Facing fierce winds and three different opponents on the Santa Ynez High track, Cabrillo High track and field teams dominated the four-way meet on Thursday, as the boys won against Morro Bay (122.50-12.50), Nipomo (79.50-56.50) and host Santa Ynez (100-36) while the girls also out-performed all three teams. Scores were 70-66 against SYHS, 90-46 against NHS and 92-44 versus Morro Bay.
The first varsity running event saw a pulsating final stretch between Cabrillo’s Natalia Tulloch and Nipomo’s Kylie Mendez in the 4x100 relay. Both girls, who are the anchors for their respective teams, engaged in a neck-and-neck foot race. But that was before Tulloch kicked into a second gear in the final 25-meter stretch – blazing past the standout NHS runner to claim first for her team with the time of 52.26. Tulloch once again teamed with Kylee Williams, Haleigh Batty and Dominque Harrison to conquer the 4x100 field.
The Pirate boys 4x100 relay team took control of their event – as Jasper Kadlec accelerated to the finish line the moment he touched the baton, getting SYHS to win its race at 46.92 as he teamed with Gabe Prendergast, Liam Pollenz and Vinny Vaca. The Pirate quartet only had to deal with Nipomo in the event, as Cabrillo and Morro Bay were disqualified.
Cabrillo’s other track highlight came in the hurdles, as teammates Matt Taber and Ty Hernandez got involved in a running and leaping duel, with Taber edging his younger Conquistador teammate with his time of 15.48.
And Taber, who is in his senior campaign, had to overcome some falling hurdles as his legs pounded the objects into the ground – but kept his eyes glued to his lane and finished his race.
“I honestly didn’t think this was my best race. I crashed a bunch of times,” Taber said. “I think my warm-ups are always good but in the race, something happens and I kind of mess up sometimes. But my coaches always tell me: Lock into your lane and your only 10 opponents are the hurdles.”
He’s gotten used to battling it out against his fast rising hurdler teammate Hernandez during practice.
“Our coach always times us and we always go against each other. He’s only a sophomore and when he gets going, he’ll be good when he’s older,” Taber said.
The host school did receive a strong outing from its top girls runner from last year: Return CIF Southern Section Division 4 finalist Emily Donahue.
While running against 17 mile per hour winds that started hitting against her lungs and face, the junior Donahue stayed in front of the rest of the 800 meter field and won her event with her time of 2:22.03.
“I was just trying to stay ahead of the Cabrillo girls and in the last 400, I told myself that I have to go for it and give it my all. I just tried to sprint as hard as I could,” Donahue said while catching her breath. “It’s so hard (to run against the wind). For the one mile, I didn’t even feel like I was running.”
Donahue, who said she’s drawn interest from Cal Berkeley for track and field, added that her 800 meter run in the four-way meet was her best outing this season, plus approached the race with a motivational phobia.
“I was scared of the people behind me. So I tried to stay in front of them the whole time,” Donahue said.
On the Nipomo side, two individual first place finishers on the boys side were Garrett Morgan (1600, 4:44.80) and Zach Holland (400, 55.99 and 800, 2:04.37). On the girls side, Olivia Labastida (100 meter hurdles, 17.27) took first in her event.
Lompoc beats Templeton
Both Braves track teams defeated Templeton on the road, and the girls were led by an energized effort from Danielle Morgan – who is competing in two spring sports.
The swimmer completed this hat trick on the track: Winning the 100 meter hurdles, 300 meter hurdles and high jump.
Outside of Morgan, Helen Flores was a big winner for the Braves in the 1600 and 3200. Chavon Garrett led the LHS field events with her win in the shot put.
The boys were once again led by the speed of Anthony Manahan, as he took first in the 200, 400 and 4x100. Other LHS individual winners were: Oscar Tenorio (triple jump), Danny Ekstrum (long jump), Austin Long (shot put and discus), Alex Gonzalez (300 meter hurdles), Bryan Yang (100 meter hurdles), Dallas Canley (100 meter dash), Isaac Acosta (1600), Greg Wuitschick (3200) and Nick Valencia (pole vault).