RECAP Seniors Double Up at Central Coast Section Finals


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Scotts Valley High School senior Jeremy Kain thought he'd be a little more tired when he ran the 800 meters at the Central Coast Section Track and Field Championships on Saturday at Gilroy High. Kain had already won the 1600-meter title in four minutes, 14.10 seconds.

He sure didn't look tired on the back end of the double. Kain won the 800 in a terrific time of 1:51.32.

"I think the 16 went out, it set me up for the 800," Kain said. "It wasn't necessarily the fastest time. But I closed fast in the 16, and I think that helped my legs loosen up a little bit for the 8 honestly. For the 800, I talked my coach and said, 'I'm probably going to throw up after this,' but I have not done that yet!

"It doesn't happen too often and to say I did that was the goal for today obviously but it always feels so much better when you actually execute the plans that you're making."

Kain was well in front in the 1600 with Saratoga senior Harrison Dance next in 4:16.45.

Kain was strong enough to beat Bellarmine senior Ben Pinkel in the race to the line in the 800. Pinkel came home in 1:52.61, just ahead of Crystal Springs Uplands junior Furious Clay (1:52.69).

Kain's sophomore teammate Ashlyn Boothby won the girls 1600 in 4:53.81. Boothby outraced Castilleja junior Samira Kennedy (4:55.79) to the finish.

"I was planning on not having to lead the whole thing, but I just figured, 'Heck, let's just go for it,'" Boothby said. "Someone passed me for a little bit and I was like, 'No, I've been leading this whole thing! I'm taking this! I got some power within me and pulled through!

"I was hoping to qualify for state but I definitely wasn't expecting to win!"

The top three finishers in each event qualified for next week's California Interscholastic Federation Championships in Clovis. Athletes outside of the top three that achieved qualifying standards also advanced to the state meet.

Silver Creek senior Chika Nwachukwu swept the girls hurdles, winning the 100 hurdles in 14.45 and returning to take the 300 hurdles in 44.51.

"It feels good," Nwachukwu said. "Honestly, I feel honored to be here. It's an opportunity and I just feel great about it, totally blessed to be here."

Pebble Beach Stevenson senior Evan Johnson was another double-winner, sweeping the boys 100 and 200. In the former, he came through in 10.54, easily in front of Nyziah Hunter, a junior from Salinas (10.80). In the latter, he cruised in front of San Mateo Serra senior Sione Laulea, 21.49-21.83.

"My main thing was to keep my form and hopefully, my time will improve," Johnson said. "I didn't really run the time I wanted to (in the 100), so that's why I have next week so that's my next goal. I'm trying to hit 10.3."

The other double-winner was San Jose Independence junior Ben Kin Ho Tsang, who swept the boys hurdles. Tsang won the 110 hurdles in 14.17, then took the 300 hurdles in 37.32.

Nwachukwu helped Silver Creek win the girls team championships with 51 points. Nwachukwu also ran a leg on the second place 400 relay team (48.23). Los Altos was second in the team scoring with 44 points, two ahead of Lynbrook.

Los Altos has an easier time winning the boys crown, scoring 63 points, well in front of Bellarmine's 44.

Mountain View freshman Hannah Rutherford continued a strong season, winning the 400 in 55.88 and taking second in the 200 in 25.23. St. Francis sophomore Lillian Kaelber was impressive in winning the 800 in 2:11.48. Los Altos junior Lauren Soobrian won the 3,200 in 10:17.17.

York senior Michael Julian took the boys 3,200 in 9:03.50.

Logan Lehnert, a senior at St. Ignatius, won the boys pole vault at 14 feet. Harker-San Jose junior Andrew Fu jumped 23-2 ½ to win the long jump. Joshua Kung, a senior at Los Altos, won the triple jump at 44-9.

Soquel sophomore Jonelle Scott won the girls pole vault at 11-6.

Damin Esper is a Bay Area-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to MileSplit

Photos by Raul Ebio