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Marina sweeps Wave League track and field titles

There was no doubt that local athletes felt the pressure of the first cuts of the high school track and field postseason on Thursday in the Wave League finals at Laguna Beach High.

In a four-team league, only the runner-up to the league champion in each event could qualify for the CIF Southern Section divisional preliminaries by meeting the minimum standard for their division at a league finals meet.

That meant that the third-place finisher and beyond were subjected to the much tougher standard for at-large qualifiers. The best way to ease the mind was to win one’s event.

Marina swept the team titles. The Vikings won by a wide margin on the boys’ side, defeating Newport Harbor 109-54. In the girls’ meet, Marina edged the Sailors 90-83.5, with the girls’ 1,600-meter relay team of Grace Ellis, Makena Castillo, Angelica Hardin and Olivia Iverson clinching the championship in the final event.

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“Before the season started, we knew that we had a really good opportunity to do really well in this new league,” Vikings coach Carlos Castellanos said. “Coming in, we knew it would take our kids just grinding it out and continuing to work through the season, because it is a long season. You’ve got 13 or 14 meets before league prelims and finals.

“It’s all to the kids as to how tough they have been all year, grinding it out in practice and [setting personal records] all throughout the season.”

Marina had five boys’ league champions — Tristan Hofmann in the 100 (11.28 seconds), its 400 relay team (43.45), Brian Huynh in the long jump (20 feet, 10½ inches), Jonathan Diaz in the triple jump (41-6), and Skyler Magula in the pole vault (14-6).

On the girls’ side, the Vikings’ league champions were Nicolette Gruber in the high jump (5-2) and long jump (15-9½), Grace Ellis in the 800 (2:21.72), their 1,600 relay (4:11.70), and Alejandra Rosales in the discus throw (137-½).

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Castellanos said that Marina won its first boys’ league title since 1996, while the Vikings’ girls had not won a league crown since 2013.

Breakers senior Sebastian Fisher took the standards out of the equation, pulling off the distance double. He won the 1,600 meters in 4:17.42 seconds, capping his day with a winning time of 9:23.46 in the 3,200.

Photo Gallery: Wave League track and field finals
With one lap to go, Newport Harbor High's Alexis Garcia (1), Laguna Beach's Sebastian Fisher (2) and Huntington Beach's Lars Mitchel (3) compete in the boys' 1,600-meter event during the Wave League finals at Laguna Beach on Thursday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

“I think we all sort of knew that we were capable of competing at this level,” Fisher said of competing in the new League. “With the qualifying times, we went into it just knowing that if the races didn’t go out [fast], we needed to take them out to hit those times.

“In the 3,200, we weren’t sure if it was going to go out kind of fast or kind of slow. I think that [Newport Harbor’s] Alexis [Garcia] just took it. I think he was going after that time, too, so it was kind of nice because we all had this big pack and just sat right there.”

The boys’ 3,200 produced the most CIF qualifiers. Fisher, Mateo Bianchi, Ryan Smithers and Logan Brooks advanced for Laguna Beach, and Garcia qualified for the Sailors.

Breakers sophomore Majia Shaw headlined the girls’ efforts. She helped the Breakers rack up 34 team points, earning victories in the 400 relay, the 200 and the 400. Shaw was named the girls’ track athlete of the meet.

Shaw, who qualified for the Division 3 finals in three events last year, said she was pushed by the competition of the new league.

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“[Iverson] was a good competitor,” Shaw said. “I remember competing against her in the Trophy [Invitational], and she was good for helping me push myself, and I know that I wanted to push myself even harder today, knowing that I was going against her again.”

Photo Gallery: Wave League track and field finals
Huntington Beach High's Dylan Plantinga rounds the final turn in the boys' 400-meter event during the Wave League finals at Laguna Beach on Thursday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Several athletes went on to win multiple events. Huntington Beach’s Dylan Plantinga took the boys’ 200 (22.25), the 400 (50.0) and ran the anchor leg on the Oilers’ victorious 1,600 relay (3:30.95).

Newport Harbor’s Aidan Elbettar was named the boys’ field athlete of the meet after winning the shotput (60-7) and the discus throw (181-9).

Josef Schneider swept the boys’ hurdles, and Mia Matsunami swept the girls’ distance races for the Sailors.

Huntington Beach boys’ high jumper Jack Wiseman, a two-time Masters qualifier in the event, set a new personal record for the first time since the start of his sophomore year. He cleared a lifetime-best height of 6-7.

“[I was] just kind of plateauing at 6-6, which I wasn’t happy with,” Wiseman said. “I got myself ready, and then I tried to execute everything as perfectly as I possibly could.

