First published in the May 20 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.
The South Pasadena High School varsity track and field teams collected high marks in the CIF-SS Division III boys’ and girls’ events at Moorpark High last Saturday.
The boys’ team finished fourth with 41 total points, while the girls’ team placed fifth with 56 total points. With great performances, the Tigers had four athletes — seniors Nikolas Iwankiw and Niko Lawrence and sophomores Mia Holden and Keeran Murray — qualify in six different events for the Masters Meet at Moorpark this coming Saturday, May 21.
“We have a very young squad on both sides,” head coach CB Richards said. “I think in the next two years, we’ll really see the girls challenge for the CIF title and the boys should be right behind them.”
Iwankiw won the shot put with a 59-10.00 mark and was the discus throw runner-up with a 172-05 mark.
“He’s ranked No. 3 in the state of California, which is phenomenal, and in the United States, he’s top 10,” Richards said. “He was a little disappointed in some of the results on both his throws which is kind of cool because he qualified through and repeated as CIF champion.”
Senior Noah Leider (49-10.00) took seventh in the shot put while Lawrence (6-02.00) placed fourth in the high jump.
Meanwhile, on the track, Murray claimed third in the 800 meters with a 1:55.62 time, while junior Jason Baek (2:02.11) finished ninth.
“Keeran had phenomenal explosion in the last three weeks of the season,” Richards said. “He went from not breaking two minutes in the 800 meters to 1:55[.62], which is close to our school record. He dropped five seconds over the course of the last three weeks, which is almost unheard of.”
Senior Henry Thompson placed fourth in the 110-meter hurdles (15.49 seconds) and took fourth in the 300-meter hurdles with a 40.42 time. Senior Brady Nakamura was ninth in the 3,200 with a 10:10.10 time.
Holden was the 300-meter hurdles runner-up with a 45.37 time while finishing third in the 100-meter hurdles with a 15.14 time.
“The field event was going on at the exact same time as the 300-meter hurdles, so she had to learn how to multi-task,” Richards said. “She had to go between the two events at the same time — it’s not easy to focus because they are [such] different events. But she is one of the top-ranked sophomores in the state in both the hurdles and the triple jump.”
Freshman Abigail Errington (5:03.25) set a new school record by finishing fourth in the 1,600 meters, while senior Sydney Morrow (5:47.00) took eighth. Errington posted a fourth-place finish in the 3,200-meter run with an 11:12.76 time.
“Abigail broke the school record in the 1,600 meters in that race so, as a freshman, she has our school’s all-time record,” Richards said. “From a 100-year-old school, that’s pretty powerful for a freshman to do that.”
The 4×100 meter relay team of freshman Jacqueline Sides, sophomore Lyla Keller, senior Skye Harris, junior Annalea Pearson, Stephanie Lin and senior Zoe Schlaak placed sixth with a 49.17 time, while Keller (12.45) finished eighth in the 100.
In the field events, senior Zoe Tibbo finished as the triple jump runner-up with a 36-05.50 mark, while Holden (36-00.50) and freshman Kezia Gavlak (34-05.50) took third and fourth, respectively. Tibbo collected a fourth-place finish in the long jump with a 17-08.75 mark while also claiming sixth in the pole vault with a 10-00.00 mark.