photo of Reyte Rash by Chuck Utash
It was perhaps one of the deepest and most competitive meets in the 51 year history of the Arcadia Invitational. Arcadia is a Big Stage, if not the biggest, in all of the land for high school track and field. Though it is always a residence of top national and state marks, it just seemed like everywhere you turned last weekend, great marks were being meted out by the student-athletes from the 600 schools from all over the United States. In the midst of that flurry of great marks were the kids of King High School. Though, there wasn’t their usual big number of participants, the Wolves acquitted themselves well in a meet that was historically competitive.
The Boys and Girls 4 X 1600’s went off on Friday night. The Girls team of Kela Mavhera, Allison Janes, Karylee Taylor and Lauren Puerifoy clocked a 21:49 for 16th place in the Invitational division while the boys team of Austin Fortenberry, Edgar Ortega, Garrett Vasta and Francisco Zavaleta put down an 18:36.27. On Saturday, the distance medley teams came away with solid performances. Mavhera, Ashley Chruscuz, Amanda Sosa and Puerifoy finished 21stin the girls race. The boys DMR was in the hunt for at least half the race until the team of Ortega, Mazin Awad, Eric Roman and Vasta finished in 12th place at 10:53.6. Individually, Vasta ran the mile in what was for him a disappointing 4:31. He would come back in that DMR, however, with a blistering 3:14 1200 to led off the DMR.
Also on the individual stage were hurdlers Reyte Rash and Sarah Ann Frank. Despite being out with strep throat for most of Spring Break, Rash raced to a respectable 15.29 in the 110 Hurdles and to a first place finish in his open heat of the 300 hurdles in 39.27. Frank, ever the perfectionist, ran a 15.4 in the 100 hurdles but came back with a PR time of 45.34 in the 300 hurdles for a third place finish.
Only five of the members of the small group of King athletes who qualified for this national-level meet, a meet held on the biggest of stages, are seniors. Which bodes well for King and for these young athletes going forward. Big stages are hard to get onto, but once there, most want to return