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Napa High Track and Field: Grizzlies had strong start before COVID-19 shutdown
Napa High Track and Field

Napa High Track and Field: Grizzlies had strong start before COVID-19 shutdown

Napa High track and field athletes must have had next Wednesday’s scheduled home meet circled several times on their calendars, a Vine Valley Athletic League competition against American Canyon and Vintage.

Because of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, however, it was postponed along with Saturday meets last weekend at Alhambra and this weekend at Vanden.

The Grizzlies did manage to open VVAL action on March 11 by sweeping all four divisions against visiting Petaluma.

Kyle Jezycki won three individual events to lead the varsity boys to a 96-39 win. The varsity girls won 81-43, the JV boys 101-27, and the JV girls 48-43.

But Grizzlies head coach Kamron Jones had to tell his athletes the next day that the season was on hold for a while.

“It was rough on everyone, a very emotional time. I know it was for me personally,” Jones said, noting that his seniors were freshmen when he took the helm. “We all took it pretty hard because there is a lot of promise for this team. We feel our team has a run at the league championship, but we’re not certain what’s going to happen.

“The kids who are performing well right now are right where they left off last year in the postseason, so it looks really good for them making a run to the state meet. Hopefully something can be done to remedy the situation and we are be able to continue the season. I think the kids are hungry enough to keep moving (while sheltering in place) and stay as active as they can given the circumstances.”

Jezycki won the triple jump with a personal-record mark of 45 feet, 1 inch, the 110 hurdles in a season-best time of 15.44 seconds, and the high jump at 6 feet. He added a third in the long jump (19-9). The senior’s triple jump mark would have qualified him for last year’s state meet, 6 inches better than the 44-7 that gave him fifth place at the 2019 North Coast Section Meet of Champions.

David Acuna, a junior, and seniors Quentin Dervin and Tyler Clark won two individual events apiece for Napa on March 11.

Acuna took the 1,600 meters in a PR time of 4:54.36, edging senior teammate Erik Cosca by just 12 hundredths of a second, and claimed the 3,200 meters in 10:32.08.

Dervin captured the shot put at 44-6 and the discus at a season-best 129-3.

Clark claimed the long jump with a PR mark of 20 feet and the pole vault at a season-best 10-6. He was also third in the triple jump (40-6, PR).

Also for the Grizzlies, senior Daniel Rios claimed the 800 meters (2:12.30), junior Jack Caberto won the 200 meters (24.80) and sophomore Adrian Navarro captured the 400 meters in a PR time (55.02).

In the 4x400 relay, Rios, Navarro, senior Elliot Surh and Caberto took first place (3:50.78) and senior Jacob Berger, Caberto, Navarro and junior Gabe Gissell won the 4x100 relay (45.56) by .12 second.

Placing second were Matthew Helms in both the 400 meters (55.48, PR) and 3,200 meters (11:13.97, season best), sophomore Liam Wallace-Harper in both the 110 hurdles (16.69, PR) and pole vault (9 feet, season best), Cosca in the 1,600 meters (4:54.48, season best) and Gissell in the 100 meters (season best 12.03). Wallace-Harper also took third in the high jump (5-6) and fourth in the triple jump (39-3, season best).

Varsity Girls

Grizzlies seniors Molly McGrath and Maija Turjanis, junior Aliyah Aguiar and sophomore Sofia Tinnon each won two individual events.

McGrath won the 800 meters by 11½ seconds (2:43.79) and the 1,600 meters by 6 seconds (6:22.68), both over Petaluma runners-up.

Turjanis had a strong meet, winning the triple jump with a personal-record mark of 32-7 and the 300 hurdles with a season-best time (57.92). She was also second in the 100 hurdles with a PR time (17.62) and in the high jump at 4-6, a season best.

Aguiar won the 100 hurdles with a PR mark (16.62) and the long jump with a season-best mark (15-5), and was second in the 400 meters with a PR (1:04.42).

Tinnon took the shot put with her best mark of the season (31-3½) and the discus with the best mark of her career (104-9½).

Also for the Grizzlies, senior Amany Hilliard was a combined .13 second away from three individual wins but came away with one – in the 400 meters (1:03.35). She was second in the 100 meters in a season-best time (27.53) that was just .02 second behind the Petaluma winner, and third in the 200 meters in a PR time (27.53) that was .11 off the winner.

Napa senior Jada Dunn took first place in the 3,200 meters (14:04.02), and junior Kimberly Moreno was second in the 1,600 meters with a PR (6:28.67).

Winning the 4x400 relay were Hilliard, McGrath, Gabriela Chong Kam and Aguiar in 5:07.37.

