Article & photos by Logan Stanley for MileSplitCA
With the regular season nearing an end for high school track and field, underclassmen from around the region were given a special opportunity to compete at the Northern California Frosh/Soph Championships at Dublin High School.
Leading the way was Bishop O'Dowd sophomore Jazlynn Gibbs, who swept both the girls 100m (12.61) and 200m (26.45). For Gibbs, it was a return to the track after missing some time with injuries related to a strained hamstring.
"I think I did okay," Gibbs said. "With still a little bit of pain, I think it was good for now. Still aiming to get better the rest of the season."
There were faint nerves heading into the race for Gibbs, but also a dose of confidence. And there should be, considering she made the CIF State Track and Field Championships in 2018 as a freshman, where she ran 12.14 to place 14th.
Gibbs is just outside of the top 10 at No. 14 in the NCS in the 100m with her mark of 12.54. She's aiming for a low-12 second 100m by season's end. The 200m is the event at CIF Gibbs said she would like to qualify for the most. She'll have some ground to make up in that event as she is No. 17 in the NCS (26.11). If she can run in the 24.7-second range, then Gibbs would be in the top 3 for the NCS. Another trip to Clovis in June is one Gibbs hopes to make, and the road begins next week for Gibbs at the West Alameda County Conference (WACC) Championships.
Joining Gibbs in making a triumphant return to the track was Dublin sophomore Surya Marimuthu. Like Gibbs, Marimuthu was dealing with an injury leading up to this weekend's Northern California Frosh/Soph Championships. He wasted little time returning to winning form, taking home the 800m title in 2:02.52.
Despite the win, there was more to be desired for Marimuthu. "To be honest, I wasn't really happy with my race," Marimuthu said. "My coach told me to get out really hard, and I got out hard. But then that second lap was really tough with the wind. Wasn't happy with my time, but the placing was good." For reference: Marimuthu split a 56-second lap for his first 400m, but was only able to close in 66 seconds.
Marimuthu recently competed at the Arcadia Invitational, where ran the 4xmile and the DMR. The 3200m though is where Marimuthu stands out the most. He is ranked No. 14 (9:29.54) in the NCS for the event, and notably is the only underclassmen in the entire top 20. Marimuthu is gunning for a sub-9:20 this season, and wants to qualify for CIF. Next week are the East Bay Athletic League (EBAL) Championships.
In team scores, it was a clean sweep for the host school. The Dublin girls (86.25) and boys (75) both won the meet.