Bonita track and field wins first league title in 52 years

1963 was the last time both Bonita’s boys and girls won the league championship in track and field. Now, 52 years later, the wait has finally ended with the both divisions winning league championships.

Coach Shalynn Johansson said, “Coming into this new league, none of the coaches expected us to [win a league championship]. We were only expected to be average compared to the other schools in the league.”

Prior to the meet against Claremont, both of Bonita’s divisions had an undefeated record in league, while Claremont had two losses in the boys’ division and one loss in the girls’ division.

The boys showed the crowd at Claremont why they deserved to be league champs with their spectacular performances. Their record remained undefeated after the meet. The girls performed well but were not able to maintain an undefeated record. The girls will share the league title with Claremont’s girls.

Winning league was the main focus this year and all sections stepped up to make the goal happen.

Distance runner Kelsey Creese said, “We were out on the track for hours training hard, rain or shine. We knew what we were up against and we were all determined to win this league coming in as the underdogs. With all the hard work and training we did, we pulled through and came out with a win.”

Creese did great this year in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter race. Her fastest time in the mile this year was 5:13.62 and her time for the two-mile race was 11:16.41. She, along with the other fast runners on the team including Dillon Beckum, Sean Frescas, Noah Anderson, Alicia Villarreal, Caleb Stanton, Alec Duran and Brittany Griffin will move onto league meets and then to CIF in the upcoming weeks.

The field team represented the team well at Claremont and also contributed greatly to the success of the team this year.

In long jump, all of Bonita’s athletes did a tremendous job. Brandon McClaurin jumped 21-6, 20-11, and 20-10 and Brandon Sykes jumped 18-1.

The girls were just as on fire as the boys. Cassidy Peng jumped 17-5, Natalie Sanchez jumped 15-0, Dascha Mathis jumped 14-0 and Kylee Baze jumped 14-3.

Triple jump went well for the boys and girls this year as well. Brandon McClaurin jumped 46-0, Caleb Ting jumped 39-6, Josh Piefer jumped 38-0 and Brandon Sykes jumped 40-10. For girls’ Peng jumped 37-2, Baze jumped 32-4 and Mathis (11) jumped 31-0.

History was made for the Bonita boys’ and girls’ track team this year, as they both end the season with the boys’ as league champions and girls’ as co-league champions. The new Palomares League was a great chance for the boys’ to take back the league championship since 1965. This was also the first time in a long time that both boys and girls walked away as league champions.

-Jenna Ortiz and Natalie Sanchez

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