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ARCADIA — The Arcadia Invitational is one of the most prestigious prep meets in the nation.

Just how prestigious it is was not lost on St. Joseph senior C.J. Cole.

"Not to put down the Central Coast at all, but running with these guys is some else," said Cole after he finished fourth in a season best 11.21 seconds.

"I didn't think my start was that good," Cole said. "My finish was what helped me."

Friday, Santa Ynez junior Sarah Perkins had also remarked about the significance of the meet. She qualified to throw in a higher section Saturday by winning her shot put section Friday. She finished fourth after throwing 39-3.25 on Saturday in the open elite division.

Cole and the rest of the St. Joseph boys 4x100 team was hoping for a slightly better result, but Cole said the group's time was solid.

Kaleb Monette, Fenton Will, Michael Powers and Cole combined for a 43.67, good for third in their heat.

"We were hoping to go under 43.5," said Cole. "We're running faster than we were at this time last year. For the league meet and CIF, we

hope to go under 43."

The Knights' 2016 relay team set the school record in the 4x100 with a time of 43.05.

Arroyo Grande junior Luis Jazo made a big move in his heat of the open elite 1,600 and finished second in 4:22.36. Teammate Eddie Chagoya advanced to the Saturday discus competition after throwing 168-4 Friday, just off his career best of 169-plus. He threw 155-1 Saturday.

Later in the day, Chagoya popped a 167-9, good for third place in the open elite section.

Matt Sill, a mainstay for the Arroyo Grande football team, finished third in 39.45 in his 300 hurdles heat.

Healthy for the first time in more than a year, Talley Hill gave the Arroyo Grande girls the lead with a 2:18 split on her 800 leg before the Eagles' distance medley relay team settled for third place in their heat.

"It's been a year-and-a-half," she said. "I've had shin problems, iron deficiency," she said. "My track season started month ago. It's all good now.

Rosa Granada ran the 800 leg to start, and she gave the Eagles the lead. Hailey Goodell ran the 400. Malia Simon anchored with the 1,600.

The Arroyo Grande boys distance medley relay team of Jazo, Sill, Jason Maule and Ban Taylor finished a close second, in 10:24.17, to Concord De La Salle in their section. De La Salle won in 10:23.53.

Cabrillo junior Natalia Tulloch triple jumped 35 8.75 and long jumped 17-3. Her placings were not known.

The top five finishers in each event medaled, so Chagoya earned a medal with his third-place finish. Perkins did the same with her fourth-place finish in her section of the women's shot put. Multiple heats took place in many events, so numerous overall places were not known at press time.

Hancock's Rodriguez wins pole vault

Freshman Jose Rodriguez won the men’s pole vault to lead a contingent of Hancock track and field athletes on Saturday during the Glendale Invitational. Rodriguez won the event by clearing 14 feet, 1 inch. It marked the Cabrillo High School graduate’s second win of the season. Four other Bulldogs earned top-five finishes in the meet.

Sophomore Brent Dionisio finished second in the men’s high jump by clearing 6-feet, 9-inches, which matched his career high. A jumper from Bakersfield won by clearing 6-11. 

Sophomore Taylor Nevitt finished second in the discus throw with a mark of 119-2. The Nipomo High School graduate also finished runner-up in the shot put with a mark of 37-7.

Steven Youngblood came in second in the men’s steeplechase with a time of 10:48. Meantime, sophomore Rachel Naugle finished third in women’s steeplechase in 11:46 and fifth in the 5K at 19:39.

The Bulldogs will take a week off before returning to action on April 21 at the Western State Conference Prelims in Bakersfield.

Kwong and Diaz win for Hancock

Dria Kwong won two butterfly events, Maddie Diaz wo a distance event, and five other Hancock swimmers earned top-five finishes at the Chabot Invitational. No team scores were kept during the invitational.

Kwong won the 200-yard butterfly by nearly five seconds with a time of 2:18.58. The Orcutt Academy graduate later took the 100-yard butterfly by almost two seconds with a time of 1:00.45 

Diaz won the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 19:31.03. The sophomore later finished second by less than one second in the 500-yard free with a time of 5:33.66.

Gonzalez finished third in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:13.09 and runner-up in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:36.20. The Nipomo High School graduate also finished third in the 1-meter diving with a total score of 93.05. 

Freshman Ellyn Clardy racked up two third-place finishes with times of 2:09.77 in the 200-yard freestyle and 58.36 seconds in the 100-yard freestyle.

Meagan Stevens, a Cabrillo High School graduate, racked up two fourth-place finishes in the 400-yard individual medley and 500-yard freestyle events. Shannon Copeland was clocked in the 200-yard freestyle event at 2:15.01 for a fifth-place finish. 

Sophomore diver Nikki Gurgiolo earned two second-place finishes in the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events.

Hancock will host the 2017 Western State Conference Championships on Thursday, April 20, through Saturday, April 22, at the Paul Nelson Aquatic Center in Santa Maria.


Sports Reporter