Three squads with rich track-and-field history met Wednesday afternoon at Ron & Mary Brown Stadium — and when the final runner crossed the finish line, host Davis High had vanquished both Jesuit and St. Francis.
Jesuit is the Sac-Joaquin Section’s defending champion.
With solid relay performances, Jack Scranton’s gutsy outing in the 1,600-meter race and a double-gold showing by Kunwoo Hong in the long jump and triple jump, the Blue Devil boys topped the Marauders, 81-55.
Meanwhile, Laney Teaford set the standards in both the 800 and 1,600, Zoe Hunt-Murray was strong in field events and DHS handled the relays to stop the Troubadours, 74-61.
“I saw a lot of great things that I liked,” Devil coach Spencer Elliott said afterward. “The (4×400 relays) at the end — both the boys and girls — were terrific races. Especially the girls … Their time is ahead of where we were last year. Given that, I’m excited about what I think those girls can do in May and June.”
Saving some of their best for the last event of the meet, Rose Stephens, Teaford, Han-ah Sumner and Ellie Eaton blazed around the track in 4:04.13 to capture the marquee 4×400-meter race.
The boys’ team of Ben Salcedo, Paul Mohr, Alexander McIntyre and Blake Croft went 3:31.94. The coach believes the winning time wasn’t indicative of what kind of fuel these Blue Devils have in their collective tank.
“The boys time was affected by having little competition,” Elliott explained. “(Salcedo) went way out in front early.”
Teaford’s double was accompanied by teammates finishing right behind. In the 800, Teaford’s 2:22.04 was followed by second-place Sumner in 2:24.68. Teaford (5:12.49) and Sophie Meads (5:14.90) completed the 1,600 exacta. Meads is the defending Sac-Joaquin Section champion at the distance.
As the local boys got wins from Croft (51.26) in the 400 and Scranton (4:30.49) in the 1,600, Ian McKallip (300 low hurdles) and Kyle Clancy (100 highs) swept the hurdles, giving Davis a nice early lead.
But St. Francis power star Kayla O’Brine and the Troubies’ sprint cast were giving the Lady Blue Devils a battle.
O’Brine won the shot put (31-11) and threw a stunning 125-2 to take the discus. Alicia Demaree was third for DHS at 73-10.
But Davis dug deep in the other field events …
Hunt-Murray won the triple jump (44-4¾) and earned second in both the high jump and long jump.
Caitlin Mazzoleni won the high jump (going 5-2) while Courtney Meyer was brilliant in the pole vault (11-0), joining second-place Danielle Gantar and Kaity Honeychurch in a Devil sweep of the event.
The points were important because St. Francis got wins in the 100 (Brittany Adam) and 200 (Ally Sperbeck), though Eaton answered by winning the 400 (58.75) for Davis.
Amanda Schnabel and Stephens had a ding-dong battle in the 300-meter hurdles before Schnabel bested the Blue Devil at the wire, 45.85 to 46.06. It marked a personal best for Stephens, and Elliott said he expects to see the pair come section and Masters time.
After Hong (19-5) nudged Clancy (19-4½) for first place in the long jump, the senior got his colleague again — this time by just 4½ inches with a 42-5½ effort — in the triple jump.
Nick Denton put a dent in Jesuit’s dominance of the shot put — an event the school has won a record 11 times in sections. Denton’s 52-1 nipped Sina Javidan-Nejad’s 51-9¾.
DHS’ Spencer LaHaye went 13-0 in a dominating pole vault display.
Notes: Scranton’s efforts were all the more impressive “since he wasn’t feeling very good,” according to Devil distance coach Bill Gregg. On Teaford and Meads, Gregg said: “Incredible (races by) Teaford. Both had strength and speed in the 1,600. And Laney’s 800 was just unexpected … mid-season form? I would say mid-season form.” … Next up for Davis is a tri-meet next Wednesday with Pioneer and Woodland high schools coming to town. The first gun is at 3:30 p.m.
— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at email@example.com or 530-747-8047.