Preps

Thursday, May 02 2013 11:24 PM

It all comes together for West boys track and field team

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Golden Valley High School triple jumper Khadija Watkins competes in Thurday's meet at Bakersfield College.

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  2. 2 of 15

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Mira Monte High School shot putter Amanda Reyes competes in Thursday's championship track meet at Bakersfield College.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Golden Valley High School long jumper Tristan McGee competes in the SYL/SEYL championships at Bakersfield College.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Golden Valley trackster gets in a good jump during the competition at Bakersfield College Thursday in the SYL/SEYL championships.

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  5. 5 of 15

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    North High School athletes get ready for the track meet at BC Thursday in the infield before the SYL/SEYL championship meet.

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  6. 6 of 15

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    The Highland High School track team came prepared for the heat Thursday at Bakersfield College for the SYL/SEYL championship meet.

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  7. 7 of 15

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Track teams warm up in the infield at BC for Thursday's SYL/SEYL championship meet Thursday.

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  8. 8 of 15

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Garces High School pole vaulter Julianne Finch took first place in pole vault competition at 8feet 6inches and then went on to clear 9feet on her second jump Thursday at Bakersfield College.

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  9. 9 of 15

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    North High and Foothill High runners stay close together during the boys 1600 SEYL championship race Thursday at BC.

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  10. 10 of 15

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Runners get a good start during the boys 1600 SYL championship race at BC.

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  11. 11 of 15

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Track athletes warm up against the stadium wall before their event Thursday at Bakersfield College during the SYL/SEYL championships.

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  12. 12 of 15

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Garces High School hurdler Julianne Finch, left, got first in the girls 100m hurdles and North High hurdler Hope Green, right, finished second.

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  13. 13 of 15

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Highland and North High hurdlers put on a good performance during Thursday's track meet at BC.

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  14. 14 of 15

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Highland High hurdler Katie Mendiburu, left, came in second while North High hurdler Jamie Ryan, right, took first in the girls 100m hurdle race Thursday at Bakersfield College in the SYL/SEYL championships.

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  15. 15 of 15

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    High school hurdlers from Tehachapi, left, North, and Highland make their way over the first set of hurdles during the boys high hurdle competition Thursday at BC.

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BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer zewing@bakersfield.com

The most athletic member of West High's championship track and field team might be long jumper Fondereaux Wilson or distance runner Gustavo Delcastillo or hurdler Ricky Gooden.

Or it might just be head coach Ryan Lucker, who eluded all of the Vikings as they tried to shower him with Gatorade after they won the South Yosemite League finals meet to complete a league championship Thursday at Bakersfield College.

Disappointed as they were at missing their target, the Vikings accomplished a lot, taking the league title in Lucker's first season.

"We took kids that wanted to work," said Lucker, who ran at Cal State Bakersfield. "We lost people, filled out events with a few guys and just made it happen."

Wilson swept the long jump (20-7) and triple jump (44-11.5) and anchored the winning 1,600-meter relay team; Delcastillo won the 3,200 meters (10:11.65) and finished second in the 1,600. Gooden (300 hurdles) and Gabriel Perez (shot put) added invidual titles, and the Vikings also won the 400-meter relay.

"That was the smootest 4x1 (relay) we ran all year," Lucker said. "We had hoped this could happen. It's pretty cool."

What's fresh and exciting for West is quickly becoming old hat for North, which won its third straight Southeast Yosemite League championship on both the boys and girls side -- both in dominating fashion.

"It's great for the school; that's the most important thing," Stars coach Adam Dawson said. "These kids are extremely hard workers. We just have a large group of above-average kids in a lot of different events. It's truly just a great wave of kids."

The boys were led by a couple of unusual suspects: Curtis Threlkeld, a freshman who looks like a football player (he does that, too) but runs like a gazelle, won the 800 in 2:03.35, and Quinton Ware, a basketball player Dawson recruited to the track team when he saw him dunking on an outdoor court at North.

"He's just standing on two feet, jumping and dunking it," Dawson said. "And I'm going, 'We've got to get you out.' It's a great story."

The latest chapter included league titles in the triple jump (42-0.25) and high jump (5-10) for Ware.

On the girls side, Arianna Mariscal won her fourth consecutive league title in the 800 (2:24.17), the last three in the SEYL after she won the SWYL race as a freshman. Past that, North's girls won just three individual titles but racked up enough seconds and thirds to easily out-pace second-place Foothill in the team race.

"The girls was more of a depth thing," Dawson said. "But all these kids like their events and want to get better. And they're conscious of what's going on; they're always asking me at dual meets what we need to do to win (as a team). That's kind of changed from two years ago."

Golden Valley won the SYL girls title, thanks in large part to three-event champion Nitoyra Bone. She won league titles in the 100 (12.98), 200 (27.15) and the pole vault (6-6), an event she rarely practices.

"It feels good to win it for the team," said Bone, who competed in gymnastics as a youth. "I just clear a height when they ask me to, then I'm done. I'm tired, but it's all for the team."

Khadijah Watkins won both the long jump (14-9.75) and triple jump (33-1) for the Bulldogs, who put the exclamation point on their league title with a victory in the 1,600 relay.

On an individual level, the biggest stars at BC had quiet days. Ridgeview senior Ivan Gonzalez, who ranks third in the state and seventh in the nation in the 800, pulled out of his marquee race midway through when both of his calves cramped up. He said he expects to be fine for Wednesday's Central Section South Area meet at Liberty, which serves as a qualifier for the Central Section championships May 18 in Clovis.

"The good news is, it's just cramps and he'll be fine for next week," Wolf Pack coach Adam Setser said.

Earlier, Gonzalez had won the SYL 1,600 (4:39.35) and the 400 (50.32) on a hot day. The latter race featured a sprint to the finish with Golden Valley's Luis Matos, who leads the section in the 100 and 200. He won the 100 (11.49) but scratched the 200 in hopes of being fresh at the area meet.

Highland's Elijah Baier, also a section-title contender in the sprints, swept the SEYL 100 (11.34) and 200 (23.28) and also won the long jump (20-8.5) to join Bone as a triple winner.

Besides Bone and Watkins, the only girl to win more than one event was Garces' Julianne Finch, who took the SEYL girls 100 hurdles (16.26) and pole vault (9-0).

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