Islanders place 3rd at Sweetwater Relays
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At last Saturday's Sweetwater Relays the combined boys and girls track team placed 3rd in front of league rival Clairemont 93 - 85. Castle Park won the overall championship with 112 points followed by Valley Center with 112. This was an amazing result when you consider it was done with only 14 athletes (7 boys and 7 girls). Various injuries and other commitments severely scaled down the Coronado Team this weekend. It took wins in the last two events, the mile relays, to jump ahead of Clairemont who was in 3rd place for most of the day. In the girl's mile relay, Katherine Wingert built a large lead on the first leg that Ashley Walsh, Morgan Gary and Beth Wittry extended throughout the subsequent legs to win going away by at least 150 meters. The boy's relay, on the other hand, turned out to be one of the most exciting races of the day with the lead changing on nearly every leg. Sophomore Brad Munns ran the first leg, passing a group of four runners in the stretch to give a slight lead to Brad Stark. Stark was challenged on the back stretch and 2nd curve by Castle Park. However, in the final straight he poured on the speed where Jake Ruzevick took over. Ruzevick ran a smart race, unlike the Castle Park runner who blew past him on the backstretch. The CP runner paid for this mistake off the final curve when Ruzevick put about 10 yards on him in the stretch to handoff of Brady Fitelson who was running the quarter for the first time. Fitelson had been instructed to protect the lead into the final stretch then sprint in. This is exactly what happened. He forced the Castle Park runner to first catch him then made him run wide on the final turn. When they came to the straightaway Fitelson's superior speed prevailed by 10 meters. Earlier in the day, Ruzevick, Fitelson along with Jason Trueblood and freshman Keiyon Gordon were involved in another one of the day's most exciting races, the sprint medley relay. In that event Trueblood led off with the initial 220 to Keiyon Gordon. Gordon poured on the speed to pass in a close 3rd spot to Fielson who made up most of the rest of the distance passing to Ruzevick in a mass handoff. Then it was a hard fought race with Ruzevick keying off the two lead runners until they entered the final curve when he ran between them and swung off the final straightaway in the lead and held on for a narrow victory. Earlier in the day Trueblood, Stark, Gordon and Fitelson teamed up to place 2nd in the 4x110 relay and 3rd in the 4x220 relay. In the girl's sprint medley relay Morgan Gary, Christina Coy and Caitlin Bigham got the baton to anchor Wingert in time for her to pull the team to a 3rd place finish. Our two strongest finishes of the day were in the girl's distance medley and coed 4 x 800 relays. Walsh ran the opening of a mile in the DMR followed by Bigham (440), Wittry (880) and Wingert (mile) to win easily. The coed 4x800 was a romp with the 3rd and 4th leg runners lapping many of the other teams. Ruzevick gave the Islanders an early lead followed by Wittry, Munns and Wingert. The final margin of victory was over a half lap. The seldom-run coed, frosh-soph mid distance relay saw sophomore Brad Munns lead off with a 2:09 half. He was followed by Gary (440), Ruzevick (440) and Walsh (880) to finish in 2nd place. In the field events David Hutchison PR'd in the pole vault at 12' and Beth Wittry took 2nd place honors in the triple jump at 32' 2", only 5" off her school record jump of 32' 7".