Costa Mesa High hosts first track meet at new stadium

Costa Mesa High hosts first track meet at new stadium
Costa Mesa High's Sonny Tran-Nguyen places 1st in a boys' 100-meter race during a track meet against Estancia and Saddleback on Thursday in Costa Mesa. (Kevin Chang/ Daily Pilot)

COSTA MESA — Stopwatches served as more than a mechanism to calculate the unofficial splits of the runners at Costa Mesa High on Thursday afternoon.

Hand times can be a humbling experience for athletes, coaches, and even reporters, but no one seemed to care.


Nothing was going to get in the way of the enjoyment of Costa Mesa's first home track meet in the past nine seasons.

Mustangs coach Steve Moreno was so excited to get the festivities underway that he and his staff were pitching the results tent on their lunch break.

Moreno knows humble beginnings, as do most of the Mustangs who were around to see the facilities prior to the school's new stadium.

Seven years ago, Moreno began his current stint with Costa Mesa. His team had a dirt track to train on, and all of the would-be home meets were held at Estancia High's Jim Scott Stadium.

"It was a very exciting time for us at Costa Mesa to finally put on a home meet," Moreno said. "It was awesome to have the opportunity to do that here. Regardless of how much work it is, it's all worth it."

If the hosts were looking to entertain their guests, they found their star attraction in the sprints on the boys' side. Sonny Tran-Nguyen took home victories in the 100 meters (11.59 seconds), 200 (23.34), and the 1,600 relay.

On each of his sprints wins, Tran-Nguyen edged out teammate Niko Cross by less than a tenth of a second. Cross, a junior transfer from Mater Dei, has been recovering from foot surgery.

"Me and Nico, we raced back then three years ago," Tran-Nguyen said. "I knew that he was fast.

"I know he's still trying to recover, but today, he proved that he is way stronger. That pushed me to be faster and keep up with him and push him, too. We took it to new heights."

Tran-Nguyen appreciated the turnout, which was substantial with fans hanging over the fence on the perimeter of the track.

"The parents, you have to thank them," he said. "Everyone else, they're all really big supporters. I used that to channel into my energy and go faster."

Costa Mesa took seven of 15 events on the boys' side, as the pole vault was not contested.

Myles Aguilar (400), Joseph Pena (800), Anthony Osorio (3,200), and Devin Villalpando (HJ) scored individual wins for the Mustangs.

Felicia Crenshaw swept the throws, with Diane Molina (800) and Michelle Vu (300 hurdles) adding event wins for Costa Mesa.

Felicia and Tayla Crenshaw were the most recognizable athletes at the Orange Coast League tri-meet, as they frequent the invitationals.

Still, one should not lose sight of the competitiveness of a dual meet, no matter where the marks may fall.

"When you come to dual meets from invitationals, you realize that there's not just a bunch of individuals," Estancia coach Matthew Redding said. "It's more of a team.

"Even though we have guys who do invitationals, they bring the team together to try to get us points."

The competition also turned internal for the Eagles. Trevor Pacheco (19-9) leapfrogged past teammate Hayden Pearce (19-7) in the long jump, stealing the victory with a new personal-best mark.

It was just Pacheco's third time jumping in a meet.

Jay Enciso swept the throws, winning the events by sizable margins.

Dafne Garduno starred for Estancia in the girls' meet. The junior won the 400 and the 1,600.

Redding said that he has been trying to work on Garduno's speed in the second half of distance races, which indicates why the cross-country runner was competing in the 400.

Garduno finished the 1,600 strong, posting a lifetime best time of 5:44. The time beat her previous personal best by eight seconds.

"I haven't been consistent lately, so for me to PR this time, it's pretty exciting," Garduno said. "We've kind of been changing it up a little bit on my runs. Coach has been really helpful.

"This year has been my best year so far, and hopefully, next year is better."


