As a junior, Riverside King's Reyte Rash won the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 and Masters Meet titles in the 300 hurdles and placed second at the State Meet. He launched his 2019 season Saturday at the Bronco Invitational roaring to victories in both the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles. (Patrick Corsinita file photo)
SAN DIEGO -- Reyte Rash was pleased, considering it was his first invitational of the season.
Sweeping the hurdles in the Bronco Invitational at Rancho Bernardo High in 14.70 and 38.64 Saturday was very impressive and a huge psychological lift for the Riverside Martin Luther King senior.
"I'm definitely happy," said Rash while lounging on the infield after the longer event. "I wanted a good start so I wouldn't have as far to go to catch up to my goals."
Ah yes, those goals.
Last year's runner-up at the CIF-State Meet in the 300-meter hurdles wants to run under 14 seconds in the 110-meter highs and while he's at it, in the 35s in the 300 intermediates.
On a chilly day where La Costa Canyon's Kristin Fahy set the meet record in the 3200 at 10:35.31 and sophomore Brandy Atuatasi of West Hills improved more than two feet to rewrite the record book in the girls shot put at 42-7, Rash simply posted a couple of very fast times knowing the second half of his season is when he makes his move.
"I want to see a '1' and a '3' up there on the clock," said the Cal State Fullerton-bound senior. "I don't care if it's followed by .99 as long I get into the 13s. Just 13 something. It's my end-end goal for the end of the season. The school record is 14.2 but I want to leave a mark that will stay there."
For the longer hurdles race, he knows at least he'll get better competition this season.
"I looking forward to running at Arcadia," Rash said. "Last year I ran in the daytime -- I didn't even make the evening meet. I think that's where I'll get a good push."
Rash admits that a key to a much faster time is alternating his lead leg-at least early in the race.
"It's the first two hurdles where I chop my step," said Rash. "I did it again today. After the second or third hurdle I'm fine. I've been working on alternating but I want to try it in a low-key meet.
"But I'm really happy with these opening times because they're much faster than last year at this time."
Since Fahy ran 10:34.67 in a dual meet to open the season a week ago, she was hoping for something a little faster while at the same time celebrating breaking the meet record and trying not to get too far ahead of herself in what promises to be a long spring.
Her ultimate goal is just as lofty as Rash's.
"I want to break 10 (minutes)," said the Stanford University-bound senior, who ran 10:16.44 last year. "That's my all-time goal for high school. It's a little bit hard holding back at this time of the year but I think I'll stay away from the 3200 for a while and have fun with the 1600 and 800.
"Having Jessica (Riedman) there to pace me is helping me get back into track and field mindset."
Riedman had her own fun, winning the 1600 by 10 seconds at 5:02.29.
"I needed a leader on that last lap to push me," said Riedman, who still hasn't officially decided but is leaning toward attending Penn where former Rancho Bernardo half-miler Nia Akins is running well.
While she was hoping for a sub-5 minute time, she said she still plans to double in the 800 and 1600 at the section meet and then decide which to run at state.
"Today I was happy how comfortable I was running 67," said Riedman. "I just need to work on my closing speed."
Speaking of speed, Madison High's Kenan Christon, sixth in the state 100 last year, captured the 100 in 10.78 -- a full half-second in front of the depleted field. Westview's state 200 finalist Izel Smith was entered but instead attended a soccer competition.
"A 10.78 in the first race of the year is OK," said Christon, a USC-bound senior. "I'm trying to work on my start -- it needs to get better."
School-mate Aysha Shaheed was just as impressive in the girls' 100, winning in 12.02 seconds.
"I'm trying to stay focused," said the sophomore and defending San Diego Section champion. "I want to get to 11.5 but it's still early for that."
As usual, it took a photo to separate La Costa Canyon's Stanford twins in the 1600.
Garrett was given the edge over Jacob by .02, clocking a 4:22.97 and it looked even closer than that as both held off an unexpectedly strong race by Point Loma's Hunter Sweet at 4:24.97.
"Today was all about effort, not about time or place," said Garrett. "We wanted to feel right. Hunter Sweet was really phenomenal but we knew he had a great winter."
"Yes, he hammered it this winter," said Jacob who will join his brother at BYU in the fall.
The two joined the others setting lofty goals.
"We're looking to run under 4:10," said Garrett with Jacob nodding his head in agreement.