TRACK AND FIELD: Falcons soar to league championships
Both the Forest Lake Christian boys and girls varsity teams claimed team titles at the Central Valley California League Track and Field Championships held at Encina Prep High School last week.
The Lady Falcons had a solid lead in league competition all season and wrapped up their fourth consecutive varsity championship, edging out second place Buckingham Charter by 33 points. The boys team, comprised of mostly underclassmen, a couple of juniors and one senior started the season in fourth place in league competition but pulled out the victory with a one-point margin (107-106) over Woodland Christian. The boys varsity win is a first in FLC school history.
In the process, a number of school records were broken, and personal bests achieved. Freshman Luke Stokes placed second overall in the boys 100- and 200-meter dash and was part of the FLC 4×100 relay team with sophomores Levi Mireles and Brady Steffenson, and first-time track athlete, senior Daniel Hanson. The boys 4×400 team with Chris Herzan, Mireles, Hanson and Steffenson set a new 4×400 record with a time of 3:47.88.
Steffenson claimed the 400 school record in 53.65 seconds, Herzan replaced the 800 record with his own 2:19.93 pace, and sophomore Jaren Wible took the triple jump championship with a final mark of 38.8 feet. Wible broke the long jump school record earlier in the season with a solid 20-foot leap. Other team points were contributed by Elijah DeYoung with his fifth-place high jump at 5-04 and third place triple jump at 37-02.50.
The Lady Falcons were led by junior Amber Jackson who earned first place finishes in all four of her events, including a new school discus record of 88.09 feet. She also set a new school record for the 3,200 with her 11:35 race and had season bests in the 800 at 2:22.55 and the 1600 in 5:17.37.
Equally strong competitors included senior Priscilla Jones who set new school records in both the 100 hurdles (16:65) and the 300 hurdles (46.94) and barely missed breaking her own 100m record with her second-place finish. Senior Lily Sween dominated the competition this season with her jumping in all three events — high jump, long jump and she set a new school record in the triple with her 34-08.5 best. Senior Lindsey Ussery also continued with her strong season by winning the 200 in a time of 27.32.
“I am extremely proud of these young athletes,” said FLC head coach Joanna Cote Thurman. “We had a series of setbacks and coincidences that I liked to call “God winks” that brought these teams together this season. With FLCS being a small school, we had more than half our athletes simultaneously participating in multiple sports. Balancing that load with academics, family and social life can be quite a challenge. Their commitment allowed us to successfully achieve that balance while still having fun and growing together as athletes and as a community.”
The Falcons were well prepared for their final league meet after a strong showing at the Nevada Union Kays/Ostrom invitational just a few days before. Both the boys and girls varsity teams had a number of athletes medaling and earning new school records, along with the girls team in a solid third place finish only one point out of second place, an impression showing for the Lady Falcons in a field of 16 D-III teams.
The Falcons are next looking forward to taking their qualifiers to the Sac-Joaquin Section D-V-DVI Championships Wednesday and Friday at Chavez High School in Stockton, where they will contend for advancement in the boys 4×100 and 4×400 team relays, the boys 400, 300 hurdles, and triple jump. The girls will represent in 100 and 300 hurdles, the 200, 800, 1600, discus, as well as triple, long and high jumps.
This artcile was submitted to The Union by FLC coach Joanna Cote Thurman. Coaches and team affiliates may submit game reports by email at email@example.com or by phone at 530-477-4232.
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