Paloma Valley Wildcat Relays recap

Rancho Verde's Jaden Oliver, Humberto Gonzalez, Lorenzo Orozco and Trevor Nguru. (John Murphy photos) 


MENIFEE - A steady drizzle fell on the Paloma Valley High track and a post-season girls soccer game in the afternoon beckoned, so nobody was in a mood to prolong Saturday morning's track and field festivities.

In fact, the Paloma Valley Wildcat Relays were condensed a bit to accommodate the weather and soccer game. Nevertheless, a collection of Inland Empire teams got some quality work in before the rain started falling in earnest. 

"It was OK," Rancho Verde coach Tim Callier said. "At this time of year, it's just good to get a track meet in. We didn't really have any goals for the meet or any blazing times."  

Temecula Chaparral won Boys Division 1 with 62 points, Beaumont (54) was second and Rancho Verde (50) was third. In Girls D1, Paloma Valley (64) was first and Chaparral and Beaumont tied for second with 42 apiece. 

San Jacinto (62) captured Boys D2, Hemet (54) was second and Woodcrest Christian (44) was third. San Jacinto (70) also prevailed in Girls D2, Linfield Christian (60) was second and Hemet (48) third. 

"There were a few hiccups we couldn't control, like the weather," meet director Ryan Sharp said. "We also condensed the meet because of a state soccer match here today. We had some good, competitive races and we added some coed races that the kids enjoyed." 

Chaparral junior Cynthia Martin was pleased to win the 3,200 in 12:20.21, although she knows she can run faster. 

"I kind of took it easy," Martin said. "It was cold and rainy and I didn't want to slip. I was confident and just wanted to push through."   

Martin is also getting over a mild, left ankle sprain. 

Beaumont freshman Alexis Arias was happy to run a personal best of 1:03 in the 400 meters. 

"I run better in the heat, but it's a good PR," Arias said. "I'd like to run lower than 63 (seconds)."

The Cougars' also received an impressive effort from another freshman, Grace Schwartz, who ran a 2:34 800. 

Beaumont's Stacy Funderburk excelled on the boys' side. He took second with a triple jump of 40-11, a first in the high jump with a leap of 5-10 and ran a leg on the Cougars' 1,600-meter relay team which finished in 51 seconds. 

"I'm impressed," Funderburk said. "I got a PR in every event. It feels good. The competition was tough and it brought the best out of me." 

San Jacinto's Patrick Maria won the boys Division II high jump with a leap of 6-1. 

The Rancho Verde foursome of Lorenzo Orozco, Jaden Oliver, Humberto Gonzalez and Trevor Nguru excelled, recording wins in the 3,200 and distance medley relays. 

"I was content," Orozco said. "The weather was a factor, but overall I was happy and now we're looking forward to other meets." 

"It feels good," said Oliver. "I got a PR." 

Nguru though tthe Mustangs performed well, considering. 

"The weather was a challenge and we had a heavy week (or workouts)," he said. 

Other meet highlights included:

  • Rancho Verde's Keivon Hollins winning the boys Division 1 long jump with a mark of 20-5. 
  • Rancho Verde's Skye Lattimore winning the girls D1 long jump with a mark of 15-3 ½. 
  • Beaumont's Excel Iloputaife winning the girls D1 high jump with a mark of 5-6. 
  • Heritage's Damitre winning the boys D1 triple jump with a mark of 41-6 ½. 
  • Heritage's Parker Benner winning the boys D1 discus in 120-2 and the shot put in 41-2. 
  • The Cajon A team 6,400 D1 relay team prevailing in 21:16.48.  
  • The Rancho Verde A team boys D1 800 relay winning in 1:30.75. 
  • The Paloma Valley girls 800 D1 relay team winning in 1:50.73. 
  • The Rancho Verde A boys D1 distance medley relay winning in 8:18.40. 
  • Chaparral A D1 girls 4000 distance medley relay team winning in 13:44.83. 
  • The Chaparral boys D1 800 team winning in 1:32.58. 
  • The Rancho Verde boys D1 3,200 team winning in 8:18.40. 
  • The Cajon girls D1 3,200 team winning in 10:31.35. 
  • Chaparral ninth-grader Jacob Bustamante winning the boys D1 3,200 in 10:21.62.