Burbank boys' track pulls off upset against defending champion Arcadia

ARCADIA — Burbank High track and field Coach Darin Wolf surmised that his boys' team would have to have a lot go its way if it hoped to upset perennial Pacific League champion Arcadia in a league dual meet Wednesday with Pasadena.

Instead, the Bulldogs suffered their share of woes.

In the first event of the meet, the 4x100-meter relay, Josh Cantong pulled up injured in the race and the Bulldogs didn't finish. Cantong, who was also slated to compete in the 200, 400 and the 4x400 relay, was done for the day.

"That was a loss of potentially 20 points right there," Wolf said. "That was a big blow for us to say the least."

Burbank was also hampered when one of its top athletes in the 400 didn't hear the starting gun and was left in the blocks and another didn't have enough time to adjust his blocks in the 200 and slipped at the start, finishing third.

Despite the problems, the Bulldogs stayed right with the Apaches in a close meet throughout the afternoon. The meet came down to the final event, the 4x400 relay, in which Burbank won to pull out an improbable 69.5-67.5 victory on Arcadia's home track.

The Burbank girls fell to Arcadia, 102-34. The teams didn't keep score against Pasadena, which only has a handful of athletes.

"It came down to the mile relay and that's what won it for us," said Wolf, whose boys' team had never defeated the Apaches in league. "I am just so amazed that we were able to pull it out, despite all the problems that we had to deal with.

"But what really helped us is that we went 1-3 in the discus and we pulled out a win in the triple jump where I thought we were only going to get third there, but James Williams got the win in the event. It was just a real good win for us."

In the 4x400 relay, the Burbank team of Chris Roe, Arsen Mkrtchyan, Martin Swan and Andres Pulgarin won the race in 3 minutes, 30.33 seconds. Arcadia was second in 3:31.49.

Burbank (4-0, 3-0 in league), which has already defeated Crescenta Valley, looks to be in the driver's seat to claim its first Pacific League title.

"We just have to beat Burroughs," Wolf said.

Perhaps the best performance turned in by the Burbank boys' team on the day came from senior Andy Hurtado, who broke his own school record in the discus with a throw of 161 feet 3 inches, besting the mark of 159-6 1/2 he set March 22.

"I am just excited to be able to break my own record," said Hurtado, who is the two-time defending league champion in the discus. "I just want to keep breaking it and hopefully set the record really high. I have been really working hard and I am putting in double the amount of the work that I put in last year."

Williams won the triple jump with a 41-9 mark, Row was first in the 400 in 51.81, Jonathan Afzali won the 100 hurdles in 15.6, Gabriel Ellman took the 3,200 in 9:41.9 and Chris Miranda was first in the pole vault with a 12-0 effort.

Afzali led an all-important sweep in the 100 hurdles, as Swan was second (16.6) and Dev Patel placed third (16.3).

On the girls' side, Burbank (2-2, 1-2) won just three events. Julia Newton was a double-winner, taking the 100 (12.69) and the pole vault (9-0), while Daisy Ignacio took the 800 (2:31.24).

"I was really nervous at the start, but when I started running I felt a lot better," Ignacio said.

Another fine effort was turned in by Candela Fernandez in the 1,600, as she placed second (5:06.82) behind Arcadia's Veronica Yamane (5:05.34).

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