When asked if Burroughs High’s Jagdeep Chahal was the “greatest boys’ distance runner in program history,” Indians track and field coach John Peebles hesitated a bit before answering.
“Ah… he would make a very compelling argument for that, yes,” Peebles said. “He has the 1,600-meter and 3,200 records.”
Chahal will have an opportunity to add to his legacy and Indians pole vaulter Elizabeth Switzer will likely get another opportunity to break the school record at Saturday’s CIF Southern Section Masters Meet at El Camino College in Torrance.
The ultimate prize Saturday is a berth to the following week’s season-ending CIF State Meet at Clovis Buchanan High. The competitors can finish in the top six in their respective events or hit a state at-large mark.
Chahal begins his quest to Central California in the 1,600 race at 1:28 p.m. The Pacific League champion enters after a remarkable weekend at the Division I championship at El Camino where he won the 1,600 title in a school record mark of 4 minutes, 12.73 seconds.
The time was well ahead of his seeded mark of 4:17.55 and was third-best amongst 36 competitors across four divisions. If Chahal were to finish outside the top six, he could still advance by hitting the state at-large mark of 4:14.73.
After the 1,600, Chahal receives a bit of a break before competing in the 3,200 at 3:25 p.m.
Last weekend, the Indians senior took third in Division I with a mark of 9:05.85, which was the third-best that day.
The 3,200 state at-large mark is 9:08.89, which is well behind his personal-best and school record of 9:00.61, set at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays on April 20.
“Jagdeep did a great job conserving his energy for both races,” Peebles said. “He didn’t take the lead in either race and he let other people work. He was just in tow and when he needed to go, he knew it was his time and was prepared to go.”
While Chahal has fixed start times for his events, Switzer will play the waiting game as the girls’ pole vault competition goes after the boys’ competition, which begins at 10:30 a.m., concludes.
When Switzer eventually takes aim to qualify to state, she’ll need to finish sixth or hit an at-large mark of 11-11.
“For me, I have to keep practicing, working on technique, jumping off the ground and swinging my arms,” Switzer said. “This is my second year jumping ever in pole vault and I’m still learning and I focus on the basics.”
The Pacific League co-champion finished tied for third in Division I with a mark 12 feet, which tied her personal record.
In case qualifying wasn’t enough, Switzer is within three inches of the school record of 12-3.