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TRABUCO HILLS HIGH SCHOOL: It took about 18 hours after the event was over but after emails; texts and a refiguring of the team scores,  the ML King Unified Sports Track team came away with the first-ever Unified CIF Southern Division Championship this past Friday at Trabuco Hills High School. It is the 11th CIF title in the school’s history, all sports combined.

It is the first ever such title awarded in the CIF’s commitment to the Unified Sports movement, also known as Unified Championship Schools (UCS). Unified Sports is a program of inclusion where Special Needs students and General Education students compete in teams of two in each event and the average of their efforts determine where they place in the competition. It is a program supported by the Special Olympics through the CIF.

Due to confusion over how the event was to be scored, King initially was deemed the second place finisher in the meet.  However, upon further investigation and discussion, King came away the winner with 111 points, outdistancing Trabuco Hills at 74 points and Los Alamitos with 73.

The UCS movement is in its fourth year and this season, the CIF (SS) was divided into a UCS Southern and a UCS Northern Division. The top qualifiers between the two divisions move onto the Master’s Meet next week for a shot at making the State Championships in Clovis on May 28.  Though 7 events were competed on Friday, only the 100, the Shot Put and the 4 X 100 Relay are the events where the opportunity to go to Clovis is available. At the Masters Meet next Saturday, only the winning team of two athletes—or on the relays- 4 athletes will move on to State.

Using the combined scores of the boys and girls competitions to determine the team places,  the Boys “A” 4 × 100 Relay of Christian DeLoye, David Green, Landon Laramie and Maxwell Robinson got things off to a fast start with a very impressive second place time of 46.63. They were behind the team from Oak Hills which clocked 45.95. In the 400, the team of Green and Damien Zemanek finished second to fellow Wolves Jack Slavin and DeLoye who clocked a team average time of 53.93. Ruth DeLoye and Lauren Langner picked up points in the 100 and 200 for their efforts and the Boys 4 X 400 (Slavin, Zemanek, Green and DeLoye) turned in a very fine 3:39.70 for first place. In the Long Jump, Green and teammate David Adams soared to an 18-8 average for first place and Deloye and Robinson finished second. For Christian and David, it was the 4th medal of the meet—-quite a haul!  In the shot put, Isaiah Butler and Aiden Sos won the event at  an average of 30"-11.

Qualifiers for the Master’s Meet this coming Saturday at Moorpark High School include both the  "A"  4 × 100 and the “B” 4 X 100 of Butler, Anthony Martin, Justin Allen and Seth Flores. Ruth Deloye and Lauren Langner in the 100 and Butler and Sos in the Shot Put.

For Aiden Sos, this is a very special run as he was among the FIRST of our UCS athletes to compete back in 2019 and now in his senior year, he has the opportunity to go to state. “As he has grown,” said Coach Mat Vasel, “so has our UCS program.”

“I am super proud of our Unified athletes and partners, " said Sondra Lough, Special Ed. teacher and ML King UCS Director. “We are really looking forward to what we can accomplish at Moorpark High next week.”  Coach Vasel said, " This is a great accomplishment not just for the UCS part of our team but for the entire program.  It’s a tribute to what EVERY kid can contribute to our success. It’s an honor to be the first school to win the Southern Division CIF Championship" and then he smiled, “even if it took a few hours to really decide it.”

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The CIF Division 1 Preliminaries in track and field is a highly competitive affair where many of the finest in the sport assemble each Spring with the intent of qualifying for the CIF Championships.  For sure, some are just happy to have advanced out of their respective leagues and hold little chance of qualifying into the next round, but given the depth of talent that CIF-SS Division 1 has to offer, the meet is shy only of the spectacle that the actual Finals will be one week hence.

King’s finest found themselves in that mix and experienced the highs and lows that come with being in that kind of arena. 

“Often at CIF Prelims, we are reminded just how deep the Southern Section is, especially in Division 1,” said King head coach Mat Vasel. 

King got off on a difficult foot as the ladies 4×100 meter relay had some struggles getting the baton around smoothly. The Boys 4×100 responded well, running a season’s best time, but not fast enough to make it through a very deep division.

