ATASCADERO — The Atascadero Greyhounds hosted their annual Memorial track meet on Saturday, but it was the Paso Robles Bearcats that dominated taking home first place in 13 different events. On the boys’ side, the Bearcats ran away with the point total with 151, 60 more than the next closest team, and took home second place on the girls’ side with 117.5 total points.
The Templeton Eagle boys also performed well on Saturday finishing just off the podium in fourth place while the girls took fifth place and were only six points behind fourth-placed Righetti. The home Hounds were led by their girls in the distance events and throwing finishing seventh overall while the boys finished eighth.
The Bearcats excelled in the distance events as their core four boys that led them to a CIF Central Section title in cross country in the fall outpaced everyone in the 3,200-meters. Senior Pablo Cortez finished first for Paso Robles with a time of 9 minutes and 37.46 seconds, junior Damian Gavilan finished second with a time of 9:39.85, senior Steven Scruggs took third with a time of 9:50.55 and sophomore Jason Scruggs finished in fifth with a time of 10:09.33. Those four boys also teamed up in the 4x800-meter relay, winning with a total time of 8:32.53.
The Lady Bearcats’ distance team also ran well taking both of the top two spots as freshman Charlotte Castelli took first with a time of 11:41.92 followed by sophomore Madeline Loff who was right behind her with a time of 11:42.81. Atascadero’s Claire Livengood finished in fourth with a time of 11:44.50.
The girls in Crimson also controlled the 400-meter race led by another freshman, Sophia Berry who beat everyone in the single-lap race with a time of 1:01.29 just ahead of her teammate senior Kendall Caruana who crossed the line in 1:02.82. Caruana also took home the silver in the 800-meters with a time of 2:29.70.
The Bearcats also excelled in the field events winning the boys shot put, discus, long jump, triple jump
Just as they did last year, Bearcats Kimmy Buchanan and Corban Payne outshined the rest in the throwing events. Payne won both shot and the discus by several feet. His mark of 51 feet and 2 inches in the shot put was more than three feet longer than the second-place finisher and his 153-0 throw in the discus was close to 10 feet more than the next finisher. Buchanan’s throw of 40-9 was also more than five feet further than the next closest girl.
The Templeton Eagles’ throwers led their team along with sophomore speedster Merran Grindley who took first in both the 300-meter hurdles, 48.84, and the 100-meter hurdles, 16.53. Senior Kade Gaertner would have been the star of the throwing events if not for Payne, the senior finished second in the shot put with a mark of 47-11.50 and fourth in the discus throwing 127-0. Sophomore Mason Barbour also had a day taking home third in the discus throwing 128-9 and fourth in the shot put with a mark of 45-7.50.
Junior Hope Erwin and Isabel Smith represent the Eagles on the ladies side as they both took home the bronze medal. Erwin finished in third in the shot put, 33-5, and Smith in the discus, 109-11.
The Hounds’ lone gold came on the legs of freshman Max Botenbal who ran 2:05.94 in the 800-meters. Atascadero’s individual CIF winner in cross country Xavier Gonzales was narrowly edged out in the 1600-meters, his only event of the day after spending his morning taking the SAT. The senior showed up no more than an hour before his race was scheduled to begin and still almost won the race. Claire Livengood, the Greyhounds’ top female distance runner for the past two seasons, also finished in second place in the 1600-meters with a time of 5:28.04.
Senior Jacob Winch finished in second place in what might have been the closest race of the day, the 110-meter hurdles. Bearcat junior Jerahmy Kelly finished in first with a time of 16.65, Winch finished with a time of 16.88 and the next four finishers were just one one-hundredth of a second behind the person in front of them.
Deandra Tyler and Kylee Degan each finished in fifth in the shot put and discus respectively and senior Tristan Guillory also added a fifth-place finish in the high jump.
All three of the North County school’s track teams will be back in action in Santa Maria this Wednesday.