2014 ALL-AREA TRACK AND FIELD
ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
THADDEUS SMITH, DAMIEN, JUNIOR; KAYLA RICHARDSON, WALNUT, SOPHOMORE
Consistency is usually the key to success in athletes, and it proved to be the key ingredient for Damien’s Thaddeus Smith and Walnut’s Kayla Richardson, who proved to be the area’s best.
For their efforts, Smith and Richardson are the Tribune Boys and Girls Track Athletes of the Year.
Smith, a junior, was the area’s top sprinter. He placed in Division 3 in the 100 and 200 at the CIF-Southern Sectoin finals and qualified for the CIF-SS Masters in the 200. At the divisional meet, he was sixth with a time of 10.77 seconds before taking third in the 200 at 21.36. At the Masters Meet, he was ninth at 21.94.
“Overall, I was pretty happy about the season,” Smith said. “My goal was to make it to Masters, so I did that. I broke the school record for the 200, so it was a pretty successful season. I wanted to make it to state, but it didn’t happen. I’ll just have to try next year.”
Richardson, a sophomore, was also the area’s top sprinter, placing in Division 1 in the 100 and part of Walnut’s 4×100 relay team, which was the area’s only representative at the CIF State championships near Fresno.
Richardson was ninth in the 100 in Division 1 at CIF-SS finals with a time of 12.35, which was best in the area. She helped Walnut to a fourth-place finish in the 4×100 with a time of 46.83. The Mustangs were sixth at Masters with a time of 47.01. They were sixth in their heat at the state championships and didn’t advance to the event final.
She also scored four first-place medals at the Hacienda League finals, winning the 100 and 200 and helping the 400 and 1,600 relay teams to wins.
“I wasn’t really satisfied with my year,” Richardson said. “I didn’t drop my time as much as I wanted to. But I was glad I was able to experience the state meet and would like to be back there next year.”
BOYS COACH OF THE YEAR
MICHAEL WILLIAMS, DAMIEN
Williams guided the Spartans to a top 20 finish in Division 3 at the CIF-SS finals.
The Spartans placed five in the finals, led by Smith’s efforts in the 100 and 200. Others were freshman Zachary Shinnick, who was ninth in the 400 (51.36); junior Kaodilichi Nwuda, who was eighth in the 110 hurdles (15.61), and senor Robert Prata, who was seventh in the long jump (21-6 1/4).
GIRLS COACH OF THE YEAR
KEITH THOMPSON, WALNUT
Thompson guided the Mustangs to a dual championship in the Hacienda League and a dominant effort at the league finals, in addition to coaching the only athletes in the area to advance to the state championships.
Richardson set the pace with wins in the 100 and 200 at the league finals, a spot in the Division 1 finals and part of the 400 relay team that advanced to the state championships. Walnut’s efforts also featured Jessica Gallardo winning the 1,600 (5:26.09) at league finals.
DANIEL STOKES, DIAMOND RANCH, JUNIOR
Stokes was the top sprinter in the Hacienda League. He placed seventh in Division 3 in the 100 with a time of 10.93. He also won the 100 (10.86) and 200 (22.10) at the Hacienda League finals.
ADOLFO VELASQUEZ, BALDWIN PARK, SOPHOMORE.
Velasquez was the top distance runner in the area. He was the lone area representative in either the 1,600 or 3,200 at the divisional finals. He was sixth in Division 2 in the 1,600 with a time of 4:21.72.
DILLON BECKUM, BONITA, FRESHMAN
Beckum was the top mid-range runners in the area. He finished third in Division 3 in the 800 with a time of 1:53.70 and was 10th at Masters, with a time of 1:56.20. He was Hacienda League champion, with a time of 1:53.37.
ANTHONY ALVAREZ, SOUTH HILLS, SENIOR
Alvarez was arguably the top hurdler in the area. His best effort came in the 300, in which he placed eighth in Division 3 with a time of 40.54. He also was Sierra League champion, winning the event with a time of 40.87.
ROBERT PRATA, DAMIEN, SENIOR
Prata led off area efforts among field athletes at the CIF-SS championships. He placed seventh in Division 3 in the long jump with a mark of 21 feet, 6 1/4 inches. Prata also was a double winner at the Sierra League finals, winning the long jump (22-1/2) and high jump (6-0).
MORGAN LOVE, CHARTER OAK, JUNIOR
Love was one of two area athletes — Damien’s Smith was the other — to qualify for the division finals in two events. In Division 3, she was sixth in the 200 (25.41) and third in the 400 (57.75). Love also was Sierra League champion in the long jump (20-16).
SUSIE GARZA, BALDWIN PARK, SENIOR
Garza was one of three area athletes to qualify for the Masters meet. She proved to be the area’s best mid-range runner, qualifying in the Division 2 800, placing seventh with a time of 2:13.57. She was eighth at Masters, scoring a time of 2:12.98).
EMILY HUBERT, BISHOP AMAT, JUNIOR
Hubert, the reigning girls cross country runner of the year, brought that effort to the spring as the area’s best distance runner. She placed seventh in Division 3 in the 1,600 with a time of 5:05.86.
TAMMY VIEN, ROSEMEAD, SOPHOMORE
Vien was the top hurdler in the area. She led a top effort by Rosemead at the Division 3 meet by placing sixth in the 300 low hurdles with a time of 45.81. The sophomore will be one of the area’s best returning athletes next season.
CASSIDY PENG, BONITA SOPHOMORE
Bonita has a strong track and field tradition, and Peng added to that this season. She had one of the better efforts among field athletes, placing sixth in Division 3 in the triple jump with a mark of 36-5 1/2.
Kaodilichi Nwuda, Damien, Jr. (110)
Javier Ubaldo, Wilson, Sr. (800)
Zachary Shinnick, Damien, Fr. (400)
Raymond Tan, Arroyo, Jr. (Long Jump)
Dominic Gonzalez, Walnut, So. (800)
Julian Sandoval, El Monte, Jr. (800)
Jose Robles, South El Monte, Sr. (Pole Vault)
Andrew Agyemang, Damien (Triple Jump)
Brandon Hayashi, Los Altos (Shot Put)
Julian Ortega, Walnut (Shot Put)
Millen Trujillo, Walnut (1,600)
Alan Tantiwassadakran, Walnut (110)
Josh Taylor, West Covina (110)
Rondell Parks, West Covina (110)
Dillon Knobbs, Bonita (1,600)
GIRLS SECOND TEAM
Sandra Marquez, Mnt View, Jr. (400)
Emily Hoey, Glendora, Sr. (1,600)
Amy Lem, Rosemead, Sr. (Discus) (1:08.10)
Sidney Pink, Glendora, Jr. (High Jump) (5-1)
Hannah Nance, San Dimas, So. (High Jump)
Shayla Harris, South Hills (Triple Jump)
Kelsey Remige, St. Lucy’s (High Jump)
Kailyn Scott, Bonita (1,600)
Anahi Betart, Walnut (1,600)
Kristen Camarena, Los Altos (3,200)
Sabrina Uribe, Walnut (400)
Briyanna Coleman, Bonita (400)