Friday, June 21, 2024

Islander Track & Field Names Lindsey Balsley and Nathan Ayan 2023 MVP Athletes

At the Track and Field banquet last Wednesday, May 24th, junior Lindsay Balsley and freshman Nathan Ayan were named this season’s female and male Most Valuable Players (MVP).

Junior Lindsey Balsley (right) repeats as female track and field MVP. Freshman Nathan Ayan was named the male MVP

Although the selection was based on points scored, both athletes performed well at the season’s cluster, invitational, and championship meets.

Balsley won the long jump at the city league championships and placed second in the 300-meter hurdles. At the CIF Division 3 finals, she placed third in the long jump and fourth in the hurdles. She also placed first or second in her events at all invitationals, including the Viking Relays, Elmer Runge Invite, and Jim Cerveny Invite. At the Jim Cerveny Invite, her 17 feet 8.25 inches long jump distance ranks her seventh among all San Diego Section long jumpers this season.

Ayan ran the 400, 800, and 1600-meter runs throughout the season, but towards the end, he led the 4×800-meter relay team to a league championship and a fifth-place at the CIF finals. Because the 4×800 relay is a new event for CIF dual meets, their time of 8:42.37 at the league finals established a school record. The four athletes who comprised the team were Ayan, and juniors Detrik Heidt, Jack Shumaker, and Rafael Roos.

All received School Record Plaques. Roos received a Most Improved Athlete award for a 25-second improvement under his best 1600-meter run last year. He also ran a 2:04 leg in the 4×800 relay. At the SD County Frosh/Soph meet, which only the top grade-level runners qualify for, Ayan placed fourth in the 800-meter run and sixth in the 1600-meter run. He also placed among the top Frosh/Soph finishers in the Elmer Runge Invite, the University City Track Classic, and the Jim Cerveny Invite for the 1600-meter run. Senior Saxton Sylvester received a Coaches Award for a significant improvement in the discus throw over last season that netted him a league championship and fourth-place finish at CIF finals. Senior Emma Slaughter received a Most Improved Athlete award for big PR marks in the shot put and discus throws. She advanced to the CIF prelims in the discus throw. Senior Jaden Banner received a Coaches Award for his 100, 200, 400, 4×100, and 4×400 efforts. Sophomore Sean Groeneveld and junior Tatiana Potter received New Comers of the Year Awards for their performances in the sprints.

The event coaches presented the awards to the athletes, with head coach Cameron Gary as the Master of Ceremonies and presenter of the Sprints and Hurdles group, along with Quentin Anderson. George Green (me) handled the distance awards. Throws coaches Scott Young and Donna Yee gave the awards for the shot put and discus throwers. Sydney Rush gave the awards to the jumpers.


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

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