Central League Championships
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Taking a cue from last week’s written offering, we’ll kick off this column with a one-person series of fine individual performances, including a school record that has stood for 23 years. CHS Track and Field Head Coach George Green provides the commentary.

"At the Central League Track and Field Championships last week, it took Islander junior Sarah Player less than 90 seconds to run 600 meters, 400 of which had 18 hurdles in her way. When the smoke cleared from the starting gun, she had tied a school record that was set over two decades ago, had broken her own school record in the 300-meter hurdles, and emerged as the Central League champion in three events.

Tuesday the bulk of the preliminary events were held at Hoover High School, where Sarah won the high jump, the prelims in the 100-meter hurdles, and tied the school record in the 200-meter dash. She joins Tricia Rexrode as the co-record holder for the 200. Rexrode set her record at 220 yards in 1983 and her time was later converted to the equivalent 200-meter mark of 25.6 seconds.

At the league finals held at Patrick Henry Friday, Player literally ran away with both the 100-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles, with personal records in both events. She won the events by 1.8 and 3.27 seconds respectively. Her time of 16.75 for the 100-meter hurdles seeds her in second position for the Division II preliminaries Saturday. Her time of 45.84 in the 300-meter hurdles broke her own school record of 45.96 set at last year’s CIF prelims and makes her the top seed in Division II for this event.

There is video of both of her hurdle finals on the Islander track and field website, which is Islandertrack.com. The only other league champion this year is Danielle Eckert in the pole vault. She jumped 9 feet at Coronado Monday. Also qualifying for Friday’s finals were Neisha Scales in both the 100 meters and the 200 meters; Chelsea Newson in the 800; and Rebecca Waterman in the shot put.

Neisha’s time of 13.2 seconds in the 100 was a personal record. At the finals, she placed eighth overall in a fast group of sprinters. Friday, Newson placed fourth and Waterman was seventh in their respective events. The discus throw was held as a final at Crawford Wednesday. Megan Mushovic joined Player and Eckert in qualifying for the CIF Preliminaries by placing second with a toss of 92 feet, 11 inches.

Two boys advanced to the CIF Prelims. Kasey Zapatka set a personal record in the 1,600-meter run, placing third with a time of 4:43.46. Levi Lozano also set a personal record in the shot put, placing second with a heave of 42 feet, 11 inches. Lozano just missed in the discus throw with a toss of 118 feet to earn fourth place. David Grimes just missed in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 10:46 for third place.