Hoover splits its season opener

NORTHWEST GLENDALE — Alex Mikhailpoor wanted to make his one and only home meet count. The Hoover High boys' track and field senior athlete did just that in the team's season-opening meet Thursday afternoon.

Mikhailpoor came through in the Tornadoes' lone home dual meet of the season, as he won two individual events and then anchored a relay team win to give the Tornadoes a 68-50 Pacific League victory against Pasadena.

In the girls' portion of the meet, Pasadena earned a 70 2/3-42 1/3 win, though Hoover distance runner Frances Ramas won a pair of races.

Mikhailpoor stepped up to win the 100- and 200-meter races in 11.2 seconds and 23.5, respectively. Then he completed his day by teaming with Jeremy Zadoorian, Sasha Mikhailpoor and Cory Trevino to win the 4x400 relay in 3 minutes 41.9 seconds.

"I'm most proud that I could anchor on the relay," said Mikhailpoor, who saw Trevino overtake his opponent just before the midway mark of the lap before deftly passing the baton to Mikhailpoor to complete the victory. "Cory did well on his lap by getting past the runner and that just set everything up the rest of the way.

"I had a good start in the 100 and I was able to keep my full speed in the 200. This is my last home meet and I wanted to do well and help the team win."

Hoover Coach Jack Sallakian said he gave both of his teams the option of picking which events they wanted to run.

"We have a very small team, so it's about having quality runners," Sallakian said. "It means a lot to win our opening and only home meet.

"Alex worked hard on endurance over the summer. Now, he has that and the confidence in the races he runs. Coming into the meet, I told him he could run whatever he wanted and just give it his best."

Hoover got a pair of victories from Zadoorian in the 800 (2:12.7) and the triple jump (35 feet 5 inches).

Those also picking up first-place efforts for the Tornadoes were Kenneth Trejo in the 1,600 (5:08.8), Trevino in the 400 (53.9), Paul Ingram in the 3,200 (11:13.9) and Nareg Hovasepian in the high jump (five feet).

Ramas captured the 1,600 in 6:14.5 and the 3,200 (13:36) to lead Hoover. Renee Lawson won the 800 for the Tornadoes (2:43.1), who also got first-place efforts from Paige Hollis in the 300 hurdles (52.1) and Mary Arakelyan in the triple jump (24 31/2).

Anna Rubino worked with Lawson, Liyana Avansian and Hollis to take the 4x400 relay in 4:39.4.

"Frances took charge in her events, and Paige stepped up in the hurdles and relay," Sallakian said. "We are small in numbers, but they know what they need to do.

"We do need a little more help in the field events."

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