A rough debut for track teams

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — While the St. Francis High boys' and Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy girls' track and field teams saw some encouraging things in Thursday's season opener, neither squad was able to shake off the offseason rust and pull out a win.

Crespi dominated the sprints and pulled out victories in 11 of the dual meet's 15 events to hold off St. Francis, 72-53, at Friedman Field.

The recipe was much the same for Sacred Heart, as the Tologs were only able to secure three wins and fell, 66-41, at the hands of Louisville at the same venue.

While the Golden Knights weren't able squeak out a win in the Mission League meet, first-year Coach Pat Donovan was pleased with some of the individual results.

“First meet of the year you always come out a little rusty from the blocks,” said Donovan, a 2003 St. Francis grad. “I was happy with the effort that a lot of kids put in today. I definitely expect some great things from a lot of people.”

St. Francis' Zayd Dinaully turned in one of the better performances of the day, leading a Golden Knights sweep in the 800 meters (2 minutes 33 seconds). Jack Bruer finished second in the 800 in a time of 2:36.

The Golden Knights also swept the high jump to pick up nine valuable points.

Alex Reitenour, who will play football at Washington State in the fall, notched a win in the shot put with a heave of 45 feet, 9 ½ inches.

Dinaully — along with Dietrich Riley, Brian Glynn and Michael Finch — raced past Crespi in the 4x400 relay (3:47) to close out the meet on a high note for the Golden Knights.

“Our young sprinters I'm very happy with and a couple of our young middle distance and distance runners I'm very happy with, too,” said Donovan, who watched Riley finish third in the 100 (11.38) and fourth in the 200 (23.47). “I expect great things from them in the future and hopefully for the middle and the end of this season.”

For the Tologs, it was familiar faces finishing in familiar places in their Mission League dual meet.

“It was a really good first outing,” Tologs Coach Eddie Gorton said. “The bar has been set so we have nothing but improvement for the rest of the year.”

Defending league champion Amanda Rincon used a strong final lap to surge past her Louisville opponent and capture the 3,200 meters. Junior Erin Hartwig, a CIF qualifier last season, ran away with the 800 meters in a blistering 2:31.

“They ran the times we wanted them to run,” said Gorton of his talented running duo. “We weren't looking for them to PR or anything.”

The Tologs' other victory came from Zena Hadad in the shot put (26-0).

While a win wasn't in the cards on Thursday, Gorton is excited with the possibilities for the upcoming season.

“A lot of girls, this was there first track meet ever, so it's going to be exciting the rest of the year to watch that,” he said.


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