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Aztec girls finish first
BHS hosts Track & Field Festival
BARSTOW • With some help from Mother Nature in the form of beautiful weather, Barstow High School hosted its Second Annual Track & Field Festival on Saturday. It was bigger than last year and ran smoothly, despite more schools taking part.
All 12 schools that competed last year were back, along with two new additions, Hesperia and Indian Springs. Hesperia did well in its first time at the Barstow meet, taking first place among the boys teams with a score of 187. Hesperia nudged out last year’s champ, Granite Hills, which was second at 155, followed by Barstow (73), California City (61), Big Bear (53) and Silver Valley (35).
The Barstow girls, who were second to Granite Hills last year, this time around handily defeated the Eagles, with 140 points to Hills’ 126. Hesperia was third at 112, followed by Cal City (65), Big Bear (52), Excelsior (38), and Silver Valley (25).
There were a couple of differences this year. The meet was sponsored by State Farm, so the teams weren’t charged a fee to participate. And unlike most meets where all the results are processed down by the track in the middle of the action, this year the nerve center was moved up behind the bleachers, away from the crowd. It was a move that paid off, according to Aztecs track coach Mike Esposito.
“It was too slow getting all the information last year. Then we had to bring everything up here to the printer. So instead we moved so everything’s right here,” said the coach, adding, “The problem with track kids is they want to know their times, they’re always milling around. This way, things get done much faster.”
Things were actually running a bit ahead of schedule on Saturday, unusual for a meet of that size.
“There’s a lot more competition this year. There are 207 more kids, over 700 athletes,” said Esposito. “It’s a great thing. It takes so much planning, but it’s great.”
“It’s a great day. It’s a fun day for the kids, a great way to start the track season,” agreed Barstow athletic director, Vince Williams. “Everything’s running smoothly, coach Espo and his crew do a great job. There are a lot of volunteers; from board members to office personnel to students, we have a lot of help. A lot of people put work into this.”
That effort was appreciated by the large number of spectators who filled the stands on Saturday. The sunshine and mild temperatures probably helped make the meet a popular place to be.
“We’re very happy with the turnout,” said Williams.
There were four first-place finishes for the Aztecs. In the girls 100m dash, Dominique Kelly was first in a hotly-contested race with a time of 13.54, with teammate Sharon Green just behind, in third place at 13.79. Vanessa Robinson tops in discus with a throw of 86’5”, and Vasa Alefaio’s throw of 33’2” was the best in girls shot put. Autumn Hazlette’s long jump of 15’1” was first, with Kaylen Smith third at 13’1”.
Hazlette ran near the top in another close event, the girls 300m LH. She was one of three with times of 1.01, while Granite Hills’ Syndie Smith was first at 1.00. Hazlette was also second in triple jump at 30-9, with Maxine Cooks fourth at 25-8.
In the boys 110 HH, the Aztecs’ Joey Lane was second at 18.84, while the Trojans’ Johnathan Plummer was eighth at 20.49. In the girls 100 HH, Barstow’s Mikala Rogers was third at 18.34.
The Aztecs’ Dequan Newell took second place in boys discus with a throw of 123’5”.
In the boys 400m, the Trojans’ Devon Thrash finished third with a time of 55.64, with teammate Nicholas Yanez in fifth at 58.38.
Barstow’s James Noble was fourth in the boys 100m at 11.52, and Marquis Jones seventh at 11.94. Silver Valley’s Anthony Aguilar was fifth in the same event with a time of 11.68, and the Trojans’ Joshua Sherman sixth at 11.7.
The best showing in a relay event came from the Trojans’ Thrash, Plummer, Aguilar and D. Thrash, whose time of 3.56.37 placed them third in the boys 1600m.