

   “Avi was terrific tonight,” said coach Denis Mohun.  “This was probably the biggest track race she’s ever been in.  She very easily could have played it safe and simply tried to place.  Instead, she trusted her training and ran with confidence.  The result was a big win against a very good field.”

   The boys 4 x 100 relay team, made up of Cameron James – Kameron Jackson – Marquis Chambers – Tamarick Pierce, ran away from the likes of host Amador Valley and De La Salle to win in a new meet record 42.94.  Those 4 sprinters would also come back later in the day to compete in individual events…. Marquis (51.11) and Kameron (53.07) in the 400, Tamarick (11.33) in the 100, and Cameron in the 400 (50.77) and 100 (11.37).    

   The distance events, like the sprints, featured several athletes who recorded lifetime and/or seasonal bests.  Senior Ariana Corwin had a nice 1600-800 double, running a team-leading 5:37 metric mile before doubling back for a PR 2:34 – 800.  Freshman Katie Woelffer also churned to a couple of lifetime bests, running 6:07 for 1600 and 2:40 for 800…. the later being good enough to win her heat.  Junior Daniela Vaughan ran a PR 6:10 in the 1600 as well. 

   For the boys, coach Mohun made particular mention of sophomore Roger Levaux’s pair of PR’s… first running 5:21 and 2:13 for the 1600-800, and sophomore Jared Flint’s huge 1600 PR… finally smashing through the 5:00 barrier to finish in 4:53.

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Panthers Win 8 Events at Skyline Invitational

February 28th, 2015

     

The 2015 track & field season opened in impressive fashion, as the Panthers scored 6 individual and 2 relay wins, as well as a load of medal-winning performances  at the 11th annual Skyline Invitational on Saturday. 

 “Things went better than we expected,” said coach Jay Lawson afterwards.  “We felt our headline kids would perform as they normally do, but we were pleasantly surprised by the early performances of many of our younger, inexperienced kids.  They really had a good showing today.”

  Amongst the headliners were 2014 state finalists Chloe Jenkins and Ron Smith, both of whom won their events convincingly. Chloe, whose 400-800 prowess cements her as one of the elite track athletes in California, won the 800 by nearly 4 seconds… with sophomore teammate Avi Wilson-Perteete finishing second in 2:22.  The girls entire sprint team, in fact, had a great day.  The girls 4 x 100 team broke the :50 second barrier in their first race of the season while the 4 x 400 team (anchored by Chloe Jenkins) won going away in 4:03.  Junior Kenady Jackson, whose meteoric rise as a sophomore earned her a place on the state 4 x 4 podium, won both the 200 and 400 on Saturday.  Teammate Giauna Nu’uman was the 200 meter bronze medalist… matching her 100 place earlier in the day.  Seniors Zoe Roberts and Zoie Campbell each had top 5 finishes… Roberts placing 5th in the 200 (27.65) and Campbell 4th in the 400 (62:03).   Two freshmen, each running in their very first high school meet, led the charge of underclassmen at Skyline.  Kali Hatcher, daughter of all-time triple jump list performer Mike Hatcher (87’), finished 2nd in the girls triple jump… bounding out to 33’5” after just two practice sessions.  Lupe Saldana, having no cross country or track background, still managed to break the vaunted 6:00 barrier in the girls mile, running 5:57 in her first race.    

   Not to be outdone, the boys team served notice that it will be a major force in the North Coast Section this season.  Senior Ron Smith, already considered one of the elite triple jumpers in California, won his specialty with a NCS-leading 47’1”.  A pair of teammates, Kameron Jackson and Tamarick Pierce, won the 100 and 200 meters respectively… while senior Marquis Chambers scored a pair of silver medals in the 200 and 400.  Junior Cameron James, already the talk of the preseason amongst the coaching staff, managed to finish 3rd  in the 100 and   6th in the triple jump.  The quartet of James, Smith, Chambers and Pierce combined to win the 4 x 100 going away…. crossing the line in 43.39 seconds.  Finally, juniors Malik Stinson and Christian Holt also scored top 5 finishes.. Malik in the triple jump and Christian in te discus. 

  Overall, the season opener confirmed what many had already known, that the 2015 Saint Mary’s track & field team is talented, deep and seeking to grab it’s share of accolades this season.  Expect this group to continue the fine Panther track & field tradition this season.

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Panthers Hope to Match 2014 Success in 2015

February 9th, 2015

A year removed from a season in which 5 school records were broken, 2 league and 1 North Coast Section Championships was won, 3 state finalists were crowned, and 28 new additions were inserted onto the school’s all-time lists, many are wondering what the 2015 Panthers can do for an encore?  The answer, according to longtime coach Jay Lawson, is “a lot.”

“We obviously want to return as many kids to the section and state level meets as we can. ” Lawson said. “We have a group of upperclassmen who have a lot of experience and have had some success. We also have a group of younger athletes who I think are really talented and can have a great deal of success early on in their careers.  Together, it could make for a very successful season.”

Leading the team this year will be a talented group of sprinters and jumpers, led by recent UCLA-commit Chloe Jenkins and San Diego State bound footballer Ron Smith.  Jenkins, the proud owner of 2 individual and 2 relay school records, stands very tall amongst her North Coast Section and Northern California competitors.  The defending NCS champion, whose personal best 2:11.31 made the state meet final in the 800m in 2014, looks to break the venerable 2:10 mark this year while also being considered one of Northern California’s fastest 400 meter runners.  Look for Chloe to cement her status in both events this year.  Along with Chloe, Northern Colorado signee Zoie Campbell and junior Kenady Jackson return as all-time list performers who add top talent to the sprint squad.  Senior returnees Zoe Roberts and Alex O’Sullivan provide much needed depth… while senior basketballer (and Cal Bear-to- be) Ma’ane Mosley completes her hoops season before hitting the track.  Ma’ane, like Chloe, is a returning state meet competitor and the 2014 NCS runner-up in the long jump.   Other top returners to the 2015 girls squad are school high jump record holder Briahn Brown, ultra-talented sophomore 400-800 meter runner Avi Wilson-Perteete, middle distance runners Ella Hymel, Taryn Kisch-Gallagher & Ariana Corwin, sophomore hurdler De’Jah Robinson and jumper Carolyn Gill.  Together, these athletes provide the talent, depth, leadership and fire power to compete for individual and team titles.

“Our girls team, once again, will be talented enough to challenge any team in the North Coast Section,” asserted coach Jeff Rogers.  “I wouldn’t be surprised if our girls entered the (NCS) Meet of Champions as one of the favorites.”

Likewise, senior Ron Smith enters the 2015 campaign as a returning state meet finalist in the triple jump, one of the top 300 meter hurdlers in the North Coast Section, and ready to lead a vastly-improving boys team.  Ron, along with sprint teammates Marquis Chambers, Tamarick Pierce, Kameron Jackson, Sanjay Kettles  and Cameron James , have the look of a group on the rise.

“This group of sprinters is the best group we’ve had in a couple of years,” said coach Lawson.  “Their competitiveness is starting to result in high-quality workouts.  My sense tells me that if they can keep it up… keep working… keep hungry… they’ll be very competitive across the entire section.”

Along with the sprint group, jumpers Malik Floyd-Stinson and Roman Grace, distance runners Diego Jara, Owen Woo, Mickey Tessema, and Faraz Khan (all coming off a solid cross country seasons), and thrower Ben Schrider provide the Panthers with a core of talented athletes that make the forecast for the 2015 season bright.

The Panthers open their 2015 season on February 28th at the Skyline Invitational in Oakland.