TORRANCE — Though the city of Burbank only produced three competitors at Saturday’s CIF Southern Section Track and Field Championships, that trio of athletes certainly made an impact.
Burroughs High’s Jagdeep Chahal became his school’s first boys’ CIF distance champion by capturing the Division I 1,600-meter crown, while he finished third in the 3,200 and watched teammate Elizabeth Switzer also take bronze in the Division I pole vault.
In terms of history, Bellarmine-Jefferson’s Tim Carlson finished eighth in the Division IV pole vault in potentially his school’s final competition.
It was all smiles and exhaustion for the prolific Chahal, the Pacific League 1,600 and 3,200 champion, who made history in his first competition.
The senior entered the Division I 1,600 seeded third behind Vista Murrieta’s Edgard Villa and Loyola’s Anthony Stone and turned in the finest effort of his career.
Chahal blasted his personal-best time of 4 minutes, 17.55 seconds to win with a new top mark of 4:12.73 and outlast second-place Villa (4:14.30), while also breaking the school record of 4:14.80.
“My main focus was to advance, but I also thought about winning and the school record,” Chahal said. “It’s funny because I was still conserving for the two-mile race, which is the big one. So, I wasn’t expecting this.”
Chahal becomes his school’s fourth CIF champion and joins pole vaulters Ron Morris (1952) and Esa Sallinen (1994) and 800-meter runner Carolyn Brown (2000).
Chahal’s 1,600 mark was the fourth-best across all four divisions competing and earned a berth to the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet back at El Camino next Saturday.
While Chahal etched his name into the history books, he wasn’t done as he raced in the 3,200 and took third with in a time of 9:05.85 behind Mira Costa’s Xavier Court (9:04.49) and Ayala’s Zach Arias (9:05.22).
Even though the mark did not best his school record of 9:00.61, Chahal still turned in the No. 3 time on the day and punched his ticket to Masters Meet.
The good news for Burroughs is that Chahal will not be going alone as Switzer secured reservations for the Masters.
The former gymnast and relatively new pole vaulter finished third in the Division I competition and tied her personal-best mark with height of 12 feet. Switzer trailed Redondo Union’s Amari Turner (12-10) and Mira Costa’s Brigette Grau (12-0).
“I’m actually a little disappointed that I didn’t break the school record of 12-3,” said Switzer of the schools’ top mark owned by Sarah Prystupa. “I’m still really happy to advance to Masters. Last year I was jumping at 10 feet, so I can’t believe this.”
Switzer hit her first attempt at 11 feet, before needing a third try at 11-6 and a second chance at 12 feet. She missed on three attempts at 12-6.
Switzer’s mark was fourth-best on the day and she punched her ticket to the Masters Meet. She joins a Burroughs vaulting tradition of Masters qualifiers in Christian Valles (2017), Prystupa (2016) and Matthew Schwartz (2014).
The only longshot Saturday was Bell-Jeff senior Carlson, who entered with a personal-record mark of 12 feet, 6 inches and finished eighth in the Division IV pole vault with a height of 12 feet.