s
s
Sections
You've read 3 of 10 free articles this month.
Get unlimited access to PressDemocrat.com, the eEdition and our mobile app starting at 99 cents per month.
Already a subscriber?
You've read 6 of 10 free articles this month.
Get unlimited access to PressDemocrat.com, the eEdition and our mobile app starting at 99 cents per month.
Already a subscriber?
You've read all of your free articles this month.
Get unlimited access to PressDemocrat.com, the eEdition and our mobile app starting at 99 cents per month.
Already a subscriber?
We've got a special deal for readers like you.
Get unlimited access to PressDemocrat.com, the eEdition and our mobile app starting 99 cents per month and support local journalism.
Already a subscriber?
Thanks for reading! Why not subscribe?
Get unlimited access to PressDemocrat.com, the eEdition and our mobile app starting 99 cents per month and support local journalism.
Already a subscriber?
Want to keep reading? Subscribe today!
Ooops! You're out of free articles. Starting at just 99 cents per month, you can keep reading all of our products and support local journalism.
Already a subscriber?

It was a stellar performance for the El Molino boys and Petaluma girls track and field teams Saturday at the Sonoma County League track and field championships at Piner High. As expected, both teams won the league championship meet after winning the dual-meet regular season. As a result, the Lions boys and Trojans girls teams are the respective outright SCL champions.

It was the first track and field championship, girls or boys, for El Molino in 13 years.

“El Molino definitely had the better boys team. It would have taken monumental errors for them to blow it,” Petaluma coach Doug Johnson said. “The El Molino coach (Ryan Hopkins) should be congratulated, he has his team rolling.”

Final championship team standings for the boys were El Molino (159), Petaluma (114), Piner (78), Healdsburg (52), Sonoma Valley (44), Analy (38), and Elsie Allen (8).

Final championship team standings for the girls were Petaluma (158), El Molino (109), Sonoma Valley (72), Analy (52), Healdsburg (50), Piner (34), and Elsie Allen (4).

The overall SCL title is determined by a combination of regular season dual-meet standings and championship finish.

For the boys, Petaluma finished second behind El Molino overall.

For the girls, El Molino and Sonoma Valley tied for second place behind champion Petaluma overall.

The championships were held partially on Thursday (trials and finals) and concluded on Saturday (finals) under fair but breezy conditions.

The event involved all seven SCL teams and more than 250 athletes. Sonoma Valley was the host of the event, but the venue was moved to Piner due to field issues at Sonoma.

The Lions were led by junior Jack Fricker, who was the only athlete to win four events at the championships. Fricker won the triple jump, long jump, 110-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles.

“I woke up (Saturday) feeling very good. I thought I was going to win two events. I thought the least likely event I would win would be the 110 hurdles,” Fricker said. “My teammates were all pretty excited.”

Hopkins said Fricker had been doing very well in practice the past two weeks, and it paid off on Saturday.

“I was pleasantly surprised that he won four events, he was the superstar of the day,” Hopkins said. “He stepped up to help us score more points.”

The Lions suffered a blow at Thursday’s trials when their long-distance boys’ team ace Brian Schulz was disqualified from the 1,600- and 800-meter runs on a technicality at the finish line.

Hopkins, who appealed the DQ and lost, said it cost the Lions 10-16 points.

“Today I feel amazing,” Hopkins said. “After Thursday’s events, I was extremely stressed out.”

Said Fricker: “That DQ pumped up our team and everyone was angry to win.”

Schulz did win the 3,200-meter race and will be advance to Saturday’s North Coast Section Redwood Empire Redwood Empire Area Meet at Redwood High in Larkspur.

The top six finishers at the SCL championships automatically advance to the Redwood meet, which will feature athletes from the SCL, NBL, MCAL and Humboldt-Del Norte League.

On the girls’ side of the SCL Championships, Petaluma won easily, led by Courtney Bell (wins in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes and the 4x100 meters relay) and Camille Leoni (wins in the triple jump and 4x100 relay, and second place in the long jump).

“We were pretty close to the blueprint,” Johnson said of his girls’ team success. “There were some good performances.”

El Molino won the boys’ 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relays and the girls’ 4x400-meter relay, but Petaluma claimed the girls’ 4x100-meter relay in a blazing time of 50.59 seconds.

“Overall I knew the Petaluma girls would win, they were a little two dominating,” Piner coach Luis Rosales said. “The boys’ competition finished exactly how I thought.”

Some other events included the boys’ 100-meter dash, won by Kahlil Villas Martin of Sonoma and the 200-meter dash, won by Sire Clark of El Molino.

Gabrielle Peterson of Healdsburg won the girls’ 1,600-meter run by a whopping 24 seconds, while Jack Dunbar of Petaluma narrowly edged out his brother, Will, by 0.2 of a second in the boys’ 1,600-meter run.

But the shining story of the day was El Molino, the school with the smallest attendance in the SCL but which has come to prominence in the fourth year of Hopkins at the coaching helm.

“The neat thing this year is that El Molino assembled phenomenal teams for both the boys and girls,” Analy coach Mark Grismer said.

No doubt, the Lions and Fricker have the momentum going into the Redwood meet in less than a week.

“We have a bright future,” Fricker said. “I feel pretty confident for Saturday, but it will be a lot tougher competition so it won’t be easy.”