By Ray Conner
This past week, the Kern Valley track team competed in the High Desert League prelims at Cal City and the finals at Cerro Coso College in Ridgecrest.
Windy conditions at Cal City hindered the athletes, as most were pushed right to the finals.
Both the boys and girls teams would claim one league title each.
For the Lady Broncs team, Rachel Driskell became the lone league champion in the 200m race. She ran the race in 28.01, which was also a PR. Tahoe Taylor became the first HDL champion from Kern Valley since 2012, as he took first in the high jump. He also jumped to a PR in taking the top spot. His leap of 5’ 6” put him at the top of the heap in this event.
The last champions from Kern Valley in 2012 were Rusty Muncy in the 300m hurdles, the long jump, and triple jump. Tanner Cargile also was a champion in the 3200m race.
Two others from Kern Valley just missed being champions as they finished in second place. Tyler Cazares for the Broncs was second in the 110m hurdles (20.63), while Julia Amstutz was second in the 100m hurdles (18.35 PR) for the Lady Broncs.
Third place winners for the Lady Broncs at the finals were Driskell 100m (13.20) and Amstutz high jump (4’ 6”), triple jump (31’ 5”).
Fourth place winners included Broncs- Trevor Morta triple jump (35’ 11.75”) Lady Broncs- Driskell high jump (4’ 4”), long jump (13’ 4”), Bella Williams 400m (68.05 PR).
Note: Williams was the lone freshman in this HDL finals event.
Fifth place: Broncs- Morta 200m (25.14.5), Cazares 300m hurdles (52.60), Jason Phillips discus (95’ 5.5”). Lady Broncs- Makaylah Forbes 100m (13.62 PR), Alyssa McKillop 100m hurdles (20.00), Abby Achorn high jump (4’ 2”), Abby Steers long jump (13’ 3”).
Sixth place: Broncs- Morta long jump (16’ 8.5”). Lady Broncs- Arika D’ Amico 1600m. (6:42.01), Amstutz 300m hurdles (58.02), Chyann Hiles shot put (24’ 8”), Forbes long jump (13’ .25”).
Seventh place: Lady Broncs- Savanna Funk 400m (75.10 PR), 1600m (6:49.62), Kaya Godinez 800m (3:16.70).
Eighth place: Lady Broncs- Williams 1600m (7:30.02), McKillop 300m hurdles (60.96), Aliza Fuller discus (56’ .50” PR).
Ninth place: Lady Broncs- Achorn triple jump (27’)
Tenth place: Lady Broncs- Steers triple jump (26’ 11”).
In the prelims at Cal City, Hunter Ellis threw a PR in the shot put with a throw of 41’ 2”. This was the farthest throw from a Kern Valley athete in at least seven years and the farthest in at least seven years by a senior. It also qualified Ellis for the All-Sierra Championships.
The Broncs head coach Brian Christianson said, “Lots of ups and downs for Kern Valley at this meet. Great job by Tahoe Taylor, first place in the high jump with a PR. Taylor is really starting to jump well.”
Brent Mixon, the Lady Broncs head coach, said, “In the HDL finals we had five top three finishes. Each of those individuals that finished in the top three will be back next year. This year we had a young team. We will be graduating five, while 14 will return. This has been a great season, and six of our athletes will still continue. Driskell, Forbes, Williams, Achorn, Steers, and Amstutz have qualified for the All-Sierra Championship. These Lady Broncs will be competing in 14 events. This has been a fun team. They work well with each other and they push each other to be better.”