Posting season bests was senior Mia Oggenfuss with a victory in the high jump (5-0), a second-place finish in the triple jump (31-11) and a third in the 100 hurdles (17.88).

Adding runner-up finishes in the throws was senior Paty Rubio with a PR in the discus (77 feet) and a season best in the shot put (26-7¾).

JV Boys

Leading the Grizzlies with two wins apiece were sophomores Eric Aguilar and Benjamin Stewart and freshman Hudson Truchard.

Aguilar won the 800 meters with a personal record (2:15.72) and the 1,600 meters (5:02.42).

Stewart posted PRs in winning the shot put by more than 6 feet (35-4) and the discus by 19 feet (96-0), over Petaluma runners-up who also notched PRs.

Truchard turned in PRs while claiming the pole vault (7-6) and long jump (18-3).

Also winning via PRs were freshman Tobias Burgett in the 100 meters (12.46), sophomore Abner Olguin in the 200 meters (26.20), sophomore Jackson Cope in the 400 meters (57.86), junior Jose Garcia in the 3,200 meters (11:30.86) and freshman Elijah Contreras in the 110 hurdles (20.58). Cope was also second with PRs in the 800 meters (2:20.15), the 1,600 meters (5:08.30) and the long jump (17-4), and Truchard added a third in the high jump (5-0).

Cope, junior Robert Gomez, Olguin and freshman Tobias Burgett teamed to win the 4x400 relay (4:10.62), while sophomore Gabriel Farrella won the high jump (5-4) and was second in the pole vault (7-6) and third in the long jump with a PR mark (16-2), while sophomore Cameron Patterson took the triple jump with a PR mark (33-7).

Also placing second were sophomore Calvin Chapman in the triple jump with a PR mark (29-1), junior Sam Williamson in the 3,200 meters (15:13.17), freshman Micah Eisenberg with a PR time in the 300 hurdles (55.87) and Gomez with a season best in the 400 meters (1:03.77).

JV Girls

Winning for the Grizzlies with personal records were junior Eileen Potter in the 800 meters (3:04.25), freshmen Kiersten Hansen in the high jump (4 feet) and Haven Domecus in the long jump (13-5). Domecus nearly notched another win but was second by .26 second to a Petaluma sprinter in the 100 meters (14.95), and was third in the high jump (3-8). Hansen was third in the long jump (12-8).

Also second were sophomore Josie Zuidema in both the 800 meters (3:14.53) and 1,600 meters (PR 7:09.81), sophomore Analaura Pizano in the shot put (22-1¼) and the discus (PR 48-2) and freshman Angelina “Gigi” Oggenfuss in the high jump (3-10).

Winning the relays were Domecus, Hansen, Oggenfuss and freshman Louisa Miller in the 4x100 (1:01.31) and Miller and freshmen Isabel Aguirre, Alondra Palafox and Annie Scudero (5:21.09).

Weekend meets

Napa did compete in two Saturday meets, the Stocking Super Seven Invitational at Diablo Valley College and the Big Cat Invitational on March 7 at Santa Rosa High.

Big Cat highlights included first-place finishes for the varsity boys from Jezycki in the 110 hurdles (15.77) and Rios in the 800 meters (season-best 2:01.95); JV boys victories from Wallace-Harper in both the high jump (5-8) and triple jump (38-7¾), Aguilar in the 1,600 meters (PR 4:59.53) and Stewart in the discus (91-11); and JV girls wins from Chong Kam in both the 100 meters (14.31) and 200 meters (PR 29.05).

Dervin led the varsity boys at the DVC meet, winning by 3 feet, 6 inches in the shot put with a PR mark (45-2½) and placing second in the discus (128-8), while Jezycki was third in the triple jump (41-11) and fifth in the 110 hurdles (16.27). Farella was fifth in the frosh-soph boys high jump (PR 5-4)

For the Napa varsity girls, Mia Oggenfuss was second in the high jump (4-10) and sixth in the triple jump (30-4), and Tinnon placed seventh in the shot put (28-10). Pizano was fifth in the JV girls shot put (PR 27-2).

Editor’s Note: Because of the health implications of the COVID-19 virus, this article is being made available free to all online readers. If you’d like to join us in supporting the mission of local journalism, please visit napavalleyregister.com/members/join/.

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Sports Reporter

Andy Wilcox is a sportswriter-photographer for the Napa Valley Register. He's had similar roles in Walnut Creek, Grass Valley, Auburn, Tracy and Patterson. He grew up in Ohio. His wife, Laura, is a pastry chef. He also enjoys playing guitar and piano.

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