As the high school track and field season continued to wind down
Friday night, and some of Southern California’s premier athletes saw
their campaigns come to an end, it appears as if Kyle Ivie is just
beginning to hit his stride.
Although the Burbank senior didn’t earn himself an automatic berth
to the CIF State Track and Field prelims in the boys’ 1,600 meters,
he easily surpassed the at-large standard to qualify at the
Master’s Meet at Cerritos College’s Falcon Stadium.
Relying on an unbelievable kick in the final 75 meters of the
race, Ivie moved from eighth to sixth place and just missed out on a
top-five finish -- the automatic qualifiers -- clocking a
personal-best 4 minutes 13.63 seconds, well below the at-large mark
of 4:17.02 and 0.44 ahead of his time at the Division II final May
In doing so, Ivie -- who finished just behind Anaheim Esperanza’s
Mike Chavez (fourth, 4:13.51) and L.A. Loyola’s Mark Matusak
(fifth, 4:13.58) -- became the first male athlete from Burbank to
qualify for the state meet since Issac Turner advanced in the 800 in
1993 with a mark of 1:53.86.
He is scheduled to run in one of two heats at either 5:38 or 5:44
p.m. Friday, also at Cerritos College. Should he finish in the top
three in his heat or post one of three fastest times among
non-automatic qualifiers, he’ll return for the state final at 4:28
“I’m just glad I’m going. It feels good,” said Ivie, who became
the first local male athlete to compete in the state meet since
Burroughs’ Brian Anderson qualified in the 800 in 2000.
“I’ve run with [these guys] so many times and I know what I can
do. And I’m getting closer [to my goal of 4:12].”
And Burbank distance Coach Sasha Vujic says as long as Oxnard Rio
Mesa’s Phillip Reid -- the top qualifier in 4:09.6 -- is in Ivie’s
heat, things should continue to progress according to Vujic’s master
“It’s been a blessing having Reid in [Kyle’s] races, because you
always know what you’re going to get,” said Vujic, who watched as
eight of the nine individuals in the 1,600 field qualified for the
“The pace [Friday] was unbelievable and I was wondering when he
was going to kick, but then I looked at how fast they were running
[and realized his time was OK].
“This is what we were gearing toward all season. I told him the
lowest I’ll accept is [qualifying for] the Master’s Meet, even though
I always knew he could make the state meet. He ran what he needed to
and as long as he keeps hitting his times, he’ll be fine.”
Ivie admitted he had to extend a little more energy than he would
have liked through the first 800, as he was forced to fight for
position with a trio of athletes in preparation to make his move at
the 1,200 mark.
“That took something out of me,” said the Chico State-bound
talent, who came through the first 400 in eighth at 1:03, the 800 in seventh at 2:07 and maintained that position at the 1,200 mark in
“I knew I had to try to get into position to make that kick. But
even when you feel tired, you still have to make that run. You always
have something left.”
And that’s exactly what Ivie demonstrated, clocking a 61-second
final 400 to pass Etiwanda’s Michael Poe (seventh, 4:14.07) and
Loyola’s David Torrence (eighth, 4:15.6).
“I keeping telling Kyle ‘If you’re with them, you can outkick
them, so just relax and go,’” Vujic said.
But as exciting a day as it was for Ivie, it was an equally
disappointing one for Burroughs senior Carolyn Brown.
The former Division II champion and two-time state participant in
the 800 just missed qualifying for the Master’s by 0.08 at the May 24
But when North Hollywood Oakwood’s Treani Swain was unable to
compete because of an undisclosed illness, the door opened for Brown.
However, the Leader’s two-time Female Athlete of the Year wasn’t
in attendance at Cerritos College and missed out on a chance to
extend her season.