And the Race Begins…


Valerie Pham and Nicole Truong

On March 4, 2015, the YLHS Track team kicked off their season on a high note. The Yorba Linda High School Mustangs competed against the Northwood High School Timberwolves in an unofficial dual-meet. The two teams gathered in the Nathan Shapell Memorial Stadium to begin the first meet of their respective track seasons.


The meet consisted of several events between the sprinters, the mid-distance runners, and the distance runners. The sprinters participated in events like the 100 meter dash and hurdles, while mid-distance runners ran the 800 meter race and distance runners ran the 1600 and 3200 meter races. There were a total of forty-eight events; the events were categorically placed based on whether the team member was on varsity, junior varsity, or frosh-soph. The varsity teams competed in separate events, while the junior varsity and frosh-soph teams competed in “open” races. The afternoon began with boys and girls competing in the 4×100 meter relays, 1600 meter race, boys’ 110 meter hurdles, and ended with the girls 100 meter hurdles. The night races began as the 400 meter dash runners took their marks, and continued with the 100 meter dash, the 800 meter race, the 300 meter hurdles; the last event of the night was the 200 meter dash.


During the varsity girls’ 4×100 meter relay, Yorba Linda’s A team beat the Northwood team by 4.3 seconds, finishing at 50.3 seconds. The boys’ varsity B team won first place in their respective event, beating all three of the opposing teams with a final time of 44.5 seconds in their second lap. The girls’ varsity 1600 meter race followed the relays, and Rachel Iida (11), Ashley Lee (10), and Sarah Heckel (9) received second, third, and fourth place, respectively. Rachel Iida ran a 5:26 mile and was closely followed by Ashley Lee (5:30) and Sarah Heckel (5:30). The varsity boys were led by captain Jack Thurston (12),who placed fifth with a 4:48 mile. He was closely followed by five more YLHS students. Dylan Atencio (12) stole the boys’ varsity 110 meter hurdles, finishing in first place with a time of 15.2 seconds. Carly Jenican (10) led the girls’ varsity 100 meter hurdles, stealing first place by .3 seconds with a time of 17.3 seconds. In the girls’ varsity 400 meter dash, Kayla Hogan (10), followed very closely behind by Julianna Thrasher (10), finished in second after missing first place by just one second. In the boys’ varsity 400 meter dash, Dylan Atencio took first with a time of 50.7 seconds, a full 2.4 seconds ahead of the opposing team. Lubov Dyer (11), Lauren O’Banion (9), and Gracie Cohen (11) took home first, second, and third place in the girls’ varsity 100 meter dash. Andrew Dirks (12) finished in first place in the boys’ varsity 100 meter race by .1 of a second, finishing with a time of 11.3 seconds. Rachel Iida and Ashley Lee continued their pairing at second and third place in the girls’ varsity 800 meter race with times of 2:30.7 and 2:31.6. In the boys’ varsity 800 meter race, Zach Joseph (11) led the entire race, running a full 50 meters in front of the other runners, and placed first with a time of 2:02. During the last 100 meters of the race, Steve Provenzano (12) and Josiah Marton closed the gap between them and Zach Joseph and finished in second and fourth place with times of 2:05 and 2:07. Carly Jenican and Tiffany Pinkevich (10) led their team to a victory in the girls’ varsity 300 meter hurdles with first and second place finishes. Dylan Atencio won first place in the varsity boys’ 300 meter hurdles. The night ended on a high note with the boys’ and girls’ varsity 200 meter dash. Three YLHS girls, Lubov Dyer, Lauren O’Banion, and Gracie Cohen finished first, second, and third and Andrew Dirks finished in first.


Junior Sammy Kasab, stated, “Throwing is cool and I’m excited to start the season and compete more.” Gillian Stowell (12) said, “As a senior, this is the last sport of my high school career, and I intend to make it my best. I am excited going into this season knowing that I have the support of my teammates and my coaches. I can’t wait for this season to really begin.” Shannon Marquiss (11) said, “I have the best team that I could possibly ask for and even at the way beginning of this season, I know that it will be a great one. The last two years have prepared me for anything that is thrown at me and I know that through the dedication and hard work that my team has put into training, we will succeed in meeting our goals.”