Napa High won three of the four divisions over visiting Vintage in the crosstown rivals’ first Big Game track and field meet as Vine Valley Athletic League members on Wednesday.
The Grizzlies’ varsity girls won 86-44 and both of their frosh-soph squads triumphed.
The Vintage varsity boys pulled out a 72-64 victory when, in a duel between 4x400 relay anchors, senior Manny Guzman nipped a hard-charging Napa junior Nico Rubio at the finish line.
Leading the Napa High varsity girls was senior Jane McLoughlin with wins in the 200 meters (27.75), 400 meters (1:02.4) and 800 meters (2:27.6) as well as the anchor leg for the winning 4x400 relay team.
Sofia Tinnon swept the throws for Napa by winning the shot put (34 feet, 6.5 inches) and discus (103-3) over Vintage’s Sam Linteo (27-4 and 86-.5), who was the runner-up in each.
Also winning twice for the Grizzlies’ girls were Mia Oggenfuss in the triple jump (32-10) and high jump (4-10), edging teammate Maija Turjanis (31-8.75) in the former. Napa’s Aliyah Aguiar won the 100 hurdles (16.81) as well as the long jump (15-3), leading a sweep with teammates Kelsey Clark (15-1) and Turjanis (13-9) Amany Hilliard won the 100 meters.
Winning twice for the Crushers were Mary Deeik in the 1600 (5:13.3) and 3200. The girls pole vault went to Vintage freshman Elena Vandenburg (8-5), and the 300 hurdles to Megan Malito (52.9).
For the Vintage boys, Guzman also won the 1600 (4:34.7) and 3200 (10:24.18), and Andres Solorio took the 400 meters (51.6), 200 meters (23.87) and long jump (20-2). Mason Becker added a win in the 300 hurdles and Jesse Zapata won the discus (119-1).
For the Napa boys, Kyle Jezycki won the triple jump (42-0), high jump (5-10) and 110 high hurdles (14.83), Quentin Dervin took the shot put (42-3.5), Diego Olvera won the pole vault (12-6), and Daniel Rios claimed the 800 meters (2:01.62).
Dervin didn’t even place in the top three in the discus Wednesday.
“With my PR (personal record), I could have easily gotten first place today, but I’m struggling in my discus right now,” the junior said. “My PR in the shot is 44-something, but my season best is 42-11.”
He said his toughest VVAL competition in the shot put will probably be from Casa Grande.
“I’ve kinda stagnated a little bit in the shot this year, and the disc went bad this year because, I don’t know, I’ve had mental blocks or something, but it’s coming back. I think by the league (championships, May 1 and 3 at American Canyon), I’ll be back to normal. We’ve got a few good throwers that are holding us up, definitely less than we’ve had in past years, but we still have a strong team.”
Vintage head coach Brian Pruyn said Guzman recently placed sixth in the 3200 at the Stanford Invitational in a personal record-matching 9:32, and will look to better it at the Sacramento Meet of Champions on April 20. But he and Solorio were about getting team points on Wednesday.
“Andres usually runs the 400 and 200 but we saw where there was a chance to get a few extra points in the 100, so we asked him to come back from running what turned out to be a really competitive 400 and run the 100, and he and Miles (Crutcher, 11.44) were able to finish first and second and that turned out to be a huge point differential. As a competitor, you couldn’t ask for anything more,” Pruyn said.
“And then Manny and Dylan Frye both ran the mile, the two mile and the 800 and did a great job on our 4x400 relay. Without that 4x400 win it would have been a 10-point swing and given Napa the 2-point victory. We move some people around to get some points we would otherwise not have, and fortunately it barely worked out in our favor. The good thing about (Guzman) being a distance runner, you’re never too tired to sprint a little bit more.”
Napa High head coach Kam Jones – who like Pruyn is an alumnus of the team he coaches – was pleased to see his boys almost pull it out.
“Vintage always puts forth really strong teams, they’re our rivals, and it’s a great time (late in the season) to compete against them. Pruyn has been in this game a long time, so he knows how to put his kids in places and to score so I always know we’re not going to get a walk in the park when we compete against them.”
He was pleased with the four-victory day from McLoughlin, who seems to be making up for lost time after missing most of her final basketball season due to a pinky injury.
“Jane is without a doubt the core of this women’s team,” Jones said. “She leads by example and is a very hard worker and a straight-up competitor, a fighter. And then you have Mia Oggenfuss. She is a tremendous competitor. There are a lot of strong girls on this varsity team. And it goes as far as Molly McGrath and Caitlyn Berryhill, who we were missing this week due to a very mild knee injury we’re trying to work through.”
Said McLoughlin, “It was my last meet at home, so that’s always fun.”
Olvera, a senior, turned in a PR with his 12-6 in the pole vault as he chases the school record of 14-2.
“Diego is very obsessive with pole vaulting and wants to compete in college,” Jones said. “He’s a kid who, when he comes out, first thing he wants to do is open the pole vault pit and get after it. I’m very excited for what he’s looking to do and how he’s looking to move forward.”
Olvera, who also runs the 300 hurdles, hopes to be a back-to-back league pole vault champion after winning the Monticello Empire League title last year.
Jones said the Napa boys’ leader is Jezycki, who is just a junior.
“That kid is Mr. Consistency,” the coach said. “He’s one of those kids who’s not only an athlete but also a servant, and that’s very rare. He’s willing to serve – not just be the star, but do the dirty work as well. He’s willing to pick up the tent and carry it into the stadium. I feel like all the captains we have, we picked them because of that. You’ve got to be able to serve the team if you want to be a leader, and Kyle’s the one that stands out the most. I’m really excited for him.”
As for the junior who nearly brought his 4x400 relay team back from a big deficit in his anchor leg to win the meet, Rubio impressed Jones.
“Nico had a really late start this year but has had a significant jump from his frosh-soph performance to his first year of varsity, which is really exciting,” Jones said. “The challenge is just to make sure he stays focused and healthy and just do what he’s coached to do. If he does those things, he’ll continue to advance.”