TRACK: 13 area athletes get past Masters to qualify for state, including Damien’s Jarrett Gonzalez and Bonita’s Nikki Wheatley

Keith Birmingham’s Masters Photo Gallery

By Keith Lair, staff writer
The CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet was very predictable on Friday night. But it also was very unpredictable.

Victories at the meet at Cerritos College were not nearly as important as a place or a top time. The top five finishers and those who met the CIF State qualifying standard advanced to next week’s CIF State Meet at Clovis Buchanan High School.

How predictable was it? Nearly every one of the 24 athletes from the Valley said that was the No. 1 goal for the meet, which featured only the top athletes from last weekend’s CIF-SS division finals.

Blustery swirling winds made it difficult, especially for field event competitors. It was close to 20 degrees cooler than Thursday and the wind-chill made it feel more like the end of winter.

“It’s just the weather,” said Cantwell Sacred Heart’s Adam Aguirre, the only area qualifier making back-to-back appearances in the state meet. “All your muscles are not warmed up.

“I wanted to qualify and after that, I just let it go.”

Also unpredictable – and predictable, according to some coaches – was the amount of qualifiers from the section. All nine athletes in the boys’ 300-meter hurdles race, including Damien’s Jarrett Gonzales and Diamond Ranch’s Andrew Fischer, advanced. Eleven of the 12 in the 1,600, including Rowland’s Nick Rivera, La Salle’s Daniel De La Torre and Arcadia’s Sergio Gonzalez, qualified.

In all 13 athletes earned berths in next week’s meet. Maranatha’s Ebony Crear echoed the thoughts of all 10.

“That was my goal for the whole season,” the sophomore hurdler said.

Two athletes, De La Torre and Gonzalez, earned qualifying times in both distance events and also made it in the 3,200.

De La Torre, a junior, ran the 1,600 in 4:12.98 and the 3,200 in 9:06.13. Gonzalez, a senior, ran the 1,600 in 4:13.23 and the 3,200 in 9:06.88. Rivera qualified fourth with a time of 4:11.84.

De La Torre will be the lone area athlete to attempt a double. Gonzalez said he will run in only the 3,200 next week; there are no Friday night qualifying races in the meet’s longest race.

“I will only run one race,” said Gonzalez, the CIF-SS and state Division 1 cross country champion. “The two mile, I’m already in that state final. A tired man can do only so much while a rested man can do so much better.”

Three athletes who tried to qualify in multiple events only advanced in one.

Bonita sophomore Nikki Wheatley advanced in the triple jump, her best event, by placing fourth in 38-4. She failed to qualify in the long jump at 17-1 1/2 and in the high jump at 5-3.

She said the weather conditions had a lot to do with it.

“Being so cold threw me off,” she said. “I had to warm up between every single jump.”

The triple jump was her last event.

“I was hoping to go (to state) in all three, but it was a lot of jumps,” she said. “That made for a lot of pressure (in the triple jump). I knew I had to make it, but it was also my best event. I made it. That’s all that matters.”

Crear qualified in the 100 hurdles by finishing fourth in a personal-best 14.09. She failed to advance in the 300 hurdles in 44.29 after making the Masters with one of the meet’s best times.

Aguirre tied for third in the high jump at 6-5; South Pasadena sophomore Claire Kieffer-Wright, who tied for third in the high jump at 5-5 on her third and final attempt and Temple City senior Philippe Ueng, who cleared 15-3 in the pole vault on his first attempt.

All advanced to state.

Three area athletes advanced in the 400. Arcadia senior Alex McElwee was third in 48.48, San Marino’s Kyle Ezold fourth in 48.60 and La Serna’s German Fabela fifth in 48.69.

Damien’s Gonzales, who has the state’s top 300 hurdles time, struggled to find his step on the hurdles and finished fourth in 37.61. Diamond Ranch’s Fischer ran 37.79.

Among those who did not qualify were Arcadia’s Tony Moseley was eighth in the 800 in 1:54.51; Glendora’s Rocki Bartholomew, eighth in the discus at 132-7; Monrovia’s Michael Harris, ninth in the triple jump at 45-5 3/4 and the Damien 1,600 relay team of Kenneth Armstrong, Michael Sanchez, Gonzales and Hayden Clase, which was ninth in 3:21.38.

