Thursday, September 28, 2023

Islander Track & Field Season Wraps Up at CIF Finals

The last meet of the 2023 track and field season was Saturday, May 20 at the CIF finals, held at Mt. Carmel High School. Seven out the ten who advanced came away a CIF medal.

Head Coach Cameron Gary fills in the details below:

The Islanders competed in the San Diego CIF Section Championship Finals on May 20 at Mt. Carmel High School. For Track & Field, the San Diego CIF Section is divided into three divisions based on school enrollment size. Coronado High School is in Division Three. This division contains 65 schools, with a total enrollment of just over 34,000 students.

Islander athletes qualified and competed in five individual events and two relays. Of those seven events, the Islanders were able to win medals (top six placing) in four of them. The results from within Division 3 are below.

Junior Lindsey Balsley was a double medalist, repeating this accomplishment from last season. She finished 3rd in the women’s Long Jump with a leap of 16’ 10.75”, and 4th in the women’s 300 Hurdles with a time of 48.95 seconds.

Senior Saxton Sylvester placed 4th in the men’s Discus, with a throw of 117 feet even. This was his second time qualifying for CIF (first time making the Final).

The Islander men’s 4×800 Relay (freshman Nathan Ayan, juniors Jack Shumaker, Rafael Roos, and Detrik Heidt) placed 5th with a time of 8:50.26. It was the first CIF championship experience for each of them.

4×800 team L-R: Detrik Heidt, Rafael Roos, Nathan Ayan, Jack Shumaker

Sophomore Reif Souder placed 6th in the men’s 300 Hurdles with a PR (personal record) time of 43.75 seconds. This was his first CIF championship experience.

Other Islanders who competed in the Finals included sophomore Sean Groeneveld in the men’s 400m Dash (he finished 8th), and in the men’s 4×400 Relay, Groeneveld, senior Jaden Banner, junior Marco Velarde, and Souder (they finished 9th).

Although some results were better than others, competing in a championship meet is a “mixed bag” so to speak. This is because only one person/team will leave the meet completely happy. Everyone else will experience some level of disappointment. However, just making it to this meet is an accomplishment in and of itself. There were many other athletes who wanted to be there but weren’t. So, we should take pride in that. Secondly, there is no substitute for championship experience. It is not surprising that the two individual event medalists had prior CIF championship experience. This experience is invaluable. The Islanders will be graduating two of these athletes. However, the other eight will be returning next year. The future looks bright for the Islanders.


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