The biggest highlight of this meet that ran well into Thursday night came before 2 p.m. in the afternoon.
Cabrillo senior Haleigh Batty leaped 19 feet, 8.5 inches on her first long jump at the Los Padres League Finals at Santa Maria High School. Besides getting her a league championship and breaking the school record, Batty's jump was just an inch away from the Dystat.com national top 10 for girls long jumpers.
"It felt good. I thought it could be one of my best jumps," Batty said afterward.
"But I had no idea it was nearly as long as it was." Batty's prior best was 18-11, and she had said that she badly wanted to get to 19 feet.
The winners of each event advanced automatically to various CIF Southern Section Preliminaries that will take place May 13. Second and third-place finishers advanced if they met various divisional qualifying standards. Others moved on if they met tougher at-large standards.
No one beat the Cabrillo girls or Lompoc boys during the Los Padres League dual meet season and at press time, both squads were rolling toward victories Thursday night. The girls and boys triple jump events were still being contested at press time.
"We just took it a meet at a time, and as we started getting good results we were all getting really excited," said Natalia Tulloch. Tulloch anchored Cabrillo's winning girls 4x100 relay team, was one of the favorites in the triple jump and was the runner-up in the long jump and 200 meters.
Lompoc senior Anthony Manahan is a first-year track runner, and he kept his big inaugural track campaign going.
Manahan concluded his dominant LPL season in the open 400 and the 200 by winning the longer race in 50.97 seconds and the shorter race in 22.44.
He went four-for-four Thursday. Besides his two open wins, Manahan ran the second leg for Lompoc's winning 4x100 relay squad and anchored the winning 4x400 relay team.
"From the beginning of the season, we took it one meet at a time and our goal was to bring the league championship to Lompoc High," said Manahan.
"Everyone's coming through as they should for us today."
Shemar Savage was one who came through in a big way for the Braves. The junior football star won the 100 in 11.03, the long jump at 21-5 and anchored the winning 4x100 relay team.
His personal best in the 100 is 10.9. Savage said he didn't exactly run a fantastic race Thursday but, "It got the job done."
Isaac Acosta made it six first-places for the Braves in the 10 running events when he took the 3,200 in 9:48.10. Matt Taber doubled for Cabrillo in the hurdles, winning the 110 high hurdles in 15.26 and the 300 hurdles in 42.34.
Besides her huge long jump, Batty won the girls high jump at 5-2. Cabrillo got wins in both relays.
Avenlea McGraw had a big day for the Cabrillo girls. She won the 100 hurdles in 16.06, ran a leg for the winning 4x100 relay squad, finished second in the 100 and wound up in a three-way tie for second in the pole vault.
Casidy Cunningham notched a sprint double for Lompoc, taking the 100 in 12.78 and the 200 in 26.38.
Santa Ynez junior Sarah Perkins has been close all season to cracking the 40-foot mark in the shot put. She finally did it Thursday.
Two of her throws were over 40 feet. Her winning one was 40-3.
"My best had been 39-9 1/2, and the old school record was 39-10 1/2," she said after hugging a teammate in jubilation following a 40-2 on her first throw.
"I thought it would be close, but I didn't think it hit 40," as the shot on her first attempt hit earth, she said.
Both varsity 1,600 races went down to the wire. Santa Maria senior Nancy Juarez edged Santa Ynez junior Emily Donahue in the last several meters to win in 5:14.45 to Donahue's 5:14.70. Donahue won the 3,200 later in 11:39.07.
Nipomo's Joe Gocke out-leaned Acosta to win the boys 1,600 in 4:30.62 to Acosta's 4:30.66.
"That was one of the best finishes I've ever had," said Juarez after she won the 1,600 to become a first-time league champion.
Nipomo's Matt O'Henley racked up a throws double, taking the boys shot put at 49-0 and discus at 144-5.
Valerie Winyuwongse and Hope Davidson went 1-2 for Orcutt Academy in the girls 800. Winywongse won in 2:26.59.