Rain, wind and cold; the weather wasn’t ideal – to say the least. However, 33 teams sauntered into town for the second annual Garlic Classic Invitational, hosted by the Christopher High track and field team and head coach Jeff Myers.
Though some of the events scheduled for later in the day were called off, those that did happen went off without a hitch.
“I am proud of the staff, parents and volunteers who braved the elements to help pull off this meet,” Myers said.
On the girls’ side, Leland won the varsity team title with 80 points, beating out second-place San Benito (46 points) and third-place Santa Teresa (42.)
The varsity Cougars wound up in eighth, while the frosh/soph squad, which was filled with underclass athletes who usually participate at the varsity level, secured first place by one point over Scotts Valley.
Myers said a bit of team-building and strategy factored into the frosh/soph’s team championship.
“We are a young team with just three seniors, so I decided to bump most of our girls down so they could start having some success as a group,” Myers said. “I want them to understand what they can do as a team for the future. They get the idea now and came through.”
The Cougars needed a first-place finish in the meet finale – the 4X400-meter relay to boost their chances for gold. The foursome of Monique Esparza, Cailin McCarry, Carly McPolin and Bridgete Brown delivered. The 10 points proved crucial in deciphering the one-point win. Myers credited McPolin and Brown for stepping up in their roles on the relay team, as the two athletes do not normally run that event.
Kaelin Sylva placed first in pole vault and Esparza took top honors in the 800 for the frosh/soph.
In varsity action, Haylee Peterson placed fourth in the 100-meter hurdles with a 17.31. Claudia Ferreria took third in the 300 hurdles at 53.8 seconds.
Gilroy High’s finished fifth overall behind silvers from Samantha Una Dia in the 100 hurdles (16.34) and the 300 hurdles (52.4) and a second place team-finihs in the 1600 sprint medley relay.
Madera South (68 points), Enterprise (51) and Palma (41) took first, second and third, respectively, on the boys’ side.