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Track and field battles St. Bonaventure and La Reina in home meet (16 photos)

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Track and field battles St. Bonaventure and La Reina in home meet (16 photos)

Bryn Treloar-Ballard

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In the final lap of the varsity boys’ 800 meter run, sophomore Jared Rodriguez was jostling with another runner for the lead position. Rodriguez was narrowly in second place going into the home stretch of Ventura College’s track.

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In the final lap of the varsity boys’ 800 meter run, sophomore Jared Rodriguez was jostling with another runner for the lead position. Rodriguez was narrowly in second place going into the home stretch of Ventura College’s track.

“Well, for the last part [of the race], I was just in my head, trying to stay with the guy until the last 100 meters, and then pass him,” Rodriguez said.

Freshmen Nathaniel Russell (left) and Erick Grewe (right) compete in the hurdles. Credit: Sarah Kagan/The Foothill Dragon Press

Freshmen Nathaniel Russell (left) and Erick Grewe (right) compete in the hurdles. Credit: Sarah Kagan/The Foothill Dragon Press

Rodriguez did so at the last possible moment, beating out his St. Bonaventure competitor by 0.13 seconds and setting a new school record with a time of 2:01.56.

The sophomore was excited by this accomplishment, and for its possible effect on forthcoming Foothill athletes.

“It feels really good knowing that this is a new school to sports, [and] knowing that I could be the one to set the bar for future athletes to come,” Rodriguez said.

Foothill competed against St. Bonaventure and La Reina High Schools on Tuesday in the Dragons’ home track and field meet at Ventura College.

The varsity girls defeated St. Bonaventure and lost to La Reina, while the varsity boys lost to St. Bonaventure.

Freshman Nathaniel Russell appreciated the opportunities a home meet provided for fans to support the team.

“It’s pretty good [to be on home turf],” Russell said. “It’s pretty hot. The infield being plastic kind of makes it pretty hot, but otherwise it’s really nice that we have everyone here, and they can come and watch us. It really makes it a fun event.”

Russell took first place in the boys’ frosh-soph pole vault, with a final jump height of nine feet, nine inches.

Head Coach Leonidas Watson also thought Foothill’s familiarity with the track gave the team an advantage.

“It’s always good. We know the lay of the area […] and plus, hopefully we get fans to come out,” Watson said.

 

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Dragon runners placed highly across the board, in distance events, sprints and field events.

Senior Raul Martinez took first place in the boys’ varsity discus throw with a distance of 116 feet, eight inches. Freshman Alexandra Avila placed second in the girls’ varsity shot put, throwing 28 feet, five inches.

Meanwhile, the girls’ varsity 4×400 meter relay team swept into first place, their total combined time of 4:25.36 giving them the win by over 12 seconds.

(From left to right) Sophomores Josh Ramirez, Jonah Bufford and Evan Pedersen compete. Credit: Sarah Kagan/The Foothill Dragon Press

(From left to right) Sophomores Josh Ramirez, Jonah Bufford and Evan Pedersen compete. Credit: Sarah Kagan/The Foothill Dragon Press

Foothill took the top two spots in the boys’ 800 meter run; Rodriguez was followed by teammate junior Andrew Neville, who ran 2:07.59. In the girls’ varsity 800 meter run, Dragons took three of the top four places, with junior Nyssa Torres leading her teammates in second place with a time of 2:29.26.

Freshman Maizie Anders, who took third place behind teammate Torres in the girls’ varsity 800 meter run, was proud of her team’s hard work and accomplishments in the meet.

“We’re really good for a new team. We show a lot of spirit and we’re always talking and stuff. There’s always stuff you can improve on, but I’m pretty proud of our team and everything that we have [done],” Anders said.

Principal Joe Bova, too, was satisfied with the track and field team’s performance, both in Tuesday’s meet and throughout the season.

“They’ve had a great season. We’re essentially pulling from one grade level mainly, and we’ve had a few juniors and seniors come out, and some sophomores that have come out,” Bova said. “I’m just proud of their accomplishments. They’ve done a great job.”

Though the team has been competing well, it is the athletes’ improvement that stands out to Watson.

“Since I’ve been over in the long jump and triple jump area, I’ve had a lot of kids PR, which is their personal record; they jumped their best this season,” Watson said. “Every meet, we have someone running their best, or jumping their furthest or their highest.”

Sophomore Daniel Staples plans to take every opportunity to improve.

“We’re always improving, every practice. I guess it’s just a matter of experience, since we’re so new at this,” he said. “This meet […] is another way to improve and get better. I just like every meet because they provide that opportunity.”

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Track and field battles St. Bonaventure and La Reina in home meet (16 photos)