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Locals shine in finals

Locals shine in finals
(Tim Berger Staff Photographer)

ARCADIA — It’s safe to say Burbank High’s Julia Newton lost sleep thinking about taking part in the Pacific League track and field finals.

“Normal people would be nervous an hour before this meet,” the sprinter said. “But for me, I was nervous about it for days. I’ve been thinking a lot about it.”

Just a freshman, Newton showed no outward sign of jitters at Friday’s event at Arcadia High, as she had a hand in two victories for the Bulldogs, placing first in the girls’ 100 meters and running a leg on the winning Burbank girls’ 4x100 relay team that set a school record.

“I really felt good today. I felt ready,” Newton said. “As a freshman, I’m surprised that I am part of two league championships. It’s really a lot of fun.”


Newton captured the 100 title in 12.60 seconds. She also teamed up with Haley Pirruccello, Keren Zepeda and Felicia Tomitsa to take the sprint relay in 49.14.

Newton also placed third in the 200, but didn’t meet the qualifying standard for the CIF prelims. League champions earned automatic berths for the prelims and the second and third finishers moved on to CIF only if they met pre-existing standards.

The two league championships were among four won by the Bulldogs and one captured by Burroughs.

Perhaps the gutsiest performance of the meet was turned in by Burroughs senior Monroy in the boys’ 3,200. After qualifying for the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet in the event as a sophomore in 2010, Monroy — a two-time state qualifier in cross-country — battled a foot injury last season and failed to make the CIF preliminaries.


Monroy admitted last season’s disappointment was definitely on his mind when he took to the track in Friday’s 3,200. Battling Arcadia standout Sergio Gonzalez, Monroy tucked in behind the Apaches standout for most of the first seven laps of the eight-lap race. But Monroy made a move and surged out in front just before crossing the line for the bell lap. However, that lead was short-lived, as Gonzalez battled back to go in front on the first turn of the final lap.

“I knew if I let him step in front of me like that I would just fall back, so I knew I had to go all out at that point,” Monroy said.

And he did.

Monroy took back the lead down the backstretch and blazed into the final turn. He turned it on during the final straightaway, outlasting Gonzalez to win the race in 9:18.42. Gonzalez was close behind in 9:18.87.

“I definitely was thinking about what happened last year and I didn’t want to miss qualifying this year,” said Monroy, a two-time All-Area Boys’ Cross-Country Runner of the Year.

Monroy earned the only league championship for the Indians.

The Bulldogs won a title on the boys’ side in the discus, as Andy Hurtado had a first-place throw of 123 feet 3.

“I really didn’t throw my best today,” Hurtado said. “But I’m pretty pleased that I was able to get a league [championship]. I’m happy.”


Burbank also had a strong showing in the girls’ pole vault. The Bulldogs went 1-2 in the event, as Hannah Park placed first and Akxa Alex was second with identical 8-6 efforts. Park was given the win on fewer misses.

The Bulldogs had a three-event qualifier in Pirruccello. Along with making it with the relay team she also moved on with a third-place effort in the 100 hurdles (17.18) as well as taking third in the 300 hurdles (48.91).

In a tough boys’ 1,600 race, Burbank sophomore Isaiah Amos qualified with a second-place finish in 4:21.11. He lost the battle in the race against Gonzalez, who took first in 4:18.89.

Burbank also had a qualifier in Kayla Martil, who placed third in the girls’ 400 in 1:01.1 and in Hannah Barlow, who advanced with a third-place effort in the girls’ triple jump (33-9).

Area athletes who had top-three finishes who did not advance for Burbank were Bruce Lee in the boys’ discus (third; 117-11) and the shot put (second; 39-4) and Pirruccello in the 100 (third; 13.18). For Burroughs, it was Andrew Carrillo in the boys’ 100 hurdles (16.36) and Luke Cobientz in the shot put (third; 39-3).

The Burbank girls’ relay team of Martil, Tomitsa, Newton and Alessia Dal Monte placed third in 4x400 in 4:14.0, meeting the qualifying standard.