Not sure if this got in due to the computer fiascos of the past couple of days, but here it is in all its glory.
By T.J. Berka
COLTON – Ever since Desiree Justine Martha-Hulum passed away due to leukemia two years ago, Carter High School senior April Pate has kept her best friend in her thoughts.
Wearing a black t-shirt honoring Martha-Hulum at Thursday’s Citrus Belt League meet, Pate excelled in a way that would have made Martha-Hulum proud, winning the 100 and 300 hurdles.
Coupled with her win Wednesday in the triple jump, Pate was the only athlete to win three individual events in advancing to next Saturday’s CIF-SS Division I preliminaries at Trabuco Hills. As she was pulling the trifecta, her mind was focused on her late friend.
“Every time I go out, I dedicate what I do to her,” Pate said. “I keep her in my mind everyday. She’s my best friend.”
Pate’s winning time of 44.04 seconds in the 300 hurdles was good enough to set the league meet record. It was one of two records that were set at Colton High School Thursday, as Elizabeth Ramos’ time of 11:13.69 in the 3,200-meter run also set a meet record.
Ramos keyed a Redlands sweep of the distance events, as senior Meredith Robie won the 800 and mile events. Robie’s run in the 800 was especially riveting, as she went wire-to-wire with junior teammate Lauren Jacobs at the end, lunging across the line just ahead of Jacobs in a photo finish to win the race by a mere five-hundredths of a second.
“We weren’t really worried about who was going to win the race,” Robie said. “Right after, we looked at each other saying ‘I think you won it.’ We really didn’t know and we didn’t really care. Lauren and I just want to push each other and make sure we finish top 2.”
Robie barely lost out in a close finish in the mile relay, finishing .16 seconds behind Eisenhower’s Samia Sailinuu. Ike also won the 400 relay and had two individual athletes, Clinay Cameron (girls shot put and discus) and Marquis Pilcher (200 and 400), take multiple events.
It was a solid day for Pilcher, who is in his first year of competitive track at Ike. Besides winning the individual events, the senior participated on the Eagles’ second-place 400 and mile relays.
“I wanted to get the relays, but it was a pretty good day,” Pilcher said. “I just trying to go out there and get better every time, learn something new every time I run.”
Pilcher and the Eagles finished behind Miller in both relays. The Rebels also won both boys hurdles events, with Brandon Skinner taking the 110 in 15.50 seconds and Ramiro Alvarez prevailing in the 300 hurdles in 39.88 seconds.
Boys league champion Redlands East Valley won four events, with Anthony Viola notching wins in the high jump (6-foot-7) and the triple jump (44-2 ). Andrew Tyler won the 800 in 2:00.12 while Matt MacKenzie won the 1,600 with a time of 4:28.47.