Thursday, June 13, 2024

Lauren Gilhooly Advances to the State Track & Field Meet in 100 Meter

There is only one meet left in the 2024 Track & Field season, and Coronado sprinter, Lauren Gilhooly will be there. She advanced to the state meet in Clovis next week.
Head coach Cameron Gary details the Islanders’ performances below.

May 20 – CIF Finals

Six Islander student-athletes qualified for the CIF San Diego Section Championships (formerly “CIF Finals”), held on May 18 at Mt. Carmel High School. San Diego has gone to a new championship format for 2024, as each CIF Division held its own championship meet. San Diego does not use a “power ranking” system for determining Track & Field divisions, instead relying on school enrollment sizes (Coronado is in Division 3). The top two finishers in each respective Division, plus the top twelve qualifiers (regardless of division) make it to the Section championships. Thus, the top 18 qualifiers make it to the Section championship, which determines the overall Section champion and serves as the qualifier for the California State Track & Field Championships.

The six Islander athletes who qualified for the Section championships were junior Lauren Gilhooly (Girls 100m and 200m Dash), sophomore Nathan Ayan and senior Rafael Roos (Boys 800m Run), senior Lindsey Balsley (Girls Long Jump), and the Girls 4×100 Relay team consisting of Gilhooly, Balsley, senior Tatiana Potter and sophomore Summer Little.

4th place finishers at the CIF Masters 4×100 Relay: Top (L-R) Lauren Gilhooly and Lindsey Balsley. Bottom (L-R) Tatiana Potter and Summer LIttle: Photo by Phil Grooms

Of the 18 qualifiers for the Section Championships, the top nine finishers in each event medal. The top three finishers plus anyone achieving the state “at large” standard also qualify for the State Meet. Unlike other states, California has only one state championship division. Only 27 athletes per (individual) event qualify. As California has the largest population, it is extremely difficult to qualify for this State Meet. The last Islander athletes to do so were Alysah Hickey and Teresa Perez in 2019.

The Islanders medaled in five events at the 2024 San Diego Section Championships, led by Lauren Gilhooly, who took second and fifth places, respectively, in the 100m (11.89s) and 200m Dash (25.05s) events. She also ran a leg on the aforementioned 4x100m Relay, which finished fourth with a time of 48.74s. This relay was nosed out by 1/10 of a second by Helix for the final State Meet bid. Gilhooly was hindered by an illness the week of the meet, which affected her 200m performance. But she still qualified for the State Meet in the 100m.

100-meter finish: L-R : Lauren Gilhooly (placed 2nd), Amirah Shaheed from Madison (winner), and Joelle Frazier from University City, who was third.

Lindsey Balsley medaled by finishing 8th in the Long Jump with a leap of 17’2”. This was her fourth year making CIF Finals (both formats) in that event. She finished her season as the City League performance leader in the Girls Long Jump and 300m Hurdles. Nathan Ayan medaled by finishing 8th in the 800m Run, with a personal record (PR) time of 1:58.22. Rafael Roos finished 13th in that race with a time of 1:59.12. This was Ayan’s and Roos’ second year making it to CIF Finals, and their first year making it in an individual event. They finished the season as the City League leaders in that event. The Girls 4×100 Relay team finished their season ranked #1 in the City League, #1 in the City Conference, #1 in Division 3, and #5 in San Diego.

The California State Track & Field Championships will be held on May 24 and 25 at Buchannan High School in Clovis, CA (near Fresno).

Nathan Ayan (Left) and Rafael Roos placed 8th and 13th respectively in the 800 at CIF Masters meet. Photo by Dennis McClanahan

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

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