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Jim RiggioThe 30th edition of the Burbank...

Jim Riggio

The 30th edition of the Burbank Invitational was a little different

than meets of the past.

For one, the track and field event was at Burroughs’ Memorial


Field instead of at Burbank High, because of ongoing construction

that has rendered the Bulldog track unusable.

Also, since the meet was rained out a week earlier, Saturday’s

event featured far less teams than in the years past.


However, despite the setbacks, and change of venue, it was a meet

that was far from disappointing. The event had its share of great

performances, and the small field of teams offered some local

athletes a chance to shine.

Host Burbank High won the girls’ varsity competition with 99

points, knocking off Foothill League rival Saugus (second; 86 points)

and Burroughs (third; 68).

Burroughs won the sweepstakes trophy by accumulating 384 points


between the Indians’ two varsity and two freshmen-sophomore squads.

L.A. Loyola High won the boys’ varsity with 149 points.

“I’m happy for the girls’ varsity,” Burbank Coach Darin Wolf

said. “There was a good overall team effort.”

While Burbank didn’t dominate in any event, it posted good marks

across the board.

The Bulldogs’ 440-yard relay team of London Figueroa, Ebony

Crouch, Judy Maxwell and Carolyn Chrzan won the race in 52.9 seconds,


and the Bulldog group of Quintasha Mixon, Kelly Atkins and Figueroa

finished in 1:00.53 to win the 300-meter shuttle relay.

Burbank also finished first in the 4 x 220 relay in 1:55.1, as

Mixon, Samantha Rivero, Crouch and Maxwell ran legs, and Jennifer

Anderson won the shot put with a winning effort of 33 feet 9 inches.

“This is her first year throwing,” Wolf said of the senior, who

plays on the girls’ volleyball team -- also coached by Wolf. “I told

her you’d make a great shot putter, and she won.”

The Burbank boys’ team competed in the meet short-handed, as its

top two distance runners -- Kyle Ivie and Stratos Christianakis --

missed the event to take an academic test.

“I was really looking forward to have our best team in the

distance medley,” Wolf said.

While Burbank might have come out on top in the girls’

competition, Burroughs was tough in all divisions.

The Indians won the four-mile relay in 23:38.0, powered by Adriana

Powers, Hillary Duran, Katie Vahoviak and Carolyn Brown.

A Burroughs team of Ruben Banzali, R.J. De Los Santos, Sean Allen

and David Brooks won the boys’ sprint medley in 3:43.8. The event

leads off with a 440 leg, followed by two 220s and an 880.

The Indian boys’ sprinters did well in the 4 x 220 relay,

finishing only behind Woodland Hills Taft, one of the top programs in

the state. Taft, which is coached by 1992 Olympic 400-meter gold

medalist Quincy Watts, won the race in 1:30.1.

Burroughs captured the top three spots in the girls’ 3,200 with

Vahoviak winning in 12:29.1, followed by Brown in 12:43.4 and Powers

in 13:04.3.

Along with the running races, Burroughs also did well in the field


On the boys’ side, Juan Flores won the boys’ discus (143-1), Mike

Ortega won the boys’ pole vault (13-0) and Tulyah Gaines won the

girls’ long jump (15-4 1/2) and finished second in the triple jump

(33-11 1/2).

The best mark of the meet came in the boys’ mile relay, as Taft --

after hearing the meet record was 3:19.1 -- did all it could to break

the mark, which was set in 1978 by Wilmington Banning. Running

virtually alone the entire race, Taft finished in 3:22.8.

The Toreadors, who finished second in the state in the event last

season, competed in just a few events in the meet, and held out

several top athletes from its football team.

“This was the first time of us running the four-by-four,” Watts

said of the mile-relay team.

“It was a good meet for us overall. The kids had fun and we got

to work on some things.”