In 2019, the coaches at University City decided to create a track invite with races for freshmen, sophomores, open, and invitational athletes. It just so happened that was the year when the Islanders had their best group of female track and field athletes in the school’s history.
The Invite was called the UC Track Classic, and we showed up with a loaded girls’ team. We were just off winning the CIF girls championship after a couple of years of coming close. On our roster that day were Alysah Hickey, who holds our 100, 200, High Jump, and Long Jump school records, and Teresa Perez, who holds our 800, 1600, and 3200 meter run records. We also brought Victoria Perez, who holds our shot put and discus records, and Ruthie Grant-Williams, who holds our 100-meter hurdle record. In addition to the record holders, we brought several others, such as Madden and Abigail Hundley, Sofia Van Arsdale, Regina Czerewko, and Sarah Burns. Hickey set a few meet records that should stand for a while, with a high jump mark of 5 feet 10 inches, a long jump of 20 feet 2 inches, and a 100-meter time of 12.11 seconds. Teresa Perez’s time in the 800 is still the meet standard at 2:17.88. Then Covid hit, and the Invite wasn’t run in either 2020 or 2021. So, although this meet is four years old, the 2022 version was only the second time it was run.
For the 2022 invite, we took only ten boys and five girls because it was toward the end of spring break and many of our kids were out of town. Also, we’re still in a rebuilding phase. That’s too bad because this was an excellent Invitational with events for all levels. The available kids got in some great competition and had a good time despite the on and off rainy weather. Our busiest boy competitor was Jack Delcore, who we entered into the Soph Triple jump, the Frosh/Soph 110 hurdles, the Soph 200, and the Soph Long Jump.
The triple jumps, 3200 meter runs, and several relays were scheduled for Friday afternoon and into the night to make room on the Saturday schedule for all the graded races. Delcore placed second with a leap of 38’10” in the triple jump on Friday and a very close second in the Frosh/Soph 110-meter hurdles with a PR (Personal Record) time of 16.62 on Saturday. In other hurdle action for the boys, Joe Garcia placed eighth in the Seeded 300 hurdles in 46.85; Reif Souder placed fourteenth in the F/S 110 hurdle race and twelfth in the 300 F/S hurdles.
Souder also clocked 12.77 in the Frosh boys 100-meter dash behind Von Pritchett, who ran 12.41. Pritchett also placed eighth in the Frosh boys 200-meter dash in 25.53. In other 200-meter dash action, Gio Navarro placed eighth in the Open event with 24.92, and Xander Wastila ran 25.85 in the Soph 200. Wastila also placed fifth in the Soph High Jump with 5’-2″. Jaden Banner doubled in the Open Long Jump, where he placed sixth with 18′-5.5″ (Navarro was 14th), and the 400-meter Open run. In the Soph 1600-meter run, Derik Heidt placed tenth with 5:11.0, followed by Jack Shumaker in fourteenth with 5:27.2. Our only thrower was Michael Cordell, who placed fourteenth in the open discus with 83′-2″.
For the girls, Lindsey Balsley placed second in the Soph 100-meter dash in 13.72 and fourth in the Invitational Long jump with 15′-10.5″. Because of a slight leg injury, head track coach Cameron Gary pulled her out of her other two events, the 200-meter dash and 100-meter hurdles. Freshman Sadie Proctor placed third in the Frosh/Soph 300-meter hurdles in 53.40. In the Frosh 100-meter and 200-meter dashes, Proctor ran times of 14.54 and 30.91, followed by Madeline Lockwood in both races with 15.63 and 33.32.
Lily Clemons ran both the 3200-meter and 1600-meter runs, but not on the same day. On Friday, she placed sixth in the Open 3200 with 12:32.77, followed by a fifth-place finish in the Invitational 1600 with a PR time of 5:38.42.
Our only other female runner was Eva Vinegrad, who placed eighth in the Frosh 1600 with 6:16.59.