The La Cañada High School track and field varsity boys and girls made a triumphant return to Spartan Stadium and defeated Burbank in a nonleague meet last Thursday.
Battling cold weather and gusty winds, the LCHS boys defeated Burbank 69-62, while the girls avenged last year’s defeat with an 85-46 victory.
“Burbank is a large Division 1 school that has won its league the past several years and is the favorite again this year,” said Spartan girls’ head coach Chris Matarese. “Beating a large team like Burbank for a small school like La Cañada is a real accomplishment.”
Luke Johnson notched two victories in field events, Caitlyn Roehmholdt won two distance races and the girls’ 4×800 relay team set a school record.
Johnson arrived at the LCHS track only minutes before his first event, having mistaken the meet’s start time, but got right in stride, winning the high jump at 6 feet and long jump at 19 feet, 3 inches. He also placed second in the 110-meter hurdles and running a leg on the winning 4×100 relay.
In the sprints, freshman Mentoa McKenzie made a splash in his Spartan debut, winning the 100-meter dash (with a time of 11.7 seconds) as well as the 200 (24.82). He then joined Johnson, Jeshurun Liou and Ryan Armijo on the victorious sprint relay. Gordy Cucullu earned a second-place finish in the 100 (12.3) and a third in the 200 (26.07). Ulee Day was third in the 100 (12.5) and Tyler Callahan was second in the 200 (25.87). Steven Miketta finished second in the 300 hurdles with a time of 58.17 seconds and was followed by Kamran Samundrala, who finished in 1:01.4.
In the distance races, Armijo ran 2:10.11 to place second in his first 800-meter run as a Spartan. Max Smith placed second in the 1600 with a time of 4:55.93.
In field events, Dominic Corrente cleared 11 feet to win the pole vault and went 5 feet, 6 inches for second in the high jump. Samundrala was second in pole vault at 10 feet. Callahan grabbed two second-place finishes with 18 feet, 2 inches in the long jump event and 24 feet, 7 inches in the triple jump. Jackson Hamada picked up a pair of third-place finishes in the high jump (4-10) and pole vault (10 feet).
The varsity girls dominated in every aspect of the meet: sprints, distance and field. Nowhere was that dominance more on display than in the 4×800 relay, with LCHS 800-meter record-holder Ellaney Matarese teaming up with three freshman — Arielle McKenzie, Katelyn Matarese and Kaitlyn Creighton — to set a new school record of 10 minutes, 20.77 seconds.
The Matarese sisters took also the top two spots in the 1600, with Ellaney posting a winning time of 5:14.4 and Katelyn following in 5:14.83. Creighton took second in the 100 with a time of 13.86, and McKenzie won the 400 in 59.93, the fastest time ever recorded by a La Cañada freshman. Creighton and McKenzie teamed up with Artis Phillips and Gracie Payton to win the 4×100 relay.
Roehmholdt extended the Spartans’ distance dominance by winning the 800 in 2:52.73, the 3200 in 13:52.55 and finishing third in the 1600. Ria Mandel was second in the 800 with a time of 3:10.13 and Jordan Lay wasn’t far behind to take third. Sarah Arcaris also contributed a third-place finish in the 3200.
In other sprint results, Payton was first in the 200 with a time of 28.5, and Phillips finished in 28.6 seconds for third place. Phillips also finished third in the 100 with a time of 14.07. Lainey Johansing was third in the 200 at 30.6. Earning a third in the 400 was Jayli Day, running 66.81. Karla Cadman took second in the 100 hurdles (18.0) and third in the 300 (56.29).
In the field, Annalise Evans led the scoring, winning the high jump (4-8) and taking second in pole vault (5-6). Claudie Plocher tied for first in the long jump clearing 14 feet and was second in triple jump, where she recorded a distance of 28 feet, 3 inches. Brooke Gilchrest notched a huge upset with first in the shot put at 27 feet, 3 inches. Sunny Wakeman was third in the pole vault (5-6), and Audrey Butler was second in high jump (4-6) and third in both long jump (13-10) and triple jump (19-8).
Sophomores Katelyn Hung, Atziri Fernandez and Ellie Cucullu each won two events and helped the frosh-soph girls eke out a victory over Burbank, 42-39.
In the sprints, Fernandez won the 100 (14.4) and 200 (30.21) and Hung was third in the 100 (14.9). Alexa DeBrouwer won the 400 with a time of 68.50. Cucullu posted a winning time of 20.86 seconds in the 100 hurdles and also won the 300 hurdles in 55.63 seconds. Joanna Groper was third in both hurdles races, finishing in 21.50 and 59.99.
Hung won the long jump (11-10) and triple jump (21-3) events, and teammates Amanda Grabal and Arianna Kim placed second and third in the long jump with distances of 11-3 and 10-2, respectively.
The Spartan girls return to action in a home meet this Thursday, April 1, against Mayfield Senior of Pasadena.