Oakley’s Freedom High School boys’ track and field squad blazed past the competition, straight into the record books during the Bay Valley Athletic League track and field championships, last week at Antioch High School.
The Falcons captured their first team title ever, racking up 114 team points ahead of Pittsburg (112.5), Heritage (110) and Liberty (66).
“It feels great. The kids worked really hard,” said Freedom head coach Glenn Briggs. “We didn’t have one particular person dominating.”
Senior Giovanni Larrea led the way, winning the 300-meter hurdles, long jump and triple jump events — three of Freedom’s six individual event victories. He broke a school record in the triple jump with a 43-foot, 10-inch effort to go along with top performances in the 300-meter hurdles (41.83) and the long jump (21-11 1/4 inches).
Liberty senior Aaron Timmons (43-4) finished second in the triple jump, with Pittsburg junior Jonzi Smith trailing Larrea in the 300-meter hurdles (42.10) and Heritage junior Travis Simmons (21-7 1/2) coming in second in the long jump.
Not to be outdone, the Falcons’ junior Jacob Hawkins etched his name in the school record books with a 159-10 winning throw of the discus. Pittsburg senior John Maka (154-4) finished second.
Freedom’s other two male event winners were senior Hunter Heuer (11 feet) in the pole vault and senior Ololade Ogunyale (6-4) in the high jump. Heritage sophomore Ethan Grajo finished second in the pole vault with a 10-6 effort, and Antioch junior Ahmon Jones (6 feet) collected a second-place finish in the high jump.
Other notable top finishers among the Freedom boys included the 4x400-meter relay team (Aaron Roman, Iyan Godwin, Ethan Langendorff and Cullen Davis), who nabbed second place with a 3:31.01 second-place finish, and a host of third-place finishers, including Davis (52:27 in the 400 meter), Godwin (2:00.06 in the 800 meter), sophomore Joesiah Kriston (10:25.74 in the 3200 meter), sophomore Jaden Cortero (10-6) in the pole vault and Ogunyale (44.59 in the 300-meter hurdles).
“It was an overall team effort,” Briggs said. “Gio definitely stands out, but it was definitely a team effort.”
Meanwhile, Heritage made some noise in the girls’ team competition, securing its first team title since 2014. The Patriots (146 points) bested Pittsburg (131.5) and Liberty (77.5). Heritage secured the top spots in the five competitions: the 400 meters, 4x400-meter relay and the triple, long and high jump competitions.
Senior Jenna Walton blew past the completion in the 400 meters, winning in 1:1.14, while the Patriots’ 4x400-meter team emerged victorious in 4:15.14. Meanwhile, in the field events, senior Kidest Befikadu won the high jump (5-1), sophomore Katherine Reid (16-8 3/4) captured the long jump, and sophomore Veronica Metodieva (33-7 1/2) conquered the triple jump.
Fellow Patriot Kaya Scott, a freshman, finished second in the 400 meters in 1:1.26; Pittsburg captured second place in the 4x400-meter race in 4:21.66 seconds; Heritage junior Mariah Lang notched up second in the high jump with a 4-5 effort; Metodieva (16-5) finished second in the long jump; and Deer Valley senior Desjonique Unubun (33-3) ended in second in the triple jump.
Other top Heritage finishers included senior Ingrid Neukirchen, second in the 200 meters in 26.18 and third in the 100 meters in 12.29; freshmen Lauren Lane ( 2:32.15) and Sabrina Rogers (2:32.44), finishing second and third in the 800 meters; the 4x100 meters team, claiming second in 49.98; Rogers, ending in third in the 3,200 meters in 12:59.79; and Reid, finishing third in the triple jump with 32-4.
Varsity athletes who placed in the top four in their events automatically qualified for the North Coast Section Tri-Valley Area meet, scheduled for Saturday, May 11, at Dublin High School, beginning at 8:30 a.m.