TAKING TEN AT TWENTY-TWO FINALS
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.”