King rebounded nicely, however, and did not let those early struggles define the day’s results. 

There was little surprise to see Alyssa Hope’s name at the top of the qualifying ranks in the triple and long jump events.  It has been in those events that she has sparkled all season long and she qualified with ease winning the triple and taking second in the long. 

Sarah Ajayi (Jr) was glittering as well in the 100 hurdles, racing to a 4th place finish in a lifetime best mark of 15.05.  It was a big improvement from last season in the same event, where she finished in 12th and in 16.23.  A nice year of improvement!

Senior Mekhi Gilmore notched the  sole Personal Record (PR) of the King contingent, racing 49.53 in the 400 meters, which moved him to #4 all time in the event at King. The effort also put him in 8th, just inside the 9 spots that qualify for the Finals.  Anthony Chavez was off his PR in the shot by several feet, but his mark of 49’ 3" was good enough for the day and put him in 7th and moved him on to the final.  It has been a number of years since King has had a thrower at CIF Finals, so this is quite an achievement for the much improved Senior.  He is well over 10 feet better than where he was in 2021.  Jaden McKee was third in the pole vault and will move on to Finals in this, just his sophomore season!

Vasel put the day in perspective, saying, “What started off as a rocky day, was quickly turned around. I like how we didn’t let early hurdles and falls define our entire day. We responded well and picked up the slack when we needed to, just like we have all year long.”

TAKING TEN AT TWENTY-TWO FINALS

Posted by King Track & Field at Apr 29, 2022 12:46PM PDT
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The Big 8 League came to town on Thursday to compete in the 2022 Big 8 Track and Field Championships. It is a meet in which there are no team scores, instead, individuals compete for league titles in their events and, if they finish in the top 3 places with corresponding qualifying marks, a spot in the CIF Championships which will begin the first weekend of May.

King was well represented at the top of the victory stand on their home track and field, in fact, it was a historic afternoon in that regard.

Alyssa Hope took home three titles; the high jump, the long jump and the triple jump. While none were her personal record (PR) she didn’t need to be on her “A-game” in order to best the field three-times over in her best season ever. Juliet McKee was the champion in the pole vault, clearing 10′ 9″. Juliet was also second behind Hope in the long jump. Sarah Ajayi won last year in the 100 hurdles and repeated the feat here in 2022. Audrey Brunken was the runner-up in both the 1600 and 3200.

Gavin Henry, whose life in the sport spans about a month, notched two league titles in the long and triple jumps. But the shot put toss by Anthony Chavez perhaps eclipsed Henry’s jumps. With a heave of 50′ 5″ (a 2 foot PR!), Chavez landed the ball not only at the top of the Big 8 field, but maybe more impressively, it was the 2nd-best toss in school history! “He was ready,” said head coach Mat Vasel. “That was an awesome throw!” he added excitedly. History shows that; his mark is the 2nd-best throw at King since 2009 and the best since 2017.

Rowan Hudson continued the hurdling success that has been a hallmark of King track, winning the 110 highs in 15.86. Mekhi Gilmore’s 49.71 victory in the 400 meters is the number-five mark in school history, and while Jack Slavin wasn’t able to defend his 2021 800 meter title, he did take second and moved to 4th all time at King in 1:57.10.

The ten league titles taken by King fell just shy of the 11 earned in 2021, but this is still the second-most number of individual championships the Wolves have earned at the League Finals since the league was formed in 2009.

“League Finals has always been ‘our night’,” said Vasel. “That tradition continued with the stellar performances of our kids! Our athletes rose to the occasion and competed, many with everything that they had left.”

PLEASE SIGN UP FOR OUR REMIND ACCOUNTS

Posted by King Track & Field at Dec 29, 2021 2:10PM PST
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King track and field/Coach Vasel will use Remind to get text messages out to the athletes and parents. You are all asked to sign up for the appropriate Remind account:

To sign up for this free service, to the number “81010” text the following (based on your group)

Parents: @ktfparent1
Boys Team: @bmlktf2022
Girls Team: @gmlktf2022