Maria Carrillo boys, girls triumph at North Bay League track and field championships
Windsor High senior and long-distance runner Lucas Chung had an unforgettable 17th birthday on Friday.
He spent it celebrating winning the two long-distance races at the North Bay League championship meet - the boys’ 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter events - ahead of seven combined Maria Carrillo runners who finished directly behind him in both competitions.
Chung did get a few hours of rest between the two events, and he needed every bit of it going against a tough Carrillo squad.
“I felt I was against a whole army,” Chung said. “They’re all working together as a team. With the training I’ve been doing, I feel like I’ve been prepared for anything they throw at me.”
The Pumas got the last laugh in the team events, though, winning the boys and girls league championship by several points. The Santa Rosa girls finished in second and the Casa Grande girls in third. The Montgomery boys finished in second, followed by Santa Rosa in third.
Carrillo coach Greg Fogg said the performances among all the athletes Friday were impressive, considering a wind factor that might have slowed down a runner by about half a second.
“We had to anchor all our stuff down,” Fogg said. “The concern I have is that it made our marks a little slow, which will affect seeding next week.
“The (marks) would have been ‘wow’ good if we would have had better weather.”
Chung felt like the rest of the field didn’t have an interest in leading the boys’ 1,600-meter final.
He noticed the ebb and flow of the field, which he says declined to get in front of him during the race and left him dictating the pace like an accordion - his words - until the final 400 meters of the race.
“I was very in control of what my impact on the rest of the field was,” Chung said. “I felt I was the one dictating the race.”
Chung said that’s when Maria Carrillo’s Colton Swinth made a charge from the front, enough that he tripped up Chung at some point in the final lap of the race - causing the Windsor runner to stumble and momentarily give up the lead to the Pumas’ sophomore.
But Chung recovered to win the 1,600 by 0.25 seconds. Chung said he ran a 62-second final lap.
Both Chung and Swinth felt the clash was accidental and no protest was brought forward by either athlete or their coaches.
Swinth said he has aimed to compete with Chung this season. But he knew on the final lap that Chung had gotten the best of him.
“He played me. I did exactly what he wanted me to do,” Swinth said.
The Carrillo boys team won the 4-by-100 and 4-by-400 races. Senior Cameron De La Torre was a participant in the Puma boys’ relay win and won the 110-meter hurdles, setting a new league record with a 15.27-second finish. He finished third in the 300 hurdles.
“I grew up watching hurdlers and wanting to be one, so it feels pretty good to be a record holder in one of the hurdler events,” De La Torre said.
On the girls’ side of the meet, Santa Rosa track star Kirsten Carter won the 200-meter dash by nearly one second over Carrillo’s Assata Polk and Sarah Aanenson.
She also won the 400-meter race and finished second in the shot put.
Montgomery’s Jaymes Tischburn won the boys’ 400-meter final in 48.99 seconds over Carillo’s Tyler Van Arden and Trevien Prince.
Tischburn had been hurt since the beginning of the season, coming back from the injury in mid-April for a few events, but had not run since then until this week. He won the 400 in a personal-best time and improved his school record.
“I was a lot more confident today because I had a race under my belt,” Tischburn said of racing in the NBL trials earlier this week.
“I ran it the way I wanted to and I definitely ran it without pushing myself too hard or not hard enough,” he said.
Carrillo’s Habibah Sanusi won the girls’ 100-meter race and the 300 hurdles, and was part of the Pumas’ winning 100-meter team.
Sydney Rivas won the girls’ 1,600 and 3,200 for Carrillo and Aimee Armstrong was second in the 1,600 and 800 for the Pumas.