By JOEL TIMBRELL
Special to the Tribune
Every year Dublin High School organizes their unique Frosh/Soph only competition for Northern California’s freshman and sophomore track and field athletes at Dublin High School. It is an opportunity for these athletes to have the spotlight instead of the varsity track athletes.
This year the Bulldogs competed along with 40 other NorCal schools.
With a meet record participation of more than 3,000 athletes, the competition was divided into “open”, “seeded” and “invitational”, with seeded and invitational designed for athletes with the top-ranked marks and times.
The open girls 1600 meter race saw freshman Nicole Tria and College Park’s Chloe Beardsley dual it out for nearly all four laps. In the final stretch to the finish line, it was Beardsley who managed to steal the win with a 5:33.52. Tria, however, was less than half a second back as she finished second overall out of 77 runners with a huge personal record of 5:34.13.
Both Beardsley’s and Tria’s times were faster than the former meet record of 5:43.88, set by Morgan Dowling of Monte Vista in 2015.
Tria later ran a strong 2:37.54 in the girls 800 meters for a second lifetime best in the same day. The Bulldogs other distance runner, Julia Quontamatteo, also scored personal best times in the 1600 meters (5:58.98) and 800 meters (2:40.71).
Sophomore Sienna Strickland pulled off an outstanding triple PR during the day. In the girls open 100-meter hurdles, she broke 20 seconds for the first time with a 19.96. Shortly after, she raced in the open 100 meters and almost cracked the 14-second barrier with her time of 14.07.
Just a few events later, Strickland took the bronze in the 300-meter hurdles to close out her day with a quick 54.33 seconds and yet another personal record. Her teammate Anna Palmer was not far off, as she completed her 300 meter hurdles race in 55.41.
Graham Manning sprinted to a near personal best in the open 400 meter race, as he clocked a solid 56.25 seconds for 19th place overall.
Jason Exline leaped 2 inches higher than his previous best in the high jump to surpass all his competitors for first place with 5 feet, 6 inches. Exline’s jump tied the meet record.
Triple Jumper Jenna Coffman soared 32-03 in the invitational event to place third overall, while Michael Milano also leaped a top-notch mark of 37-08.5 to take eighth in his invitational triple jump.
In the girls shot put, Kieara Rios claimed third with a throw of 29-11.5. Rios also jumped 4 feet, 6 inches in the high jump. Fellow thrower Phoebe Tang flung the platter 83 feet, 6 inches to take a solid fifth place.
Finally, Aidan LaHonta set a seven-feet lifetime personal best discus throw of 117 feet, 3 inches. LaHonta was yet another to place third in the invitational event with his effort.