Newport boys break through

The Battle for the Bay tends to open the track and field season for the Corona del Mar and Newport Harbor high schools. They pushed the meet back a month this season because the teams in their respective leagues are on spring break this week.

With no one else to face, the Sailors traveled to CdM on Thursday. One school ended a streak and another continued one in the Back Bay rivalry.

The Newport Harbor boys pulled out a 65-62 win, beating CdM for the first time in five seasons. The Sailors almost swept the respective nonleague dual meets, before the Sea Kings came back to claim the girls' side, 68.5-58.5, and keep their winning ways intact against Newport Harbor.

"It's always fun to get together with CdM, have a good across the bay battle, a friendly rivalry," said Coach Nowell Kay, in his 12th season in charge of the boys at Newport Harbor.

Kay's Sailors got off on the right footing, while the Sea Kings did not.

In the 4x100-meter relay, CdM crashed and burned. The Sea Kings' lead runner tripped and face planted, dropping the baton in the process to disqualify the relay team. The Sailors, with Quest Truxton, Chance Siemonsma, Rory Fleming and Cory Stowell, won the event in 44.3 seconds.

"We're pretty even with [the Sea Kings] in the 4x100, so I think that was a big difference, us getting those five [points], because that's a 5-0 event," Kay said. "For us to get that, that kind of set the tone."

Marcell DeBarros helped Newport Harbor top CdM. He swept the hurdle events, 110 (15.6) and 300 (41.8), and placed first in the 400 (52.7).

Also aiding the Sailors' cause was Fleming's runner-up finishes in the 110 (16.2) and 300 hurdles (43.1), as well as in the long jump (18 feet, 11 inches).

Newport Harbor usually dominates the throwing events against the Sea Kings, but with Will Fortier, ranked No. 17 in the state in the shotput (55-10), out with an ankle injury, the Sailors split the top six spots in the shotput and discus throw. Newport Harbor Stephen Mantei took first in the shotput (48-4 1/4) and discus (154-4 1/2).

Two other first-place finishers for the Sailors were Tristan Manning in the triple jump (35-11) and Siemonsma in the long jump (19-0).

As expected, CdM saw Harvard-bound senior Matt Hurst sprint to victories in the 100 (10.8) and 200 (22.3), and Spencer Keith sweep the distance events, 800 (2:06), 1,600 (4:28) and 3,200 (10.17.6). Two other events CdM placed first in were the high jump with Alex Wilde (6-6) and the 4x400 relay (3:13.3). It wasn't enough to catch Newport Harbor.

"I'm extremely disappointed," said CdM Coach Bill Sumner, in his 31st season at the school. "When you're looking around and people aren't doing what you know they can do, [it is disappointing]. They do a better job in practice. Then you as a coach start going, 'Why can't I get them to perform at the meet?'

"[The Sailors] weren't very deep. The guys who they had … tried to win. That's what pays off. If you get a small group, but they come and want to win, they'll win, especially when it could go either way. It shouldn't have been that close, but we made a couple of mistakes and we paid for it."

Sumner's girls edged Newport Harbor, with Emma Kratzberg's strong showing in three events.

Kratzberg won the 100 hurdles (15-5), 300 hurdles (48.8), and anchored the 4x400 relay team (4:19.2) to first. Erika Anderson, Elin Wolker and Lilly Schmidt ran on the relay.

The Sea Kings finishing 1-2-3 in the long jump, high jump and triple jump events elevated CdM past the Sailors. Claire Keddington won the long jump (14-10), Asha Hardy the high jump (4-8) and Kathryn Greenberg the triple jump (31-10).

Newport Harbor's Rachelle A La Torre finished first in the shotput (37-4) and discus (121-5), and Hope Bender in the 200 (26.7) and 400 (1:01.7). Bender also ran the first leg on the 4x100 winning relay team (57.4) and was second in the shotput (34-6 1/2).

"In a couple of areas, we just didn't have enough," said Newport Harbor girls' coach Eric Tweit, who has been at the school since 1980. "[What] was really [good] for us was the distance runners being able to win the half mile [Lauren Loucks, 2:23.1], the 1,600 [Erin Barth, 5:11.7] and the 3,200 [Emily Bacon, 11:28.3]."

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