ARCADIA — There were plenty of high points and one major disappointment with the Burbank High and Burroughs track and field teams Friday in the Pacific League finals at Arcadia High.
The successes were led by the Indians’ Shannon Kermah and Bulldogs’ McKenzie Paul, who both captured league titles in two events.
One of the most unexpected turn of events occurred with Burroughs’ Anthony Monroy. Monroy, who advanced to the Masters Meet last season in the boys’ 3,200 meters and wasn’t able to train for a number of weeks because of an injured foot, failed to quality to the CIF Southern Section Division I preliminaries in the 3,200.
In all, the two area teams combined to win nine league titles and earned 14 berths in the prelims.
The league champions, along with the second- and third-place finishers in each event that meet qualifying standards, move on to the Division I preliminaries. That meet will take place at 11 a.m. May 14 at Trabuco Hills High in Mission Viejo.
Paul, a senior, was able to pull off an impressive feat. She finished first in the girls’ 800 in a time of 2 minutes 15.30 seconds to secure her third straight championship in the event. She began her day with a win the 1,600 (5:05.54).
“What is always more important to me is to do get the best time that in can in a race,” Paul said. “That’s more important to me than winning a league championship. But if feels nice to be able to win the 1,600 and come back and win in the 800.”
Kermah, who is also a standout on the Indians girls’ basketball team, defended her league title in the girls’ triple jump, winning with a 36-feet-7 effort. She added a title in the long jump, winning with a leap of 17-3.
Her winning effort in the long jump came on her final attempt.
“I guess it took me a little time to warm up [in the long jump] after I ran in the 4x400 [relay],” Kermah said. “But I felt pretty good today.”
The Bulldogs had a fine showing in the throwing events. While Brandon Weiss placed first in the boys’ discus (120-0), teammate Jordan Card — an All-Area water polo standout — took the girls’ discus (96-7 1/2).
Burroughs athletes won the three other league titles, as Austin Allen captured the boys’ vault (13-6), Justice Shank won the girls’ high jump (5-0) and Amoni Alexander took the girls’ 100 hurdles (16.43).
Allen was put in a precarious position as he tried to defend his title in the pole vault. Allen, who has been sidelined with an injured hamstring, passed on a number of heights until the bar reached 13-0. More than two hours into the event, he took his first vault, and missed. He than missed on his second attempt, giving him just one more chance to stay in the competition.
“I was really upset with myself when I missed that second time,” he said. “I have never no-heighted in an event — ever.”
Fortunately for Allen, he cleared the height on his third attempt, and breezed over 13-0 and 13-6 on his first tries.
Finishing behind Kermah with two second-place finishes was Paris Vaughn, who had a 16-0 mark in the long jump to move on to the prelims and a 34-1 effort in the triple jump to also qualify.
In the boys’ 3,200, Monroy — the 2010 All-Area Male Track and Field Athlete of the Year — kept close to leader Ammar Moussa for the first three laps of the eight-lap race. But he than began to fade, and came across the line in fourth place in 9:31.19.
Because he didn’t place among the top three finishers, Monroy needed to meet the at-large qualifying standard of 9:26.37 to move on to the CIF prelims.
Although he finished third in the boys’ 800 in 1:58.54, Burbank freshman Isaiah Amos-Nshimba’s time was the second-fastest by a freshman in the state this year.