Hemet track looks good now and for the future

Written by JESSICA SELF



The Hemet High School track team was nearly perfect this season. Both boys and girls varsity teams boasted a perfect 5-0 league record, the boys taking it even further with an undefeated season record of 8-0.

For the first time in over a decade, both the girls and boys teams took the top spot in league by excelling in every facet on the track and in the field.

There were several standouts from Hemet.

Gavin Gomes led the way in discus for the Mountain Pass. At a league meet he threw a whopping 155 feet for a personal record and won the league finals with a throw of 151 feet. At the finals, he also came in second in the shot put with a throw of 49 feet six inches. Pole vaulter Tanner Speers also took top honors in league with a 12-6 vault.


Another standout in the field was Danica Hitchcock. The long-jump and triple-jump competitor, who also ran several different sprints and hurdles, went the farthest into playoffs of all Hemet track members by placing fifth in the CIF finals meet in the triple jump. She also took twelfth in the long jump.

"My goal is to break the school record in triple jump," Hitchcock said. "I would have to jump over a 38'4". It's a big goal, but I think I can do it."

Hitchcock, who is also a varsity volleyball and soccer player, said she enjoys track because each team member is responsible for how they perform.

"It is still a team sport, but you are responsible for how you do," Hitchcock said. "You make mistakes or you succeed on your own. There is a lot of self-motivation involved. I especially love jumping because it is so technical."


Out on the field, Briana Williams also grabbed a first place league finish in the pole vault for her 9-0 vault.

Another standout from the girls' team was freshman sprinter Krista Haddock. She took first place in league finals in the 200 meter race with a time of 26.99 and was a close second in the 400 meter race and the 300 meter hurdles.

"I really like sprinting and hurdling," said Haddock, who is also a member of the varsity soccer team. "It's not about relying on a team, but just seeing how well I can do and pushing myself internally."

Another standout on the girls' team was distance runner Taylore Cantu. Cantu took first in league in both the 1600 meter race and the 800 meter race. She also beat a 1976 school record in the 400 by beating Coach Janice Kelley's time of 2:20 by running a 2:19.53. Raven Harrison won the league finals in the 3200 meter race with a time of 11:58.16


Other top performers were boy distance runners Fernando Fuentes, Oscar Mercao and Jake Maddox. Oscar Suniga took first in league in the 200 meter race with a time of 22.89. Hurdler Zach Holbert broke a longstanding school record in the 300 meter hurdles and proved very versatile for the Bulldogs.

Versatility is a huge asset of the team, according to head coach Bob Summers.

"We had a lot of kids who could compete in a lot of different events," Summers said. "It is huge when your top athletes can perform in more than one area."

Summers is also pleased that his very talented teams are extremely young.

"We have a lot coming back," he said. "It bodes well for next year. We should be very good again. We have good young throwers and good young runners."

On his part, Summers keeps tedious lists of school records which he feels motivates his athletes to push themselves.

"They want to beat those school records and it makes them work that much harder," Summer said. "I look forward to seeing what these young kids can do in the future."
http://thevalleychronicle.com/sports/item/1961-hemet-track-looks-good-now-and-for-the-future Source: http://thevalleychronicle.com/sports/item/1961-hemet-track-looks-good-now-and-for-the-future
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