Santa Ynez shines at CIF Division 4 Prelims

As expected, the sprinter-dominated programs of Serra and Oaks Christian piled up the qualifiers at the CIF Division 4 track and field prelims at Carpinteria’s Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

But Santa Ynez made its presence known at the meet, and will be sending a good number of athletes to next Saturday’s CIF Divisional Finals at Cerritos College.

Connor Reck posted the fastest qualifying time in the 800 meters and anchored the Pirates’ 4×400 relay team to spearhead a solid performance by the Pirates.

Reck, who had been running taxing 400-800 doubles in meets leading up to the CIF meets, went out fast and did his first lap in 55 seconds. He finished in 1:55.58.

The Harvard-bound Reck finished his day by anchoring the Pirates’ relay team to a heat-winning time of 3:26.09. The time was the second fastest behind Serra’s 3:25.84.


Cody Uhrig also had a big day for Santa Ynez, qualifying in four events. He won his heat in the 200 at 22.52, finished second in the 400 at 49.84 and was on a heat-winning 4×100 relay (44.23) and the 4×400 team.

Serra's Marqise Lee

Serra's Marqise Lee, center, starts out for the Cavaliers' winning 4x100 relay. Lee posted the fastest time of the day in the 100. (Presidio Sports Photos)

Erik Sheldon won his heat in the 300 hurdles (41.70) to move on to the finals.

Zach Foss cleared 12 feet to make it in the pole vault

The Santa Ynez girls qualified in the 4×100, finishing third in its heat at 50.79 (8th overall); Jessica Hatchell and Kaci Mexico advanced in the pole vault at 9-6 and Rachel Szeyller qualified for the finals in the discus at 109-09.

Serra’s boys team suffered a blow when top sprinter George Farmer reinjured his right ankle while warming up for the 100 meters. Farmer, USC’s top football recruit, who has the second-fastest 100 time in the state, pulled out of the 100 and 200. He earlier anchored the Cavaliers’ 4×100 relay (the first event of the day) to a time of 42.66, the second fastest of the day behind Oaks Christian (42.28).


Serra’s Marqise Lee picked up the slack, posting the fastest 100 time of 10.85 and setting a meet record in the long jump with a leap of 24-8. The previous mark wa 23-10 set in 2002 by Rudy Burgess of Desert.

Serra sprinters Peter Lauderdale, Darrell Fuery and Francisco Qlliquii won three heats of the 200.

Oaks Christian’s Vinnie Saucer showed that he is a threat to Serra’s sprint domination in Division 4. The sophomore led the Lions to the fastest 4×100 relay time (42.28), ran 10.97 to win his heat in the 100 and clocked the fastest 200 (22.01), beating Lee in the heat race.

Carpinteria nabbed the ninth and final spot in the finals in the 4×400 relay, clocking 3:35.82.

In the field events, Cate soccer star Joshua Yaro qualified for the finals in the high jump, clearing 6 feet. Yaro learned how to high jump just a couple of months ago.

Carpinteria’s Wyatt Craddock advanced in the shot put, winning his flight with a mark of 46-3.75.

Nicole Poindexter will represent Bishop Diego at Cerritos, qualifying in the long jump with a leap of 17-0.5.

Shelby Dunlap earned a trip to the finals in the 300 hurdles with a time of 46.38. She was edged out at the finish of her heat by Kate Kennedy of Flintridge Prep, the same girl who beat her at the Russell Cup.

Dunlap’s qualification made up for disastrous 100 hurdles race, in which her starting block wasn’t set correctly and then she hit two hurdles.

Dunlap, who recently passed a tryout and was selected to the University of Oregon cheerleading team, is an alternate in the high jump after clearing 5-2.

Serra, Oaks Christian, St. Mary’s Academy and Louisville put on a good show in the girls competition.

All four schools started the day by winning their heats in the 4×100 relay. St. Mary’s posted the fastest time at 47.40.

Their domination continued in the 110 hurdles. Serra hurdlers Deena Pierce, Dawnilee Baucham and Kyndahl Carter won three of the five heats and Tierney Russell of St. Mary’s won another. Pierce had the fastest time of 14.99.

In the 100, Sierra Peterson of St. Mary’s beat Louisville’s La Toya Williams in a photo finish in the first heat. Peterson was time in 12.06 and Williams at 12.07. Serra’s Alexis Faulknor was the next fastest, winning her heat in 12.09.

Williams, who said she was tired from attending her senior prom the night before, came back in the 200 and posted the fastest time of 24.42.

Gianna Woodruff of St. Mary’s showed why she’s one of the best 300 hurlders in the state, as she clocked an impressive 43.66 to lead all qualifiers.

Savannah Camacho, the No. 1 800 runner in the state, made the most of the cool, calm conditions by winning her heats in the 1600  (5:02) and 800 (2:13.90). The top times in both events were set by JSerra’s Katerine Delaney (4:56.05 and 2:12.30).

St. Mary’s and Oaks Christian capped the meet with a stirring 4×400 relay. The teams traded the lead until the anchor leg when St. Mary’s Woodruff pulled ahead of the Lions’ Danni Alakija and crossed the finish line in 3:50.24. Oaks Christian’s time was 3:51.54.