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CIF-SOUTHERN SECTION TRACK AND FIELD DIVISIONAL FINALS Gahr, V.C. athletes finish strong in respective divisional finals, won’t move on to Masters Meet

Gahr High senior Jazminn Parrish (right) leads Milana Malec of Woodbridge High in the 400-meter dash in last Saturday’s CIF-Southern Section Track and Field Divisional Championships. Parrish had a time of 56.22, good enough for third place. PHOTO BY ARMANDO VARGAS, Contributing photographer



By Loren Kopff

@LorenKopff on Twitter


TORRANCE-The Valley Christian High track and field program, with over 35 league championships to show for, was well-represented once again at last Saturday’s CIF-Southern Section Track and Field Championships. While the marks and times of five female athletes weren’t good enough to advance to the Masters Meet, two athletes finished within the top three in their respective events in Division 4 as well as the 4×400 relay team.

The V.C. girls picked up 23 points and finished in ninth place out of 45 Division 4 schools. The Lady Defenders were led by junior Olivia Vande Vegte, who came in second place in the discus with a mark of 116-05, a personal record which was almost six feet away from division champion Aleena Garcia of St. Paul High.

“I’m happy because I’m a junior, so I have another year,” Vande Vegte said. “It was scary because most of these girls don’t have another year. So, I’m happy that [Garcia] could get it in her senior year. I’m really excited about next year, though.”

Vande Vegte set a personal record of 112-02 on her first throw and was leading after everyone had their first throws. She increased her distance to 115-05 after the second throw and was still leading the other eight competitors. However, she threw a 101-06 on her third attempt while Garcia took the lead with a 122-02.

This was the second straight year that V.C. has had success in the discus in the divisional finals. Last year, Gavin Fua won the discus and advanced to the Masters Meet while Jake Leue finished in second place. Fua also won the discus.

“We’ve just had the greatest coaches the last few years,” Vande Vegte said. “Jake is our coach this year and Gavin comes too to help. They’re really more encouraging; making you feel like you have to go again. They’re excited for you when you do good.

“Last week we just worked really hard,” Vande Vegte later said. “They just really encouraged me; consistently telling me how I can be better.”

As for next season, Vande Vegte, who also plays basketball, already has a plan that will hopefully make her a division winner and good enough to move on to the Masters Meet.

“I definitely want to weightlift more; I didn’t weightlift at all this year because I play [other] sports than this,” Vande Vegte said. “So next year I’m just going to consistently weightlift and hopefully [Jake] will come back next year because that will help out too.”

V.C. junior Emma Montenegro was an alternate but did not throw as all nine qualifiers showed up.

In the 300 hurdles, V.C. juniors Kathryn Tamminga and Emma Spresney finished in third place and sixth place with times of 47.02 and 48.38 respectively. Those two were also part of the 4×400 relay team, along with freshmen Sophia Moreno and Karon Warren, that came in third place with a time of 4:03.97.


Valley Christian High juniors Kathryn Tamminga (#5) (above) and Emma Spresney (#7) finished in third place and sixth place respectively in the 300-meter hurdles in last Saturday’s CIF-Southern Section Track and Field Divisional Finals. Tamminga had a time of 47.02 while Spresney came in at 48.38. PHOTOS BY ARMANDO VARGAS, Contributing photographer





Gahr High senior and Cal Poly Pomona commit Jazminn Parrish also had a strong performance in the 400-meter dash, claiming third place in Division 2 with a personal record time of 56.22. Unfortunately, it wasn’t good enough to move on to the Masters Meet.

“I wasn’t scared, but I knew there was going to be [fast runners],” Parrish said. “I just wanted to show them what I have. I was then thinking, ‘no, let’s not show them what I have. Let’s beat the time’. I was thinking on improving on my time and not focus on other people.”

Almost two hours later, Parrish ran in the 200-meter dash where she came in seventh place with a time of 25.40, which is slower than the 24.87 she ran the previous Saturday in the Division 2 preliminaries.

“I think it was because I took a little tumble in the 400,” Parrish said. “I think if that would not have happened, I would have gotten a PR again because I was pushing for a PR there, too.

“Very few people come from Gahr and succeed to state or Masters,” Parrish later said. “I feel like if anyone on the team, if they push themselves during practice…the motivation sometimes might not be there, but I have to motivate myself. It’s an individual sport; motivate yourself. If you have that push, you could still make it far.”

In Division 3 boys pole vault, Artesia High sophomore Daniel Chung, who cleared the bar at 13 feet in last Saturday’s preliminaries, cleared at 12 feet, the beginning height for all nine competitors, but failed in his three attempts at 12-06.

Four other area athletes plus the Whitney High 4×100 relay team were listed as alternates but did not compete and Whitney junior Ola Ogan, who had a mark of 16-03 in the long jump in last Saturday’s Division 4 preliminaries, was a no show.