“I didn’t clip [the bar] whatsoever going over. I had clear space the whole way through, which is usually rare for me. I just kind of took all of my training and everything into consideration, and I tried to put it all out there and leave it all on the track.”

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After failing to qualify for CIF in the 1,600, Huntington Beach’s Lars Mitchel felt the fear of not wanting his high school career to be over. He won the 800 with a new personal-best time of 1:57.72 to make sure his Oilers’ story continued.

“It was hard not making it in the 1,600 because I’ve been consistent through league finals the past four years in that,” Mitchel said. “Not making it was pretty heartbreaking, but my dad and my mom talked to me.

“They reminded me that it’s not over. That was kind of my worst fear coming into today was just not making it in the 1,600. My dad reminded me, ‘You’ve got a pretty good life if that’s your worst fear, not going to [CIF] in a race.’”

BOYS’ TRACK AND FIELD

Wave League finals

At Laguna Beach High

(*) – Denotes CIF qualifier

Team results

1. Marina 109; 2. Newport Harbor 54; 3. Huntington Beach 53; 4. Laguna Beach 48

Individuals

100 – 1. Hofmann (Marina) 11.28*; 2. Lastra (Marina) 11.45; 3. Ospina (Marina) 11.49; 4. Biggins (Marina) 11.71; 5. Federman (Newport Harbor) 11.78

200 – 1. Plantinga (Huntington Beach) 22.25*; 2. Lastra (Marina) 22.78*; 3. Ospina (Marina) 23.04; 4. Federman (Newport Harbor) 23.57; Kaess (Marina) 23.585

400 – 1. Plantinga (Huntington Beach) 50.0*; 2. Kaess (Marina) 51.76; 3. Bauers (Newport Harbor) 51.83; 4. Cook (Marina) 52.84; 5. Schroeder (Marina) 53.42

800 – 1. Mitchel (Huntington Beach) 1:57.72*; 2. Downing (Newport Harbor) 1:59.73*; 3. Pavloff (Marina) 2:00.03; 4. Ramirez (Marina) 2:00.07; 5. Gunn (Huntington Beach) 2:05.09

1,600 – 1. Fisher (Laguna Beach) 4:17.42*; 2. Garcia (Newport Harbor) 4:21.32*; 3. Falkowski (Laguna Beach) 4:22.87*; 4. Mitchel (Huntington Beach) 4:23.72; 5. Davey (Newport Harbor) 4:35.51

3,200 – 1. Fisher (Laguna Beach) 9:23.46*; 2. Bianchi (Laguna Beach) 9:23.50*; 3. Garcia (Newport Harbor) 9:23.98*; 4. Smithers (Laguna Beach) 9:30.95*; 5. Brooks (Laguna Beach) 9:33.97*

110HH – 1. Schneider (Newport Harbor) 16.97*; 2. Gerads (Huntington Beach) 18.03; 3. Broussard (Marina) 18.96; 4. Taylor (Huntington Beach) 19.70

300IH – 1. Schneider (Newport Harbor) 42.29*; 2. Gerads (Huntington Beach) 45.52; 3. Burton (Marina) 45.57; 4. Nguyen (Marina) 47.56; 5. Ball (Laguna Beach) 48.26

400 relay – 1. Marina 43.45*; 2. Laguna Beach 44.32*; 3. Newport Harbor 44.74

1,600 relay – 1. Huntington Beach 3:30.95*; 2. Marina 3:32.07*; 3. Newport Harbor 3:35.27; 4. Laguna Beach 3:35.63

HJ – 1. Wiseman (Huntington Beach) 6-7*; 2. Diaz (Marina) 6-0*; 3. Ball (Laguna Beach) 6-0

LJ – 1. Huynh (Marina) 20-10½*; 2. Afshar (Newport Harbor) 20-5½*; 3. Pickrell (Marina) 20-3½; 4. Ball (Laguna Beach) 19-9¾; 5. Mead (Laguna Beach) 19-9¼

TJ – 1. Diaz (Marina) 41-6*; 2. Mead (Laguna Beach) 39-9; 3. Jaffe (Huntington Beach) 38-8¾; 4. Cortellessa (Laguna Beach) 34-4½

PV – 1. Magula (Marina) 14-6*; 2. Cook (Newport Harbor) 14-0*; 3. Polk (Marina) 12-6

SP – 1. Elbettar (Newport Harbor) 60-7*; 2. Rakowski (Marina) 42-0; 3. Escamilla (Marina) 40-7; 4. Harris (Marina) 39-6; 5. Norfles (Marina) 38-8

