Prep Track and Field: Christopher girls roll to MBL Pacific title

Christopher's Aly Foster and Gilroy's Samantha Una Dia compete in the 110 meter hurdles during the Monterey Bay Leauge Finals at Gilroy High School.

Christopher High girls track and field head coach Jeff Myers said all season that his team was poised to win a league championship.

On Friday night, the Cougars went out and proved it.

Freshman distance runner Jamie Boutte won two events, and Christopher’s varsity girls rolled to the Monterey Bay League Pacific Division title in the MBL meets at Gilroy High.

“Tonight shows that even though everyone has their own goals and success, they can say, ‘This was for Christopher, not for me, but for Christopher,’” Myers said.

Boutte won the 1,600-meter run in 5 minutes, 33.04 seconds, and the 3,200 in 12:58.29. She is part of a stellar freshman class for the Cougars that includes Haley Romero, who won the long jump with a leap of 17 feet, 7 inches.

But as Myers said, Romero was more excited for the team trophy than her own personal success.

“It feels really good to win as a team because we’ve all come together as a family,” Romero said. “We’ve had some ups and downs, but at the end, we won the championship, and it felt good to have it all come together.”

Christopher’s girls won the MBL Pacific title with 184 points, easily topping second-place Watsonville (109 ½). Gilroy finished fourth in the division with 42 points.

Christopher dominated the meet, with individual titles from Natalia Gutierrez in the 800 in 2:33.79, Kaelin Sylva in the pole vault at 8-8, Allison Foster in the 100 hurdles in 15.74 and Amira Barnett in the 300 hurdles in 46.37.

“We’ve been wanting this since last year,” Foster said of the team title. “We wanted it. It all showed today. As a team, as a family, it’s so great we won it together this year.”

Barnett won the marquee event of the day, winning the 300 hurdles against a field loaded with Central Coast Section contenders that included Foster (47.41), Watsonville’s Sonya Cervantes (47.62) and Gilroy’s Samantha Una’Dia (47.69).

“I’m happy for (Barnett) because she hasn’t been able to run because of a foot injury since her freshman year,” Myers said.

Gilroy freshman Nicole Holder won the high jump at 5-0.

Gilroy swept the top three spots in the MBL Pacific boys shot put, as Ian Morlang won with a mark of 48-0 ½, Scott Vogel took second at 43-9 and Billy McDonald was third at 43-6.

“We’re going to miss them drastically next year,” Gilroy coach Cathy Silva said. “They’re senior boys, and they lead that group out there.

“Each meet, they’ve gotten a little bit better, and they help each other. Their mindset was good, they came in ready to compete today (and) I think they just were in the zone today. We have some great throwers in this league, so for them to do that is just fantastic.”

Christopher’s Bryan Pipkin won the MBL Pacific boys pole vault with a personal-best mark of 13-2, setting a school record in the process.

“Last season losing at league finals by one attempt, this felt good,” said Pipkin, who is aiming to reach 14-0 for the CCS meet. “I have in the back of my mind that I can put it together at CCS.”

Seaside won the MBL Pacific boys team title with 152 points. Gilroy took fifth with 57 points, and Christopher was sixth with 52.




San Benito High girls track and field coach Bob Rawles said his Balers have given the nickname “The Greatest” to Vanessa Estrada.

The senior distance runner showed Friday why she has such a lofty nickname.

Estrada won three events to help the Balers varsity girls to the Monterey Bay League Gabilan Division title in the MBL meets at Gilroy High. Estrada, who has accepted a scholarship to run at Northern Arizona next year, won the 800-meter run in 2 minutes, 19.8 seconds, the 1,600 in 5:12.32 and the 3,200 in 11:04.31.

“The way I ran today, I felt pretty good,” Estrada said. “For CCS, I’m probably going to focus on my (3,200) and want to go to state.

“I want to give thanks to all the schools here. I’m going to miss them very much.”

San Benito’s Savanna Wilson also won three events, taking first place in the 100 in 13.22, the 200 in 27.27 and the long jump at 17 feet, 2 ½ inches.

Also for the Balers, Maura Forbush won the 300 hurdles in 47.04.

San Benito won the team title with 181 ½ points, easily topping second-place North Monterey County (94 ½).

“The girls have performed tremendously,” Rawles said. “They always find a way to do things in incredible fashion. My youngsters have come out blazing.”

For San Benito’s boys, R.J. Collins won the 800 in 2:00.6 and the 1,600 in 4:24.57, and Christopher Cook won the high jump at 6-0.

The Balers boys finished second in team scoring with 104 points, behind only Palma (144).