The Coachella Valley’s track and field stars have been re-writing personal and school record books all year, so it’s no surprise that the valley had a fantastic showing at the CIF-SS Track and Field finals Saturday at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut.
A pair of long-distance runners shone the brightest as Indio’s David Luna and La Quinta’s Megan Huebner both took first place among all divisions. Luna ran the fastest time in the Southern Section in the 1,600 and 3,200, while Huebner was tops in the Southern Section in the 1,600.
Luna qualified for his first Masters meet in two events by winning the 1,600 in a school-record time of 4 minutes, 11.91 seconds. He won the 3,200 in 9:12.54. He runs again Friday.
“(Having the best time in both races) was crazy, just crazy,” Luna said. “My goal was just to qualify for Masters in both races. I was pretty excited about both wins. I was not expecting it, but it felt good and I ran well.”
Indio coach Santiago Briones said Luna had one of his best days as a runner.
“We just wanted him to advance, but we couldn’t be more happy with two first-place finishes,” Briones said.
Huebner became La Quinta’s first CIF track champion in school history by winning the 1,600 in 4:54. She not only won Division I but had the top time in all divisions Saturday and qualified for the Masters.
“It was just amazing for Megan,” La Quinta coach Ryan Flores said. “She made history once again. She’s been doing it since her freshman year, bettering her marks.”
Huebner returns to the Masters, where she finished seventh in 2012. She will be aiming for another trip to the state finals in the 1,600. She placed sixth in the state meet in 2012.
“I was really happy with my performance in the 1,600,” said Huebner, who also took seventh in the 3,200 (10:58). “The 1,600 had been my main focus. And I’m really happy with what Kayla did. She had a fantastic day and qualified in three events.”
Huebner will have company at the Masters meet Friday at Cerritos College as teammate Kayla Wilson qualified for the Masters in three events. Wilson took third in the 100 (11.66), fifth in the 200 (24.29) and set a school record in the long jump by placing fifth at 18-8. Wilson bettered her previous record of 18-4.
“To qualify for (the Masters meet) is a big accomplishment in itself,” Flores said. “And then to get there in three events is something special.”
La Quinta: To go along with Huebner and Wilson, Nirie Boglino helped add to the Blackhawks’ point total with a seventh-place finish in the triple jump (personal-best 36 feet, 2¾ inches). As a team, La Quinta finished an impressive fourth in Division I.
Xavier Prep: The Saints’ relay team of Austin Braunschweiger, Griffin Smith, Ryan Campbell and Daniel Stabile took fourth in the Division IV race, finishing in 43.83. Chris Spinney finished sixth in the division in the 3,200 (9:51.08), and Michael Solitaria finished seventh in the 300 hurdles (41.02). The Saints scored 10 points as a team and finished 15th overall in Division IV.
Palm Springs: The Indians had a pair of hurdlers in action. William Moore finished fifth in the Division II race in the 300 hurdles in 40.44 seconds, and Aleyah Coleman took eighth in Division II in 48.88 seconds in the 300 hurdles.
Palm Desert: For the Aztecs, Susannah Vera finished fourth in Division III with a high jump of 5-foot-5.
Desert Hot Springs: Chris Brown finished ninth in the discus in Division III with a throw of 133 feet, 1 inch.