Damien’s Tracey Logan was 11th in the discus in 159-11 and Santa Fe’s Lucas Bedolla 12th in the long jump in 21-1 3/4.

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Softball Quarterfinals: Let the fun begin, St. Lucy’s, Bishop Amat and Chino Hills to fight it out in Semifinals; San Dimas, South El Monte finished

Keith Birmingham’s photo gallery on St. Lucy’s win.

Bishop Amat will host top-seed Chino Hills on Tuesday; St. Lucy’s on the road at South Torrance.

St. Lucy’s 5, North Torrance 3: St. Lucy’s Brandi Harkness, Laura Swan, Danielle Mavridis and Katie Lange knew they probably wouldn’t have another opportunity in the seventh to extend their season, so the seniors took care of business in the sixth to lead the Regents to a come-from-behind, 5-3 victory over North Torrance in the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 quarterfinals at Mt. San Antonio College on Thursday with four consecutive hits and back-to-back run-producing doubles to seal the deal.

Chino Hills 5, Mira Costa 0: Innamorato, Chino Hills softball team shut down Mira Costa

Bishop Amat 10, Burbank 4: The Lancers used their bats on Thursday afternoon to get a big lead on host Burbank, then staved off any thoughts of a rally by the Bulldogs and posted a 10-4 win in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoffs.

Buena 10, San Dimas 1: After beating Aquinas, the top-seeded team in Division 4, one would think it would get easier the rest of the way. This wasn’t the case for the San Dimas softball team (22-8, 11-1) as it lost to Buena, 10-1, in the quarterfinal round of the CIF-SS playoffs.

Barstow 20, South El Monte 1: Barstow eliminated South El Monte with a 20-1 win Thursday to advance to the semifinals. It was the third consecutive lopsided victory for the Aztecs, who have outscored their playoff opponents 66-12. Barstow defeated Magnolia in the first round, 32-8, before beating No. 5 seed Schurr on Tuesday, 14-3.

Thursday’s Quarterfinal Results
Division 3
Chino Hills 5, Mira Costa 0
Bishop Amat 10, Burbank 4
St. Lucy’s 5, North Torrance 3
South Torrance 6, Warren 2
Division 4
Buena 10, San Dimas 1
Division 5
Barstow 20, South El Monte 1

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(Inland Empire Power) Glendora still thriving in baseball because good is good no matter where you play; Tartans on road in quarters

While almost every Tartans sport has struggled in the Baseline and CIF playoffs, Glendora’s baseball team is chasing another CIF championship after back-to-back league titles.

Above: Standouts (left to right) Martin Gallegos, Wyatt Wood and Donovan Holmes have kept the winning tradition going at Glendora (photo/Keith Birmingham)

By Aram Tolegian, SGVN,
When Glendora High School was moved into the Baseline League two years ago, it was much to the chagrin of school officials and coaches.

For the most part, Tartan athletic programs have struggled in the new league and it makes sense because there’s not too much Glendora has in common with the rest of the Baseline schools. The exception, however, has been the school’s baseball team.

Glendora won the Baseline League for a second consecutive season and has racked up 18 wins.

And in case you hadn’t noticed, the Tartans are one of a handful of area baseball teams still alive in the postseason. The Tartans visit Trabuco Hills in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 playoffs on Friday at 3:15 p.m.

“We’re out in a different league and it is what it is,” Glendora coach Dan Henley said. “We know where we’re at. There’s a comfort in the program that there’s only certain things you can control. I’ve always said that polls don’t mean anything, it’s the idea of getting better.”

Another casualty of Glendora’s move to the Baseline is that because the rest of the league isn’t local to area fans, the Tartans somewhat drop off the radar as far as Valley sports fans are concerned.

While Los Altos battles Bonita or South Hills takes on Charter Oak in league games, Glendora might be playing Los Osos or Etiwanda and it just doesn’t have the same effect on the public conscious.

When last seen by the entire Valley, Glendora was on the losing end of a 7-2 game against Bonita in the championship of the Arcadia Elks Tournament. Since then, the Tartans have gotten better and better. (To continue click thread)

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