MEMORIAL FIELD — When Burbank High junior track and field athlete Dennis Palacio ran the 110-meter high hurdles as a freshman, he fell and injured his back. He ran the race only one time since, finishing last.
That was until Wednesday, as Palacio was informed the day before that he would be taking part in the event in a Pacific League meet against Burroughs at Memorial Field. With no practice, along with taking part in three additional events, Palacio looked to conquer his hurdle nemesis against the Indians.
The junior won the race, along with picking up victories in his other three events to help pace the Bulldogs boys’ squad to an 84-37 win.
Burbank was even more dominating in the girls’ competition, as the Bulldogs swept every event to easily defeat Burroughs, 121-18.
While the Burbank (6-1 in league) girls’ team finishes second in league, the Bulldogs (3-3-1) boys’ squad places third.
Palacio said he was a bit apprehensive before the start of the high hurdles race.
“That’s because when I ran it I fell completely on my face and then I finished dead last,” he said. “From those experiences, I got taken out of the race and I never ran it. Then when Coach [Darin] Wolf told me yesterday that I was going to run it in today’s meet, I was like ‘Are you sure?’ This was my first time three-stepping in a meet.”
He captured the race in 16.63 seconds. He also added wins in the 300 hurdles (42.59), the high jump (5 feet 4) and the triple jump (37-113/4).
Burroughs (3-4) was only able to win three events on the boys’ side, as Anthony Monroy captured the 3,200 (9:19), Brandon Andrade took the 800 (2:01) and Jerrod Plummer took the pole vault (11-0).
Plummer said he doesn’t try and get too pumped up over competing against his school’s cross-town rival.
“For me, I look at it as I do with any other school,” he said. “I just try to go out and do the best that I can.”
Monroy was involved in one of the more exciting events of the afternoon. In the 3,200, he went up against Burbank sophomore Isaiah Amos. Amos remained on Monroy’s heels most of the race, even jumping out in front for two of the final three laps. But on the bell lap, Monroy caught Amos and passed him about 200 meters from the finish, dashing down the straightaway with a torrid kick.
Amos placed second in 9:32.
The Bulldogs also had a double-winner in Normando Cornejo, who won the 100 (11.53) and the 200 (23.53).
It was a dominating performance by the Bulldogs on the girls’ side. Along with sweeping six events, Burbank captured the first and second spots in five others.
“It’s always nice to sweep an event, but I don’t think that really mattered all that much today,” Wolf said. “The meet pretty much went as we planned.”
Burbank was paced by a group of double-winners in Julia Newton, Haley Pirruccello, Brianne Waller and Hannah Barlow. While Newton took the 100 (12.69) and the 200 (26.53), Pirruccello took the 100 hurdles (16.97) and the 300 hurdles (49.25), Waller was first in the shot put (28-4) and the discus (85-11/2) and Barlow won the long jump (14-11) and the triple jump (33-21/2).
“Looking at it, we would have to have basically pulled off some amazing things to win on the varsity side,” Burroughs Coach John Peebles said.
Giovanna Carrasco had two runner-up finishes in the 100 hurdles (17.12) and the 300 hurdles (50.37) for the Indians (3-4).