RECAP Servite, JSerra Set Trinity League Meet Records

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SANTA ANA -- Based on the fact that the Trinity League determines its boys' and girls' team championship on performances in quad meets during the regular season, Friday's league finals offered top individuals the chance to use it as a launching pad for May's CIF postseason schedule. 

Anaheim Servite senior sprinter Max Thomas, a USC commit, fit that bill with two of the five league meet records that were set. Thomas won the 100 meters in 10.47 seconds (2.1). The state leader in the 200 didn't lower that mark, but he went 21.19 (0.6) for his second league meet record. He also raised his arms high in the air upon crossing the finish line as anchor on the Friars' winning 4x400 relay team. Ryan Ware, Luke DaVanon, Brock Beuerlein and Thomas won in 3 minutes, 22.65 seconds.

Thomas, whose best individual times in the 100 and 200 are 10.37 and 20.78, respectively, came into this meet ready and determined to use it as a building block for CIF meets ahead, most notably to finish his career at the state meet in late May. 

"I feel great," Thomas said shortly after winning what was a truly competitive test in the 100. He ran alongside state leader Rayshon Luke of St. John Bosco, whose best time of 10.32 wasn't there as he finished second in 10.68. Thomas stepped up and wasted no time to earn the title. "Rayshon is fast so I just had to come out here and do what I do best. This (win) gives me a boost of confidence and puts me in good spirits for the rest of the day."

Another Servite standout was senior distance runner and MIT-bound Jared Steins (pictured). He captured a rare triple with victories in the 800 (1:59.91), 1600 (4:19.26), and 3200 (9:43.58). 

"I'm happy with the order of the events," Steins said after winning the trio in his first meet attempt this season. "The 1600 is probably my strongest so it was nice to have that one to warm up for the rest of the meet and set the tone."

JSerra Catholic junior discus and shot put thrower Brendon See won his two events, including a league meet record in the discus with a top throw of 184 feet, 3 inches. While it is far off his state-best 197-11 among all juniors, it, too, sets the stage for bigger things to come in CIF meets. His shot put win on Friday came with a top mark of 52-10.

Two more JSerra meet record-setters were senior Ashlee Gallegos in the 800 and freshman Brynn Garcia in the 3200. Gallegos won in 2:10.31 while Garcia went 10:48.84 in a race where she was one of only three runners.

"It gave me a chance to focus on how I felt, my splits, my times and it helped me be more of an independent runner," Garcia said. The unique race environment won't be duplicated, but it puts her in the right mindset for CIF races ahead. "I want to chop away time as more competition comes, not being afraid to embrace it but also be able to independently run the way that I want to race."

Another JSerra female standout was junior Hanna Barmettler (interview). She set personal best times in winning the 100 and 300 hurdles. She went 15.78 in the 100 hurdles, just ahead of Santa Margarita's Lidia Major in a photo finish. She went 45.46 in the 300 hurdles win.

"It was very close and I had great competition," Barmettler said of her 110 hurdles victory. "I hit a hurdle and had to get my momentum back up."

Rosary Academy's girls 4x100 relay won the first running event of the meet in a personal-best time of 49.39. The Royals' Francesca (Frankie) McGuire, a junior, won the girls 200 and 400 in 25.97 (0.5) and 59.17, both of which were just slightly behind Rosary's top marks all season.

"It feels good, it gives me confidence for the upcoming (CIF) meets, which I appreciate," McGuire said. She knows there's room for improvement, too. "I just have to remember to dig at the end, give it everything I've got."

Mater Dei's Logan Lyght was slightly off PR times in winning the boys' 110 and 300 hurdles in 14.20 (0.3) and 39.35, respectively.

Friday's most unfortunate result came in the boys' 4x100 relay for St. John Bosco. Its all-senior foursome came in with the state's best time of 40.80 set two weeks ago at the Mt. SAC Relays. On Friday, the first and second runners were ruled too far outside the allowable zone. The disqualification ended Boscos season in the event. Orange Lutheran benefitted from the ruling, winning in a PR time of 42.56.

The opening relay setback lingered for the rest of the meet, save for seniors Jaden Smith and Camryn O'Bannon. Smith won the 400 in 48.42 (pictured) and O'Bannon took the long jump in 23 feet, 3 inches (2.3), and the triple jump (44-8.25). Smith set PR times in both the 400 and the 200 (21.20), but he was edged by Servite's Thomas in the 200 by less than a second and then beat out O'Bannon in the 400.

Others winning league titles in the track events were JSerra sophomore Georgia Jeanneret in the girls' 1600 in 5:02.44; Santa Margarita sophomore Avery Groves in the girls' 100 in 12.43 (+1.4); and the JSerra girls' 4x400 relay in 3:58.09.

Trinity League field event winners were: Siena Lambert of JSerra in the girls' discus in 126-5; Orange Lutheran's Pesi Tauaika in the girls' shot put in 40-1.5; Kennedy Cunningham of Orange Lutheran in the girls' high jump at 5-1; Mater Dei's Jada Taylor in the girls' pole vault with a 10-4; Hannah Wons of Orange Lutheran going 16-11 in girls' long jump; Brendan Conway of Mater Dei in the boys' pole vault at 13-1; Brandon Gorski of Mater Dei, whose 6-6 effort at the Orange County Championships earlier this season gives him the current state-best freshman mark, went 6-2, and Mater Dei senior Ally Nibungco in the triple jump (34-4.00/0.4).

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Ryan Blystone is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to MileSplit.

Photos by Ryan Blystone