CUESTA — All of the schools in the county made their way to Cuesta College early Saturday morning for the 2019 County track meet. Pop-ups of every different color lined the track like wildflowers on the highway as teams and parents were prepared for a long day of competition. The Paso Robles Bearcats boys team proved once again that they are the class of the Mountain League this season by running away with the points earning 206 points, 112 more than Arroyo Grande, the second place team. The Bearcats girls took third with 79 points, the Tiger girls were dominant on Saturday earning 223 points, AG took second. The Greyhounds boys finished in third place at the County meet with 57 points and the Templeton boys placed sixth with 30 points. The Atascadero girls, led by their throwers, earned fourth with 41 points and Templeton relied on their speed finishing fourth.
All together the North County schools had a strong showing at the County Meet taking first overall in 14 events, six coming on the track, three in throwing, four through the air and one team relay. Three athletes each finished first in two different events, Paso Robles’ Damian Gavilan has continued his reign atop the distance events taking first in the 1600-meters and the 3200m races with times of 4 minutes and 22.81 seconds and 9:36.42, respectively. Gavilan led a pack of North County runners in the 1600m finishing just in front of his teammate Pablo Cortes, who took second with a time of 4:23.45, Greyhound Xavier Gonzales, who finished third with a time of 4;25.90, and Steven Scruggs, who finished fourth with a time of 4:25.90. Gavilan and Gonzales led everyone by a stretch in the 3200m, the two finished just one second apart with Gonzales recording a time of 9:37.64, fellow Greyhound Johnathon Dolan finished third with a time of 10:06.36.
Templeton sophomore Merran Grindley showed that she is the female hurdler to beat in this County by winning the 100m and the 300m hurdles. Grindley showed her speed in the 100m hurdles beating the field by a full second. The sophomore finished with a time of 16.18 and was the only hurdler to go sub-17 in the race. The 300m hurdles was much closer as Grindley and Chloe Carlson of San Luis Obispo battled for first both setting personal records on the day. Grindley finished with a time of 47.61 and Carslon with a time of 47.85.
Atascadero’s Jacob Winch almost broke the 40-second barrier for the first time in the 300m hurdles. Winch began to pull away from the pack but just clipped the second-to-last hurdle which slowed him down just enough to make it interesting. WInch finished with a 40.06, Bearcat hurdler Brendan Farnsworth finished third with a time of 40.98 and teammate Ian Grace took fourth with a time of 41.69. Orange and Crimson chased the blue and yellow of Arroyo Grande in the 100m hurdles. Farnsworth and teammate Jerahmy Kelley finished two, three and Greyhounds Wyatt Hasch and Winch finished four and five.
The ladies of the North County also had a strong showing in the 400m taking five of the top six places. Madeline Fletcher of San Luis Obispo won the event but just behind her was Atascadero’s Anneline Breytenbach (1:01.78), three Bearcats, Ashleigh Berber (1:01.83), Kendall Caruana (1:02.16), and Madison Wineman (1:02.60), and one Templeton Eagle, Caitlyn Chesson (1:03.81).
Word has spread throughout the county that Bearcats 400m runner Jordan Summers posted the 14th fastest time in the State in Santa Barbara a few weekends ago as the faint whispers of “which lane is he in?” could be heard near the finish line as the race was beginning. Summers finished first with a time of 50.92 but well behind his personal best this season of 48.96. The senior also won the 200m with a time of 22.78.
All three North County schools dominated the throwing events for both the girls and the boys. Paso Robles senior thrower Kimberly Buchanan took first place with a throw of 40 feet and 3.50 inches, almost five feet ahead of the second-place finisher. Atascadero’s Deandra Tyler finished in third place with a mark of 34-10 and sophomore Bearcat Hailie Abel finished right behind her in fourth with a throw of 34-07.50. The Bearcats took first in both shot put events as senior Corbin Payne who continues to improve. Payne finished second in the PAC 8 last season with a mark of 47-01.50 and on Saturday threw 53-04.00, his second farthest of the season. Templeton sophomore Mason Barbour was also able to finish just ahead of the reigning PAC 8 champion, Andrew Ketelaar, finishing in second place with a mark of 49-11.00.
Many of the same girls and boys that were at the top of the shot put were also near the top of the discus. Abel and Buchanan of Paso Robles each finished third and fifth, respectively, while Greyhound Tyler finished fourth.
Paso Robles junior Gabe Katches, who finished fifth overall in the shot put, narrowly edged his teammate Payne in the boys discus hitting a mark of 148-10, Payne threw 148-8.5.
The Bearcats had several other boys with top performances on the day. Senior Connor Lacy and junior Garrison Thomas finished one and two in both the long jump and the triple jump, junior pole vaulter Clay Wilshusen took first and set a personal best with a mark of 14-07.