Group from Burbank High, Burroughs shines at track and field finals

ARCADIA — On a stellar evening for both the Burbank and Burroughs high track and field programs, no one rose higher than Indians senior Matt Schwartz.

The pole vaulter put on a show at the Pacific League track and field finals at Arcadia High on Friday evening, winning two events, while also setting a new league record.

PHOTOS: Pacific League track and field finals

The UC Berkeley-bound Schwartz was no disappointment in his top event, the pole vault, as he and cross-town rival Chris Miranda were soon the only two vaulters to survive past 14 feet.

While both reached 14-6, Miranda missed on three attempts to break the meet record of 15-0 1/2, set by Dennis Gingrich of Rosemead High in 1969.

Schwartz etched his name into the record books when he connected on his first attempt at 15-1.

"I think I'm more excited about my high jump than anything," Schwartz said. "I think I was expecting to do well in the pole vault and hit my height. I've done better. Now, I'm getting ready for CIF."

The pole vault was an all-city affair, as Miranda took second and qualified to the CIF Southern Section Division I preliminaries at Trabuco Hills next Saturday along with Schwartz and Burroughs' Kent Troung, who was third with a mark of 13-6.

"To me, this was just another meet," said Miranda, who appeared to hurt himself on his landing after clearing 14 feet. "I wanted to do better, but I have another chance."

Schwartz did not raise his own standard as the senior no-heighted on three attempts at 15-6.

After his final miss, Schwartz hustled to the other side of the field and reached the high jump pit.

With virtually no time to prepare, Schwartz easily leaped to a height of 6 feet in his first and only attempt and won the competition.

Schwartz' victory was one of two for the Indians versus the Bulldogs in pole vault competition, as Sarah Prystupa won her second straight league crown with a leap of 10 feet and defeated Burbank's Julia Newton, who also hit 10 feet, but had more scratches through the process.

As for wins, the Indians were far from finished, as Robert Brennan captured the 400-meter run in 50.05 seconds and was joined in victory lane by Corwin Scherer, who won the 300 hurdles in 40.14, and by Niko Guerrero, who took home the triple jump crown in 42-5 1/2.

Brennan and Scherer also teamed up to take second in the 400 relay (43.57) with Augusto Corea and Andrew Williams.

Scherer advanced in his third event, as he was third in the 110 hurdles (15.51), while Guerrero was also a multi-event qualifier as the Indians' athlete was third in the 100-meter dash (11.39).

Burroughs' Nathan Bradley also advanced in the 300 hurdles, taking third in 41.80.

While Burbank may have been short on victories, the Bulldogs received a stout effort from distance runner Candela Fernandez.

The sophomore continued her strong growth by setting a new school record in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5:00.38, which was good for second in the event.

"This is what I've been trying to accomplish for a year now," said Fernandez, who was also second in the 3,200 with a mark of 11:04.20. "I've had good starts and good finishes, but today, my middle was strong and that's why I was able to run so well."

Newton, who came closest to delivering the Bulldogs a win, was also strong on Friday, as she finished second in the 100-meter dash (12.53) and was part of Burbank's third-place 400-relay squad (50.77) that also included, Felicia Tomitsa, McKynlee Vucannon and Karen Zepeda.

One qualifier perhaps not that thrilled with just moving on was Burbank's Andy Hurtado, who was upset by Arcadia's Joshua Ji in the discus, as Hurtado's toss of 150-2 was beaten by Ji's mark of 157-3.

Other Burbank qualifiers were Trevor Strang in the high jump (tied for second in 5-10), Jonathan Afzali in the 110 hurdles (second, 15.47), James Williams in the triple jump (third, 41-4 1/2), Josh Canton in the 400 (third, 51.02) and Brennan Doyle in the 1,600 (third, 4:22.30).

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