The Pepper Bough

Track Ends the Year in Awe and Glory

Mike Wexler, Sports Desk

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With the regular track and field season in the books, came the start of the league finals which was held this year at Colton High School on Wednesday, May 3rd, where all of the best from the CIF competed for the ultimate prize, the CIF title. Colton had its strongest showing, having representing competitors from running to hurdles to the throwing events. Facing every school district, which was an exciting thing to witness as the Yellowjackets faced huge challenges from the top seeds in CIF: Kaiser, Grand Terrace, Bloomington, Fontana, and Summit.

Coming out of the gates hot in this all-league competition, it was senior sprinter Ramiro Garcia who brought home the CIF championship in the 800 meter run. With speed faster than light, he came out on top against all odds, giving Colton’s first league title since 2011. Garcia commented on the historic accolade saying, “It was a(n) amazing feeling once I crossed the finishing line knowing that it was all over and I had gotten first place.”

Senior Trinique Jonzun and Junior Ayjay Porter made waves around the league as both came in second in both the 100 meter run and the 110-300 hurdles event, only coming close by a split second. Porter would make history as having the fastest time since 2006 with a time of 15.9 seconds. It would result that both the Kaiser Cats and the Fontana Steelers would place first in those three events. Although it didn’t come in Colton’s favor, they kept their heads held up high and walked out victors in their own right.

It was not only the last meet of the season but it was also the last for Head Coach Valerie Holmes who is retiring after multiple years running. Mrs. Holmes was not just any coach but also an inspiration to others and to all a leader. She kept the Track and Field core strong throughout her time, putting grades first and competing second. Her leadership and dedication kept her athletes on top. Ending an illustrious coaching career in a bang, it was definitely a night to remember.

At the end of the night, Colton came out strong having a majority of its competitors in the top three in sprints and hurdles. After a back-and-forth season, the Yellowjackets gave the hometown crowd filled with hundreds in the crowd a league trophy that will forever eminence in history. Coach Holmes, who has made three straight appearances in the finals, ended summarizing, “Hosting league finals was a privilege. I was really proud of all our athletes. Especially having three athletes go to CIF was exciting. It was bitter a sweet day knowing it was my last event at Colton but I am really proud of everyone.”

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Track Ends the Year in Awe and Glory