LOS ANGELES — Since the end of last summer, Kayla Montgomery has experienced her share of discomfort.
Forced to deal with nagging pains in her hip and both knees, the talented Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy track and field athlete has still managed to flourish in her multiple races.
She temporarily brushed aside the soreness Thursday at the Mission League finals at Occidental College and managed to extend her season in several events.
“I had to go out there and push myself through the pain,” said Montgomery, who qualified in the 400-meter race with a fourth-place finish in a personal-best mark of 59.02 seconds. “When I run, it doesn’t hurt as much, but it hurts after I run.
“I went out fast in the first 200 and that helped me get my PR. I’m happy to be moving on.”
Montgomery worked with Kayla Mills, Daelyn Moon and Hailey James to qualify in the 4x100 relay in a school-record time of 50.05, which took fourth. She also teamed with Madzie MacVaugh, James and Moon to take fourth in the 4x400 relay in a qualifying time of 4:06.62. Also moving on to the CIF Southern Section Division IV prelims, which will take place May 13 at Carpinteria High, for the Tologs are Noëlle Niederhaus in the 800 (second, 2:23.91) and MacVaugh in the high jump (third, 4 feet 10 inches).
Two St. Francis athletes earned qualifying marks and will move on to the Division III prelims, which will be held May 13 at Estancia High.
Leading the way for the Golden Knights were Caleb Simmeth and Eric Knowles. Simmeth finished second in the 300 hurdles in 39.99 and third in the 110 hurdles, matching his personal-best time of 15.16. Knowles took third in the triple jump with a personal-best leap at 44-6.
Flintridge Sacred Heart Coach Eddie Gorton said the Tologs met many of their expectations set before the meet began.
“We got around as many people as we expected to qualify,” Gorton said. “We got some in that wound up with personal- and school-best marks.
“I was very proud with the way Kayla [Montgomery] ran. She ran great in the 400 and she anchored both relays. She definitely earned her soreness today.”
Simmeth set the tone for the Golden Knights in the 110 hurdles before faring well in the 300 hurdle race.
“I’m happy with where I finished in both of my races and that I qualified,” Simmeth said. “In the 110, I thought I ran a great race because I felt smooth going over most of the hurdles.
“I thought the 300 was my best race overall. It’s a harder race because it’s longer, but you know you are going up against some good competition. It was a fight right to the end.”