Orange Coast League

At Costa Mesa High

100 — 1. Tran (Costa Mesa) 11.59; 2. Cross (Costa Mesa) 11.66; 3. Pacheco (Estancia) 11.70

200 — 1. Tran (Costa Mesa) 23.34; 2. Cross (Costa Mesa) 23.38; 3. Ochoa (Saddleback) 23.52

400 — 1. Aguilar (Costa Mesa) 52.68; 2. Pena (Costa Mesa) 53.30; 3. Godinez (Saddleback) 53.58

800 — 1. J. Pena (Costa Mesa) 2:10.27; 2. Zamora (Saddleback) 2:11.68; 3. Cortez (Costa Mesa) 2:15.72

1,600 — 1. Zamora (Saddleback) 4:49; 2. Cortez (Costa Mesa) 4:53; 3. Chavez (Costa Mesa) 5:02

3,200 — 1. Osorio (Costa Mesa) 11:40

110HH — 1. Ceballos (Saddleback) 18.01; 2. Cash (Estancia) 18.94; 3. Benitez (Saddleback) 19.45

300IH — 1. Jiminez (Saddleback) 44.28; 2. Ceballos (Saddleback) 45.69; 3. Pierce (Estancia) 47.0

400 relay — 1. Saddleback 45.72; 2. Costa Mesa 45.92; 3. Estancia 46.31

1,600 relay — 1. Costa Mesa 3:35; 2. Saddleback 3:37; 3. Estancia 4:08

HJ — 1. Villalpando (Costa Mesa) 6-0; 2. Joseph (Costa Mesa) 5-6; 3. Cameron (Estancia) 5-4

LJ — 1. Pacheco (Estancia) 19-9; 2. Pearce (Estancia) 19-7; 3. Roa (Saddleback) 18-6

TJ — 1. Roa (Saddleback) 36-2; 2. Urquiza (Saddleback) 35-8; 3. Jacobo (Estancia) 33-2

SP — 1. Enciso (Estancia) 46-9; 2. Herrera (Saddleback) 41-0.5; 3. Renteria (Estancia) 35-5.5

DT — 1. Enciso (Estancia) 126-10; 2. David P. (Saddleback) 116-5; 3. Bryan S. (Costa Mesa) 109-7.5


Orange Coast League

At Costa Mesa High

100 — 1. Martinez (Saddleback) 13.38; 2. Cruz (Estancia) 13.39; 3. Carillo (Costa Mesa) 13.93

200 — 1. Martinez (Saddleback) 28.65; 2. Carillo (Costa Mesa) 29.37; 3. Ruiz (Costa Mesa) 30.42

400 — 1. Garduno (Estancia) 1:05.35; 2. Ocequeda (Saddleback) 1:05.40; 3. Olvera (Costa Mesa) 1:07.60

800 — 1. Molina (Costa Mesa) 2:36.91; 2. Castillo (Costa Mesa) 2:41.21; 3. Devlin (Costa Mesa) 2:41.75

1,600 — 1. Garduno (Estancia) 5:44; 2. Molina (Costa Mesa) 5:45; 3. Devlin (Costa Mesa) 5:48

3,200 — 1. Martinez (Saddleback) 13:37; 2. Cacellan (Costa Mesa) 13:45; 3. Canas (Costa Mesa) 14:23

100HH — 1. Napier (Saddleback) 18.64; 2. Vu (Costa Mesa) 18.85

300IH — 1. Vu (Costa Mesa) 52:55; 2. Napier (Saddleback) 56.0

400 relay — 1. Saddleback 52.62; 2. Costa Mesa 55.47; 3. Estancia 1:01.64

1,600 relay — 1. Saddleback 4:31; 2. Costa Mesa 4:33; 3. Estancia 5:24

HJ — 1. Napier (Saddleback) 4-6; 2. Seal (Costa Mesa) 4-4

LJ — 1. Ocegueda (Saddleback) 15-8; 2. Olvera (Costa Mesa) 14-2; 3. Seal (Costa Mesa) 13-11

TJ — 1. Hernandez (Saddleback) 28-2; 2. Rosales (Saddleback) 28-0

SP — 1. F. Crenshaw (Costa Mesa) 39-7; 2. T. Crenshaw (Costa Mesa) 34-9; 3. Izazaga (Saddleback) 29-4

DT — 1. F. Crenshaw (Costa Mesa) 142-2; 2. T. Crenshaw (Costa Mesa) 110-9; 3. Martinez (Costa Mesa) 95-6

Twitter: @ProfessorTurner