Tologs, Knights reel in Eagles

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — Stephanie Vargas played a role in shattering two school records, yet she wasn't aware that had been accomplished.

The Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy track and field athlete diligently went about her business on the St. Francis High all-weather track Wednesday afternoon during a Mission League dual meet against Chaminade and left impressed with her latest accomplishments.

"I didn't know, but it's great," Vargas said after she clocked 2 minutes 18.96 seconds to win the 800-meter race and help the Tologs post a 73-34 victory. "In the 800, I thought of it more as a 400 workout to help decrease the pressure and I was able to run a smart race.

"I've been running the 800 since fifth grade and I tried last year to break the school record, but it didn't work out."

Vargas opened the meet by working with Noëlle Niederhaus, Daelyn Moon and Drew Washington to win the 4x100 relay in a school-record time of 50.21 seconds.

In the boys' portion of the meet, St. Francis received a pair of individual victories from James Knowles to earn a 93-34 victory against Chaminade.

The Tologs (4-1 in league) rebounded from a league loss against powerful Sherman Oaks Notre Dame on March 31 by winning 11 events Wednesday.

Moon and Niederhaus each won two individual events.

Moon captured the long jump with a leap of 16 feet 6 inches and the 200 (26.63), while Niederhaus won the 400 (1:00.66) and the triple jump (32-2 1/2).

Paulina Antaplyan captured the 1,600 in 5:38.68 for Sacred Heart, which also received first-place performances from Washington in the 100 (12.66), Vanessa Romero in the shot put (32-3), Madzie MacVaugh in the high jump (5 feet) and Maddie Romero in the 3,200 (14:30.66).

Moon said she strategized how she planned to win her events.

"It's just about being able to get in a zone and just figuring out how to come out of the blocks and jumps," Moon said. "I trust myself that I can get out there and do well.

"In the 4x100 relay, it's nice to be able to set the [school] record. We push each other to do well individually and as a team."

Sacred Heart Coach Mario Aguilar said the Tologs have set their standards high this season.

"We have a talent-rich pool, and when they do things correctly, they get better all of the time," Aguilar said. "We started seeing that a lot last year and we saw the commitment early this season."

In the boys' part of the meet, the Golden Knights turned to Knowles to lead the way after they also fell to Sherman Oaks Notre Dame last week. St. Francis picked up nine first-place efforts.

Knowles won the 110 hurdles in 14.25 and the 300 hurdles in 39.34 before closing out the meet by grouping with Matt Evans, Marshall Tush and TJ Tree to take the 4x400 relay (3:41.60).

"It's a good step up for me in being able to help the team win our last home meet," Knowles said. "We were able to get a good result."

Also securing first-place efforts for the Golden Knights (3-2 in league) were Greg Fernandez, Jr. in the pole vault (10-6), Matt Evans in the 1,600 (4:53.11), Tush in the 400 (54.09), Eddie Colton in the high jump (5-4), Andrew Evans in the 3,200 (11:12) and Kevin O'Toole in the triple jump (39-1).

St. Francis Coach Pat Donovan said Knowles ran two intelligent races.

"With James, he's in great shape with his marks," Donovan said. "He's ready to go up against good competition.

"We had a tough loss against Notre Dame and they are one of the toughest teams in Southern California and maybe the state. I told them not to be discouraged, and they came out [Wednesday] extremely competitive. It's a great way to close out our last home meet."

Sacred Heart and St. Francis will be a part of the prestigious Arcadia Invitational, which will be held Friday and Saturday at Arcadia High.

The Tologs will have two relay teams competing. Vargas, Washington, Moon and Nierderhaus will compete in the 4x800 relay Friday and the 4x400 relay Saturday. The quartet is an alternate in the 4x100 relay on Saturday and Vargas is an alternate in the 400 on Saturday.

Knowles will take part in the 110 and 300 hurdles Saturday.

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