The Justin- Siena track and field team had a record breaking day in its first competition with warm temperatures, a four-team Marin County Athletic League meet against host Drake, San Rafael and Branson in San Anselmo on March 29.
The varsity boys 4x100 relay team of Landon Mispagel, Conrad Say, Ret Torkelson and Robert Batt placed first in 43.84 seconds, breaking a school record of 43.94 that had stood since 1980.
Since the girls broke the longstanding 4x100 record in 2016, the boys team has worked to do the same.
“These athletes are very fast, and they were determined to break this record,” said coach Gary Prince. “We knew this foursome had the speed, and all it would take was to refine their passes.
Coach Tracy Martin agreed, saying “This is a great set of boys and all are top athletes in MCAL in various events. Breaking the record this early in the season gives them the chance to lower this time even more in future meets.”
In the second-to-last event, the 3200 meters, senior Hannah Chau set a determined pace and broke the school record with a time of 11:21.12. The previous record of 11:22.30 had stood since 1979.
The boys competed in the same heat as the girls in this eight-lap race, and that allowed Chau to have athletes around her consistently. She was well out in front of the girls’ competition between the four schools.
“We had set up a solid race plan and Hannah was ready to break this record,” said distance coach Michael Anderson said of Chau, who also won the 1,600 in 5:18.73. “She is very focused on her goals and very deserving of being on the record board at Justin-Siena. She has more fast races to come, and possibly more records to break, so it will be an exciting season for her and the team.”
Other highlights in the girls competition included first-place finishes against all schools by Josephine Weis in the 200 meters (27.81) and 400 meters (63.53), as well as a second place in the pole vault.
For Gianna Troppy, first-place finishes came in the high jump (4 feet, 10 inches) and discus (86-10), while Alicia Prince took first place in the triple jump (31-9) and second in the high jump.
Kendall Martin had strong first-place finishes over each opponent in the 100 hurdles (16.95) and 300 hurdles (49.04), and teamed with Natalie Kelly, Catherine Sherburne and Weis to win the 4x100 relay in 52.18.
Top MCAL thrower Maryanne Anitoni took first overall in the shot put (34-11) and second in the discus (81-4) as the girls defeated San Rafael and Branson in team scoring and lost by one point to Drake. The Braves won 11 of 16 events against all three schools.
“When we have our full squad competing, this sets the team up well for MCAL Championships,” said head coach Spencer Joske.
Other highlights from the boys competition included Say winning the 100 meters (11.27) over runner-up Batt, and Batt winning the 200 meters (23.67) over runner-up Say. Say also won the triple jump (37-8) to lead a Justin-Siena sweep, with Roberto Medina placed second (36-6) and Greg Lowe third (34-11).
Medina and Lowe also placed 1-2 in the pole vault, with Medina clearing a personal-record 13-6. Medina also won against San Rafael and Branson in the long jump (19-8).
Landon Mispagel was dominant in the hurdles, winning the 110 highs in 15.50 and the 300 intermediates in 43.51. Joe Karch beat San Rafael and Drake in the shot put (40-2), while Rolando Herrera won the discus against Drake (96-10).
Deven Bose won the 3,200 meters against Branson and was second against San Rafael (11:01.29), as the varsity boys defeated all three opponents in team scoring.
Junior varsity boys highlights included Angel Garcia winning the shot put overall (32-8), and Dylan Bertani winning the discus (80-11) with Michael Grieve second (77-6). Sam Boeschen won the 110 hurdles (19.11) and was second in the 300s, and Jason Guiducci took second in the 1,600 meters (5:20.25). The 4x100 relay team of Bertani, Mathew Huen, Boeschen and Grieve also won.
Justin-Siena has a big MCAL meet at home against Marin Catholic at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 12. It will be Senior Day for 12 Braves as they battle the Wildcats in league dual meet for the last time.