BURBANK — Burbank High's Dennis Palacio and Hoover's Jeremy Zadoorian were both looking to start out their Pacific League campaigns with some solid performances.
Both athletes were in fine form Thursday when the Bulldogs hosted the Tornadoes in the league opener for both teams. While Palacio captured four individual events, Zadoorian placed first in two events and ran a leg on Hoover's victorious 4x400-meter relay team.
However, it was Palacio's Bulldogs that were able to come out on top, as Burbank posted a 110-26 victory.
The Bulldogs also won the girls' portion of the meet, 126-6.
Palacio, fresh from starting for the Burbank boys' soccer team, placed first in the 100-meter high hurdles in 16.62 seconds and followed that up by winning the 300 hurdles in 43.89. The senior also shined in the field events, taking the triple jump (39 feet 1inch) and the long jump (19-8).
"Every year your body naturally gets stronger, so every year coming in you have to adapt and change your style to meet how you are growing," Palacio said. "So this year I'm trying to see how much my body has changed and what I have to do to be the best that I can be."
Palacio helped the Bulldogs dominate the boys' competition, as they won all but three events.
Zadoorian had a hand in all three of those wins for the Tornadoes. Along with placing first in the 1,600 in an impressive 4:32.8, he also captured the high jump (5-4) and teamed up with Sang Ha, Donovan Malone and Zach Hansen to win the 4x400 relay.
Zadoorian said he was motivated Thursday after not fairing well in the 1,600 in a recent invitational.
"I was really disappointed when I ran it at an invitational we were just in. I was running in the 4:38s and the 4:40s and I really wasn't happy with that," he said.
"But this is my PR from last season and for me to be able to run that time this early in the season is very good. I'm hoping to get it even lower."
The Bulldogs also received a fine effort from freshman Josh Cantong in his first league competition. The sprinter won the 200 (23.53) and the 400 in a swift 51.68.
"I felt pretty good and it seems like I'm breaking my PR every time that I run," Cantong said. "I ran a 59:00 in eighth grade, but with all the training I've gotten from Burbank and the competition, that has helped be run faster."
Burbank also received a solid effort from Andy Hurtado in the discus, as the defending league champion in the event won it with a 142-7 effort.
The Bulldogs were even more dominating on the girls' side, as they won every event but one. Hoover's lone victory came from Licik Minassian in the 3,200 (12:23.64).
"We're really not ready in all the events and we have very small teams," Hoover Coach Jack Sallakian said. "But everybody was running their best and most of them were getting PRs in their events, so that's good."
Burbank had four double individual winners on the girls' side. While Felicia Tomitsa won the 100 (16.18) and the 200 (27.65), Daisy Ignacio took the 800 (2:38.48) and the 1,600 (5:55.15), Elizabeth Gevorkian was first the 300 hurdles (52.77) and the long jump (14-111/2) and Kristine Khajehmal took the shot put (27-33/4) and the discus (68-6).
"We were just trying to get the kinks out and hopefully stay healthy for the big showdown next week," said Burbank Coach Darin Wolf about taking on Arcadia, a team his squad finished second to in the Pacific League last season. "That's a big meet for us."