2022 OUTDOOR SEASON IN REVIEW
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In 2021, the Central Coast Section did something at the end of the spring track and field season that benefitted many CCS athletes. They held a section final which allowed athletes to experience a section final at the end of another uncertain season still disrupted by COVID-19.
That experience allowed many athletes to gain valuable experience which I believe made for an even more impressive 2022 spring season. Many of those athletes returned to win section titles and then competed with the best athletes in the state at the CIF-State Track and Field Championships.
Some brought back hardware from their State Meet competition and best of all, some were underclassmen who will return next season with even more experience and potentially a more impressive 2023 season.
Another positive for the section was the return of the CCS Top 8 meet. It is by far the best section preview in the entire state. The best athletes from the section got to go head to head about a month before the section final and gave the audience a glimpse of what lies ahead at the end of May.
Congratulations to the team section champions, the Los Altos boys, and the Silver Creek girls. It should also be noted that the Los Altos girls finished in second place making them the most complete team in the section.
Podium CCS athletes from the California State Track and Field Meet.
100 meters - Evan Johnson (Stevenson) 4th place
1600 meters - Jeremy Kain (Scotts Valley) 2nd place
110 meters hurdles - Ben Kin Ho Tsang (Independence) 6th place
300 meters hurdles - Shawn Toney (Los Altos) 3rd place
300 meters hurdles - Ben Kin Ho Tsang (Independence) 5th place
3200 meters - Lauren Soobrian (Los Altos) 4th place
High jump - Hannah Slover (Los Gatos) 1st place
High jump - Elizabeth Churchill (Aptos) 4th place (tie)
High jump - Melanie Castelli (Notre Dame) 4th place (tie)
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CENTRAL COAST SECTION ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
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When it comes to the best male sprinter in the section, Stevenson senior Evan Johnson dominated his section rivals once again after completing a sweep of the sprints the previous season at the section final. This season, Johnson recorded the fastest time overall in the 100 meters with a wind-aided 10.41. He was undefeated leading up to the California State Track and Field Meet. There he finished in 4th place in the 100 meters to claim his first podium finish.
Jeremy Kain - Scotts Valley, Sr.
Throughout the season, there were multiple contenders but in the end, Scotts Valley senior Jeremy Kain was the most impressive distance runner in the section over multiple distances. He won both 1600 meters and 800 meters at the section final establishing a new personal best in the shorter event at 1:51.32. He finished in second place at the California State Meet in the 1600 meters to claim the only podium finish for a CCS male distance runner.
This was a tough one to pick but in the end, the most consistent jumper was Harker junior Andrew Fu. He finished in 2nd place at the CCS Top 8 meet, won the WBAL title and then won the section long jump title on his last jump. At the California State Meet, Fu gained valuable experience in multiple events and just missed the final in the long jump as he was the 13th best jumper at the Trials.
Valley Christian senior Jacob Kiesman was the best combination thrower in the section. He was the best shot putter winning the section title as well as having the best throw of the season at 57-5. He also finished in third place in the discus with a season-best of 141-3.
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Juliette Kosmont - Santa Catalina, Sr.
We ended up with two girls here as both competitors swept their events at the section final. Santa Catalina senior Juliette Kosmont won both the 100 and 200 meter races convincingly.
Silver Creek senior Chika Nwachukwu won both of the hurdle races as she helped lead her team to the team section title.
Lauren Soobrian - Los Altos, Jr.
There were a few contenders here but in the end, only one girl podiumed at State and that was Los Altos junior, Lauren Soobrian. She recorded her best time in the 1600 at the CCS Semifinals with a time of 4:51.13. She dropped that event to focus on the 3200 and won the section final with a time of 10:17.17. That is the 6th fastest time in CCS history. At the CA State Track and Field Meet, Soobrian finished in 4th place to cap off a most outstanding season.
Hannah Slover - Los Gatos, Jr.
When you look at all the competitors for this award, it's hard to not pick a state champion. Los Gatos junior Hannah Slover had a best of 5-8 at the Arcadia Invitational where she finished in 4th place. She jumped 5-7 at the CCS finals which placed her 3rd. At the State Finals, Slover was the only jumper to cleanly make 5-4 and 5-6 and as a result was rewarded with a state championship.
Ningning O'Brien - Homestead, Jr.
Homestead junior Ningning O'Brien had the most impressive throwing mark of the season as she heaved the discus 136-10 at her league final. She also won the section title in the same event and recorded a 5th place finish in the shot put at the same meet with a personal best 36-0.5.
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Albert Caruana is a coach in Northern California and a regular contributor to MileSplit.
Photos by Raul Ebio.