DT – 1. Elbettar (Newport Harbor) 181-9*; 2. Rakowski (Marina) 131-2*; 3. Harris (Marina) 126-10; 4. Malloy (Marina) 116-8; 5. Mencher (Marina) 113-6

GIRLS’ TRACK AND FIELD

Team results

1. Marina 90; 2. Newport Harbor 83.5; 3. Huntington Beach 65; 4. Laguna Beach 48.5

Individuals

100 – 1. Dartez (Laguna Beach) 12.61*; 2. Paculba (Marina) 12.67*; 3. Moon-Rumsey (Huntington Beach) 13.05; 4. Trigo (Newport Harbor) 13.31; 5. Armstrong (Marina) 13.50

200 – 1. Shaw (Laguna Beach) 25.91*; 2. Paculba (Marina) 26.03*; 3. Iverson (Marina) 26.19; 4. Dartez (Laguna Beach) 26.95; 5. Moon-Rumsey (Huntington Beach) 27.19

400 – 1. Shaw (Laguna Beach) 57.99*; 2. Iverson (Marina) 1:00.0*; 3. Peters (Newport Harbor) 1:00.51; 4. Hardin (Marina) 1:03.33; 5. Ethier (Huntington Beach) 1:07.73

800 – 1. Ellis (Marina) 2:21.72*; 2. Bixby (Newport Harbor) 2:21.77*; 3. Fracassa (Marina) 2:26.75; 4. Taub (Laguna Beach) 2:28.24; 5. Castillo (Marina) 2:33.06

1,600 – 1. Matsunami (Newport Harbor) 5:15.24*; 2. Glassen (Newport Harbor) 5:16.27*; 3. Schaefgen (Laguna Beach) 5:28.06; 4. Schwab (Marina) 5:29.28; 5. Read (Laguna Beach) 5:36.66

3,200 – 1. Matsunami (Newport Harbor) 11:18.37*; 2. Glassen (Newport Harbor) 11:20.97*; 3. Schwab (Marina) 12:05.03; 4. Schaefgen (Laguna Beach) 12:07.39; 5. Read (Laguna Beach) 12:08.37

100HH – 1. Moon-Rumsey (Huntington Beach) 16.86*; 2. Chin (Huntington Beach) 18.19; 3. Falbo (Huntington Beach) 18.61; 4. Burnham (Newport Harbor) 18.62; 5. Mangold (Huntington Beach) 18.77

300IH – 1. Robar (Newport Harbor) 48.00*; 2. Obert (Huntington Beach) 50.26; 3. Mangold (Huntington Beach) 51.98; 4. Burnham (Newport Harbor) 52.32; 5. Hodel (Huntington Beach) 54.47

400 relay – 1. Laguna Beach 49.92*; 2. Marina 50.44*; 3. Newport Harbor 52.18; 4. Huntington Beach 55.26

1,600 relay – 1. Marina 4:11.70*; 2. Newport Harbor 4:15.09*; 3. Laguna Beach 4:22.12

HJ – 1. Gruber (Marina) 5-2*; 2. Hodel (Huntington Beach) 5-0*; 3T. Hamilton (Laguna Beach) 4-8; 3T. Chin (Huntington Beach) 4-8; 5T. Kaiser (Newport Harbor) 4-6; 5T. Wilson (Laguna Beach) 4-6

LJ – 1. Gruber (Marina) 15-9½*; 2. Burnham (Newport Harbor) 15-7½; 3. Brosnan (Newport Harbor) 15-3; 4. Shaw (Laguna Beach) 15-2½; 5. Trigo (Newport Harbor) 14-8

TJ – 1. Pham (Huntington Beach) 32-11½*; 2. Brosnan (Newport Harbor) 32-11; 3. Camacho (Huntington Beach) 31-8; 4. Osborne (Marina) 31-2; 5. Trigo (Newport Harbor) 29-6

PV – 1. Espeleta (Huntington Beach) 10-6*; 2. Meade (Marina) 9-0

SP – 1. Ar. Grum (Newport Harbor) 37-7*; 2. Rosales (Marina) 36-6*; 3. Rayburn (Marina) 35-9; 4. Hodel (Huntington Beach) 34-2; 5. Ai. Grum (Newport Harbor) 34-0

DT – 1. Rosales (Marina) 137-½*; Ar. Grum (Newport Harbor) 111-11*; 3. Rayburn (Marina) 109-11; 4. Paden (Marina) 104-2½; 5. King (Marina) 95-4

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andrew.turner@latimes.com

Twitter: @ProfessorTurner


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