Monday, May 29, 2023

Islander Track & Field Team Qualifies 15 to CIF Prelims

The CIF Prelims this weekend at Canyon Hills High School is the qualifying event for the CIF Finals to be held on May 20 at Mt. Carmel High School. Head Track & Field Coach Cameron Gary details last weeks’ League Finals which was the qualifying event for the CIF Prelims.

May 4 & 5 – League Finals

The Islanders competed in the City League Varsity League Championship Finals at Madison High School on May 4th and Kearny High School on May 5th. The Discus Throw, Triple Jump, and 4 x 800 Meter Relay were contested on the former date at Madison. The remainder of the events were contested at Kearny on the latter date.

The League Championship meet is of particular importance because it is the sole qualifying method for advancement into the San Diego CIF Section Championships. Only League CHAMPIONS are guaranteed entry into CIF. After that, entry into CIF is based on athletes achieving an “at large” performance standard, or their League Finals performance falling within the top seeds (27 for individual events, 18 for relays) in their respective divisions (Coronado is in Division 3… Divisions are based on school enrollment sizes). The League Championship Final is basically an “all or nothing” proposition. The athlete must be prepared to compete well there.

The Islanders got off to a great start, scoring a decisive victory in the 4 x 800 Relay. The relay team members were freshman Nathan Ayan, and juniors Detrik HeidtJack Shumaker, and Rafael Roos. Although being the league champion guarantees their entry into CIF, their winning time of 8:42.37 ranks them as the number two team in Division 3.

4×800 Relay League Champions (L-R): Rafael Roos, Jack Shumaker, Nathan Ayan, Detrik Heidt. Ayers is also on the 4×400 team.

The Islanders continued their winning ways when senior Saxton Sylvester scored a victory in the men’s Discus Throw. His winning throw of 124 feet (even) was a personal record (PR) by over ten feet. Like the 4 x 800 Relay team, Sylvester is guaranteed entry into CIF due to being the league champion. However, his effort places him as the 5th seed.

Saxton Sylvester was the league champ in the boys discus throw

The Islanders had another medalist (top 3 finisher) at the Madison site. Sophomore Mason Olsen finished third in the men’s Triple Jump with a leap of 38’ 2.25”. His mark was sufficient to qualify him for CIF as a 19th seed.

On the following day at Kearny, the Islanders scored another victory with a 17’ 3” effort by junior Lindsey Balsley in the women’s Long Jump. Aside from her being the league champion, her effort places her as the 2nd seed at CIF.

Lindsey Balsley was league champ in the Long Jump and placed second in the 300 meter hurdles.

Other medalists on this day were Balsley in the women’s 300 Hurdles (2nd Place at a season’s best time of 49.33 seconds, qualifying through to CIF as the 4th seed), sophomore Sean Groeneveld in the men’s 400 Meter Dash (3rd Place with a time of 53.63 seconds, qualifying through to CIF as the 9th seed), and the men’s 4 x 400 Relay of GroeneveldAyan, senior Jaden Banner, and junior Marco Velarde (2nd Place with a time of 3:38.55, qualifying through to CIF as a 4th seed).

The CIF Prelims will be a busy day for these four Islander runners shown with their 4×400 medals.
From Left to Right:
Sean Groeneveld will also run in 4×100 relay and the 400-meter dash.
Jaden Banner is also on the 4×100 relay team.
Nathan Ayan is also on the 4×800 relay team.
Marco Velarde will also run the 300 hurdles and is on the 4×100 relay team.

The Islanders had several others qualify through to CIF based on their League Finals performance. These include Groeneveld in the men’s 200 Meter Dash (27th seed), sophomore Reif Souder and Velarde in the men’s 300 Hurdles (17th and 19th seeds, respectively), juniors Tatiana PotterBalsley, and sophomore Charlotte Kuite in the women’s 100 Meter Dash (13th, 16th and 24th seeds, respectively), Potter in the women’s 200 Meter Dash (19thseed), senior Emma Slaughter in the women’s Discus Throw (27th seed), and the men’s 4 x 100 Relay (17th seed) consisting of BannerGroeneveldOlsen and Velarde.

Division 3 CIF Prelims will be contested at Canyon Hills High School on Saturday, May 13th.


George Green
George Green
Head Cross Country and Distance Track Coach, Coronado High School