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By Zach Cavanagh
San Clemente High School hosted and dominated the Sea View League Track and Field Finals on Friday, April 29.
The Tritons captured both the boys and girls league team championships, qualified 19 entries into the CIF-SS Division 1 preliminaries next weekend, won 19 league titles—including 16 individual titles—and established two school records, including a Coast View Conference record.
San Clemente will compete in the CIF-SS Division 1 preliminaries at Trabuco Hills High School on Saturday, May 7. The CIF-SS Divisional Finals will all be run at Moorpark High School on May 14.
The Tritons’ star on the track was once again senior Caroline Hawkes.
The Montana State-bound sprinter won individual titles with ease in the girls 200- and 400-meter sprints, and Hawkes anchored the 4×100-meter relay team to push the Tritons over the finish line first. The relay team—made up of Hawkes, juniors Danielle Becker and Kyla Brown and sophomore Bella Luzi—captured gold over San Juan Hills by just 0.37 seconds.
Hawkes’ individual win in the 200 was clocked at a blistering 24.41 seconds, which set the San Clemente High School and Coast View Conference records in the sprint. Hawkes ran a slightly faster 24.37-second time at the Mt. SAC Relays on April 16, but the time was wind-aided, so it doesn’t qualify as a legal record.
San Clemente’s other headline-grabber on the boys side was senior pole vaulter Aiden Bennett.
Bennett had been aiming for the school record in the event for some time, but he finally cleared the mark at league finals. Bennett cleared 15 feet, 1 inch for his personal and the school records. Bennett won the event by more than three feet against the marks of junior teammates Joshua Dubay and Curren Beutler. Dubay and Beutler both posted CIF-SS qualifying marks in second and third at 12 feet even, which was a personal record for Dubay.
The Triton boys also posted San Clemente’s only other double individual winner in junior Griffin Schwab.
Schwab took Sea View League titles in both the high jump and 110-meter hurdles. Schwab won the high jump with a clearance of 6 feet, 3 inches, and took the hurdles by just a split second at 15.95 seconds, 0.1 seconds ahead of second place. San Clemente senior Brennan Dougherty also qualified for CIF-SS in the high jump with a mark of 5 feet, 9 inches, in third place. Dougherty picked up his own league title in the triple jump with a personal record of 41 feet, 4 inches.
Several San Clemente runners won league titles as both individuals and as a relay team member.
On the girls side, Becker won with the 4×100-meter relay and posted a personal record in winning the 100-meter hurdles (16.42 seconds). Junior Kennedy Banks and sophomores Chole Waters and Lyza Yetter all won in the 4×400-meter relay (4:04.17), along with senior Britta Barnes, and also posted individual wins. Banks won the 800-meter run (2:19.05); Waters won the 300-meter hurdles (48.95 seconds) and qualified in the 100-meter hurdles; and Yetter won the 1,600-meter run with a personal record of 5:13.73.
On the boys side, seniors Hayden Beauchemin and Brennan Byrne and junior Devin Martinez all won in the 4×100-meter relay (3:29.08), along with sophomore Pierce Clark, and also posted individual wins. Beauchemin won the 800-meter run (1:57.36); Martinez won the 400-meter run (51.74); and Byrne won the long jump at 20 feet, 8 inches. Clark also qualified for CIF-SS in the 800.
The San Clemente boys’ other league titles came on the track in the longer races.
Junior Charlie Williamson took the 300-meter hurdles title with a personal record of 42.97 seconds.
Sophomore Brett Ephraim won the 1,600-meter run with a personal record of 4:19.88. Junior Juan Chantaca qualified for CIF-SS in the 1,600 in second place. Chantaca also qualified for CIF-SS in the 3,200-meter run in second place, along with junior Rory Catsimanes in third.
San Clemente’s last girls league title came in the high jump, where senior Portia Kipper cleared 4 feet, 10 inches to take the win.
Sophomores Isabella Tocci and Makenna Patrick also qualified for CIF-SS in girls pole vault with second- and third-place personal-record clearances of 9 feet, 6 inches and 9 feet even, respectively.
San Clemente claimed the boys team league championship with 116 points, well ahead of second-place Tesoro with 70 points and third-place San Juan Hills with 34 points.
The Tritons won the girls team league championship with 89 points, ahead of second-place Tesoro with 72 points and third-place Capistrano Valley with 45 points.
Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is multiple California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.