Prep League track meet proves success for Flintridge Prep, Poly and Westridge

LA CAÑADA — While half the Prep League was on spring break Thursday afternoon, the other half prepared for the second half of the season with a competitive league tri-league meet at La Cañada High that may have been more hotly contested than expected.

In what may very well foreshadow a close Prep League championship later this season, the host Flintridge Prep boys defeated Pasadena Poly, 64-63, while the Panthers’ girls exacted a measure of revenge by scoring 81 points in topping the Rebels (51) and Westridge School (17).

PHOTOS: Prep League track meet hosts Flintridge Prep, Poly and Westridge

“I can’t believe how close that was. I wasn’t even aware of the score,” Rebels Coach Nick Ponticello said. “I think all three teams came out ahead today.”

While the Rebels only won a total of six of 17 events, they outlasted the Panthers by taking most of the second- and third-place positions.

One such competition in which Flintridge Prep flexed its muscles was the 1,600-meters, when the Rebels finished first through fifth, lead by Elias Ellison. The senior shattered his previous personal record of 4 minutes, 44 seconds with a winning mark of 4:33.78.

“I’ve been running the 800 to improve on my speed lately and it’s helped,” Ellison said.

Teammate Aaron Sugimoto, who finished third (4:39.81) in the event, clinched the 800 in 2:07.68.

Flintridge Prep delivered two other notable victories, including West Nowotny romping to a win in the shot put in 52-9 1/4 and the Rebels 1,600 relay team triumphing in 3:44.27.

While the Panthers were nipped by the Rebels, they still mounted several impressive wins, including Hunter Worland clinching the 100 (11.21) and 200 (23.96) and Alex Pinon doubling up wins in the 300 hurdles (45.87) and pole vault (10 feet 6).

Other Panthers’ victories came from Will Hubsch in the 400 (54.54), Michael Caughron in the 3,200 (12:14.54), Jake Zelek in the 110 hurdles (17:08), Vince Porter in the high jump (5-8), Parker Mathews in the long jump (20-3 1/2), Jared Lim in the triple jump (37-7) and from the Poly 4x400 relay team (44.78).

There was no denying Poly’s dominance on the girls’ side, as the Panthers won all but three events.

Junior Noel Askins turned in a banner effort, individually claiming the 100 (12.58), 200 (26.93) and long jump (15-8), while also combining forces with Kayla Valencia, Diana Matthiessen and Ryan Casey to win the 400 relay (50.40).

“Our goal this season is to win a team championship,” said Askins, who helped guide the girls’ soccer team to a CIF SoCal Regional title. “Today, I just wanted to come out, compete and help.”

One of Askins’ buddies from soccer, junior Evan Gancedo, was also impressive in winning the 800 (2:30.77), 1,600 (5:37.65) and 3,200 (12:14.54).

Simone Abegunrin took home the victory in the 100 hurdles (16.49), while Brooke Edwards won the 300 hurdles (49.05), Madison Carey was first in the pole vault (7-6), Casey was best in the 400 (1:00.93) and the 1,600-relay team (4:15.24) notched a triumph.

Westridge was next on the list with two victories, as Kaitlin Cochran finished with the best mark in the triple jump (26-9) and surprised thrower Dylan Jack was the day’s top shot putter (24-9).

“It felt really good to win. I’m not really a thrower,” Jack said. “This is only the second time I’ve thrown the shot put, so I’m really excited.”

Flintridge Prep’s Nicole Emmons walked away the final victory in winning the high jump in 4-8.

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