Glendale vs. Hoover track and field

Glendale High track and field ran past Hoover on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. (Tim Berger / Staff Photographer / April 23, 2014)

GLENDALE — Instead of collecting the Bronze Bowl and gathering with it at midfield for a postmeet celebration, the members of the Glendale High boys’ and girls’ track and field teams opted for something a bit different.

Shortly after the Nitros picked up the shiny trophy from the scorer’s table, the Nitros took a victory lap around the new all-weather track at Hoover.

PHOTOS: Hoover vs. Glendale in league dual track meet

There were plenty of participants responsible for Glendale’s success, including girls’ senior sprinter Kenya Gaskin.

Gaskin won a pair of sprints and teamed up to help Glendale win two relays in Glendale’s 116-19 Pacific League victory against rival Hoover. In the boys’ portion of the meet, Matthew Aldana and Julius Santos each had a pair of first-place efforts to lift Glendale to an 87-49 win.
Glendale retained custody of the Bronze Bowl — given to the school with the most total points at the Hoover-Glendale meet — with a 203-68 win. The Nitros improved to 15-0 in the history of the bowl.

“Its always fun to go out there and compete, especially against your rival,” said the Cal State Northridge-bound Gaskin, who won the 100-meter dash in 13.16 seconds and the 200 in 27.31. “We are happy to win and keep the bowl.

“The 100 is my favorite race. If you do good, it can then set the tone for the rest of the meet. I was able to lead from the start [in the 100] and just stay relaxed.”

Glendale (4-4, 3-4 in league) seemed to feed off of Gaskin’s performances en route to turning aside Hoover (1-6 overall and in league). Gaskin worked with Abby Pajulas, Vard Sargsyan and Margie Faustino to capture the 4x100 relay in 51.71 before closing out the meet by grouping with Pajulas, Leanna Setian and Sargsyan to win the 4x400 relay in 4:22.

Glendale second-year Coach Andrew Dakopolos said Gaskin provided the Nitros with energy throughout the meet.

“I think her 100 race helped set the tone,” Dakopolos said. “She was also ready to come right back for the 200.

“Knowing the tradition and history of Glendale, we are trying to go out there and build our own history and have a cohesive program.”

Glendale received a pair of first-place efforts from Setian in the 1,600 (5:37) and 800 (2:29), Pajulas in the 110 and 300 hurdles (18.25 and 50.67, respectively) and Brianna Esqueda in the discus (71 feet 8 inches) and triple jump (27-4). Also earning first-place finishes for the Nitros were Sargsyan in the 400 (63.40), Nataly Vardanyan in the long jump (12-11 1/2), Karah Hui in the high jump (4-6), Grace Rosenman in the shot put (43-7) and Claire Yanai in the pole vault (6-6).

Lucik Minassian won the lone event for Hoover, clocking 13:21 in the 3,200. It marked the second season in a row she won the distance race.

In the boys’ competition, Santos and Aldana provided a boost for Glendale (4-4, 3-4). Santos won the shot put (42 1/2) and discus (99-6). Aldana captured the 100 (16.84) and 200 (23.47).

Also picking up first-place finishes for the Nitros were Brian Sheih in the 1600 (4:45), Juan Pablo Fernandez in the 400 (53.37), Jesse Torres in the 800 (2:00.72), Yves Ramirez in the long jump (18 1/2) and Michael Williams in the pole vault (11-6). The Nitros’ quartet of Genesis Castelo, Daniel Jung, Sam Peplow and Aldana won the 4x400 relay in 3:35.

The Tornadoes (2-5 overall and in league) saw Andrew Alvarado win the 110 and 300 hurdles. Alvarado, who suffered a knee injury last fall while competing on the school’s cross-country team, clocked 16.84 in the 110 and 40.93 in the 300.

“I feel a lot stronger now and things are starting to come together,” said Alvarado , who is in his first season taking part in the hurdles. “In the 300, it’s about being able to work on my form and staying strong all the way up through that last hurdle.

“I have some goals, like trying to win league and getting to CIF.”

Hoover also received first-place efforts from Aram Dovlatyan in the triple jump (35-1 1/4) and Vladimir Climasevschii in the 3,200 (10:37). Hoover won the 4x100 relay, as Will Joyner, Ryan Chereque, Robert Devootian and Stefan Stankovic worked together to clock 45.4.

Hoover Coach Jack Sallakian said the Tornadoes met many of their goals.

“We won the races that we wanted to win,” Sallakian said. “They performed well and are right where they should be.”

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Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich.