ARCADIA — Three victories and several qualifications highlighted an evening of success for the Crescenta Valley, Glendale and Hoover high track and field programs, which at least qualified one athlete out of Friday night’s Pacific League Track and Field Finals at Arcadia High on Friday evening.
The Falcons led the way with two victories and 12 participants who qualified to next Saturday’s CIF Southern Section Division I preliminaries at Trabuco Hills High.
PHOTOS: Pacific League track championships
Crescenta Valley juniors Emma Walker and Megan Melnyk notched their programs wins in the high jump and 800-meter run, respectively.
Walker captured the high jump title with a leap of 5 feet, 2 inches, which just outlasted the runner-up efforts of Arcadia’s Kelly Dopke and Hannah Rock, who were close behind with a jump of 5 feet.
As for Melnyk, the middle-distance runner was a two-time qualifier, as she was close to healthy and won with a time of 2 minutes, 19.55 seconds in the 800, just holding off second-place teammate Erika Johnson (2:19.91), who also advanced to Trabuco Hills.
“It’s been something all year long, whether it’s been my hamstring or calves,” said Melnyk, who’s still hoping to regain her CIF-SS Division I championship 800-meter fourth-place form from last season. “I just haven’t felt good in a long time, so I thank God I was able to finish tonight.”
Earlier in the day, Melnyk also qualified in the 1,600 (5:03.94) in taking third.
When Glendale High graduated star state-qualifying athlete Mike Davis last season, it figured that the Nitros would also surrender the BYU-athlete’s 100-meter dash title.
That was not the case on Friday evening.
Glendale junior Matthew Aldana was a surprise winner in clinching the 100-meter dash in 11.26 seconds, as the track newcomer defeated Arcadia’s Chris Paul (11.37).
“This feels great,” Aldana said. “I’ve only been in track for like three months and I think I found my passion.”
Besides Aldana, Glendale had three additional qualifiers to Trabuco Hills in Yves Ramirez in the boys’ high jump (tied for second with a jump of 5-10), Jesse Torres in the boys’ 800 (third, 1:56.24) and Leanna Setian in the girls’ 800 (third, 2:21.68)
Crescenta Valley’s Kayleigh Carrillo was a two-time qualifier to Trabuco Hills in the 200 (second, 25.88) and 400 (second, 57.56).
Other Crescenta Valley qualifiers were Nick Beatty in the 800 (second, 1:56.13), Sammie Phinney in the 100 hurdles (second, 15.64), Grace Keller in the 300 hurdles (third, 47.80), Haley Witzman in the 3,200 (third, 11:31.63), Alissa Shin in the shot put (third, 32-7 1/2) and Gabe Collison in the 3,200 (second, 9:18.90).
“I tried my best to stay up front, but it’s a tough race,” Collison said of the 3,200. “I’m satisfied that I’m moving on.”
Arcadia’s Estevan De La Rosa won the 3,200 in 9:11.31 and, in the process, broke the former league mark of 9:14.30, set by Hoover’s Margarito Casillas in 1993.
Hoover wasn’t left out, as the Tornadoes had a qualifier to the Division III prelims at Estancia High in Andrew Alvarado, who was second in the 300 hurdles in 41.30
Follow Andrew J. Campa on Twitter: @campadresports.