Preps

Wednesday, May 01 2013 10:48 PM

Stockdale boys, Centennial girls earn SWYL track and field titles

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Independence High's Kyra Saunders takes a clean baton pass from Tyra Saunders to run the anchor leg of the 4x100 relay in the SWYL Championships at Liberty High Wednesday.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Frontier's Colton Foster makes a huge effort in his winning shot put heave of 60 feet 7 inches at the SWYL Championships at Liberty High Wednesday.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Jonathan Moore from Independence High clears 5 feet 10 inches to win the boys high jump competition at the SWYL Championships Wednesday.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Bakersfield High's Scotty Newton won the long jump at the SWYL Championships Wednesday.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Liberty High's Morganne Hill has a solid lead at the finish of the 100-meter hurdles Wednesday at the SWYL Championships.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Centennial High's Chloe Carlson, foreground, and Shelby Rothberg run side-by-side nearing the end of the 200-meter race at the SWYL Championships.

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  7. 7 of 15

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Adam Hightower, far right, decided to ask Brooke Crosswhite to the prom after she completed her 3200-meter race at the SWYL Championships Wednesday. She said yes.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Stockdale High's Blake Haney breaks away even from his closest competitor in the 3200-meter race, teammate Conner Fisher, as they both leave the remainder of the field at a distance at the SWYL championships held at liberty High Wednesday.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Centennial's Colby Lutje takes the baton from Francisco Sillas to run the anchor leg of the 4x100 relay Wednesday in the SWYL Championships.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Centennial's Molly Pruett gets a hug from Frontier's Jessica Campbell after they finished 1st and 2nd in the girl's 1600-meter run of the SWYL Championships. Pruett finished 1st.

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  11. 11 of 15

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Frontier High's Brandon Kan momentarily challenges Stockdale's Blake Haney, right, and Conner Fisher in the boys 1600-meter race Wednesday.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Liberty High's Morganne Hill, center, leads the field of the 100-meter hurdles event at the SWYL Championships Wednesday.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Centennial's Molly Pruett wins the girls 1600-meter race at the SWYL Championships Wednesday.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Frontier's Jessica Campbell, center, prepares to make a move on Centennial's Molly Pruett who led much of the 3200-meter race of the SWYL Championships. Campbell won the race.

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  15. 15 of 15

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    The girls 3200-meter race gets off to a fast start Wednesday afternoon at the SWYL Championships.

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BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer zewing@bakersfield.com

Here stood the coach and his star runner, both with grandiose goals in mind over the next month, desperately cheering on a relay team that consisted of half injured runners and half newcomers.

Such was the way Stockdale boys track and field team won the Southwest Yosemite League championship Wednesday at Liberty, with a team that had a little star power and a lot of grit.

"This is my favorite conference championship of my whole career, boys or girls, just because of how much we asked out of the guys," longtime Mustangs coach Dave Lonsinger said. "We were so spread out with guys because of injuries. I mean, a week and a half ago, I didn't think we had a chance. But these guys weren't going to quit."

Stockdale came into the meet tied with Frontier after three previous league meets but secured victory Wednesday with 140 points. Centennial finished second with 101 and Frontier had 94, settling for second place overall in the league.

Stockdale's star, of course, was Blake Haney, a favorite to win both distance events at the CIF State Championships on May 31-June 1 but eager enough to help his team that he took on an extra event Wednesday, winning the 800 in a scintillating comeback over Frontier's Jacob Barger, plus the 1,600 and 3,200.

"I was ready to jump in on the (1,600-meter relay), too, but it didn't come down to that," Haney said. "We had so many injuries. There were like 15 guys out at practice last week. I knew I had to triple to have any chance."

Centennial's girls had no need for such drama. The Golden Hawks held off Liberty 138-127 to sweep the four SWYL meets in Garrett Spotts' first year as head coach.

"I was very fortunate to come in with such talented athletes and coaches," Spotts said. "They were all willing to take on extra events, and the girls really pushed hard for this."

Bryn Williamson, who set a personal record by clearing 11-6 in the pole vault last weekend, won that event Wednesday plus the long jump in a personal-best 16-1.

Another star, as usual, was Chloe Carlson, who won the 200 and 400 and helped the Golden Hawks finish third in the 1,600 relay to clinch the league sweep. Carlson, a Cal Poly-bound senior with her own state-meet hopes, echoed Haney's thoughts about the importance of the team competition.

"This the first year I really knew how much the league meet meant," Carlson said. "I get it now when they put me in four events. I still complain, but I get it. It's kicking in that there are only a few meets left in my high school career, so I'm really happy with this."

The top times in Kern County throughout the season move on to next Wednesday's Central Section South Area meet back at Liberty. From there, the top four are guaranteed spots at the Central Section Championships on May 18 in Clovis.

And while the team races took the spotlight one more time, the final SWYL meet also featured some individual highlights. The most prominent belonged to Frontier senior Colton Foster, who improved his personal best in the boys shot put by more than two feet with a 60-7.5, becoming the first section thrower this year -- and just the third in the state -- to surpass 60 feet.

"He was sitting at 54 for a while," Frontier coach David Gaeta said, "and then it was like he was at 56, 58 and now 60. So he's really coming on strong."

Foster also won the boys discus at 160-4.

Stockdale's Tristan Watson ran 14.93 in the boys 110 hurdles, the best time in the section this year, and Liberty sophomore Morganne Hill lowered her best time to 14.53 in the girls 100 hurdles, though that race was considered wind-aided. Hill also ran 43.24 to win the 300 hurdles, an event in which she ranks top five in the state.

Bakersfield's Scotty Newton, who ranks in the state top five in both the boys long jump and triple jump, won both, recording a 48-5.75 in the triple before scratching his final four events because of a sore knee.

Stars like Haney, Newton, Hill and Foster will take over the spotlight next week, but this celebration belonged to Centennial's girls and Stockdale's boys.

"It's fun when you've got elite athletes who want to win and other guys who will step in and do whatever you ask them to do," Lonsinger said. "A lot goes into winning a league this good."

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