During the sixth annual St. Apollinaris Twilight Track & Field Meet at Justin-Siena, second-grader Ella Brandon of the host school raced to the finish line for a dominant relay victory, then ran straight to the scorer’s table to check her team’s time.
She knew it would take a time of 1 minute, 15 seconds to break the school and meet record, and was thrilled to see her team had accomplished the task.
It was one of the first of many record-breaking performances at the recent event, which also had a record-breaking total number of athletes, 540, in attendance. The meet, run in memory of longtime coach Frank Defillippis, included athletes from St. Apollinaris Catholic, St. John the Baptist Catholic, Blue Oak, First Christian and St. John’s Lutheran schools, as well as athletes from the Napa Track Club. There were timed track and field events for pre -kindergarten athletes through eighth-graders.
“It is great to see the interest in track and field grow in Napa,” said Tracy Martin, a meet organizer. “This sport is known for offering something for everyone, and athletes attend this meet ready to break personal records or very impressive meet records that have been set without racing spikes, starting blocks, or even a great deal of experience in the sport.”
Athletes across the board illustrated how to compete, including some outstanding performances by eighth-graders.
Brendan Geesey of St. A’s had a very successful day, winning the 100 meters in 12.5 seconds and the 400 in a meet-record 1:00. He was also a member of the winning 4x100 relay team, which also included Kevin Galvin, Colby Bates and Max Phipps and turned in a meet-record time of 51.0 seconds.
Galvin went on to also win the 200 in a meet-record 26.38, and take second in the 100 meters and long jump (15 feet, 2 inches).
St. John the Baptist’s Aiden Dolinar won the boys 800 (2:33.79), and Jordan Bowman of St. John’s Lutheran won the boys shot put (29 feet, 6 ½ inches). The Napa Track Club had strong first-place performances from Kristian Valencia in the boys long jump (15 feet, 11½ inches) and high jump (5-1), as well as Corbin Wells in the 1,600 meters (6:28.8).
The eighth-grade girls division saw victories from First Christian’s Emily Harlow in the 100 meters (14.40) and St. John’s Lutheran’s Gracie Walter in the shot put (26-2). Josephine Weis broke the meet record in the 200 (28.30) and also won the 400 in 66.6 seconds, while teammate Gianna Troppy won the 800. Sydney Griego of the Napa Track Club won the long jump (14-1½), while Jane McLoughlin of St. A’s took first in the high Jump at 4-5 and the 1,600 in 6:59.11. The St. A’s 4x100 team of Jane McLoughlin, Weis, Kiran Monteverdi and Angel Massey tied the meet record with its first-place time.
A set of athletes broke grade-level meet records, including Blue Oak’s Danica Blix in the fourth-grade girls long jump (12-0), 100 meters (15.18) and 200 meters (32.24). St. A’s seventh-grader Grace Guzman claimed the record and first place in the 200 (28.84). The Napa Track Club’s Carley Johnson won the seventh-grade girls shot put (29-8), while St. A’s fifth-grader Miles Martin had a record-setting 200 (30.02). St. A’s seventh-grader Madison Klungel won the high jump in a meet record (4-6).
Sixth-grader Casey Potrebic of Saint John the Baptist set meet records in the 800 (2:37.4 ) and 1,600 (6:15.2 ), and St. John’s Lutheran third-grader Nico La Monica added meet records in the 50 meters (8.08) and standing broad Jump (6-2). His teammate, Devon Carlson, had a huge personal record with a leap of 13-3 in the sixth-grade girls long jump, tying the meet record.
Mary Deeik of St. A’s broke the sixth-grade girls 800-meters record (2:57.04), and also took first place in the 1,600 with a strong time of 6:27.55. Catherine Sherburne broke the 200 record in 29.87, and fellow St. A’s sixth-grader Julia Bodor won the 100 in 14.49.
Not to be outdone, the kindergartners through third-graders ran the 50 and competed in the standing broad jump. First Christian second-grader Samuel Tesfaw had a fast, 8.68-second 50 meters to take first in a meet record. Also in the 50, first-grader Griffin Messenger of St. John’s Lutheran ran a meet-record in 8.84 seconds. Sophie Wassef of St. A’s won the first-grade standing broad jump with a mark of 5-2, a new meet record. St. A’s second-grader Haley Pham won the 50 in a meet-record 8.86 seconds.
Every returning relay team eclipsed last year’s best performance, as did nearly every athlete in one event or another. Blue Oak’s Ava Dominguez illustrated that by taking 18 seconds off her 800 time in the fifth-grade girls division (3:04.49).
The meet finished with the mile relay under the Dodd Stadium lights, where over 10 teams of fourth- through eighth-graders completed their competition with one last lap. Meet records were broken in the fifth-grade boys and sixth-grade girls in the final event.