Athletes fight through the wind at County Championships

Stamatia Scarvelis set a meet and stadium record in the discus with a toss of 156-1.50

Stamatia Scarvelis set a meet and stadium record in the discus with a toss of 156-1.50. (Presidio Sports Photo)


Jill Fisher of San Marcos ran like she had a big night ahead of her. Santa Barbara High sophomore Natasha Feshbach made a statement with her performances at the varsity level. Stamatia Scarvelis pushed through muscle fatigue and set two records in her final Santa Barbara County Championship Meet.

Those were some of the highlights on a windy Saturday at Carpinteria Valley Memorial Stadium.


Scarvelis, the national leader in the shot put and discus, set county meet and stadium records in winning both events. Battling windy conditions, she threw the discus 156-1.50, smashing the stadium mark of 142-2 and the previous county meet best of 153-6.

Her meet record in the shot put was 49-8.50, which was also a stadium mark. The throw marked the first time this season she’s gone under 50 feet.

But there’s an explanation for it. She started her heavy weight-training regimen to prepare for the postseason. The UCLA-bound Scarvelis is seeking her third straight CIF State title and a second straight USA Track and Field junior national title.

Jill Fisher, in lane six, edged Natasha Feshbach for the 100-meter title.

San Marcos’ Jill Fisher, in lane six, bested the field for the 100-meter title.

“You have to stay focused on what’s really important, which is nationals and beyond that,” Scarvelis said. “Coach (Kent Pagel) said this is the time you really have to be pushing hard. After that peak of Arcadia and Mt. SAC, coach really beat me up (in training). But I always expect myself to push through that. I know I could have hit 50 but it just wasn’t happening. The workouts this week beat me.”

While frustrated by the shot put performance, Scarvelis noted the legacy her family has left at the county championships. Her older brothers Steven and Nicholas competed here for Dos Pueblos. Nicholas holds the meet record in the boys shot put.

“This my last meet ever here, and I remember watching my brother Steven when I was in the fourth grade or something. I’d be at all of these meets, so we’ve been here for a long time. This is our last time here, so two meet records isn’t terrible.”

Fisher, a senior, won the 100 meters (12.72), took second in the 400, third in the 200 and ran on San Marcos’ second-place 4×100 relay. Once she finished her events, she bolted for home to prepare for the Senior Prom that evening.

“I think Jill looked really amazing today,” San Marcos coach Marilyn Hantgin said. “I had her in the 400 because she was going to triple, and I didn’t put her in the 4×4 because of prom. The (4×100) relay, they looked great against a really good Lompoc team. She flew, and she got a really good start.”

Feshbach continued to impress on the track and in the field events. She won county titles in the 200 (25.89), 100 hurdles (14.91) and long jump (18-0), and placed second in the 100 (12.89). Her winning long jump was a personal best and part of an impressive series. Her marks were 17-6.5, 17-8, 18-0 and 17-7.5.

Santa Barbara High's Natasha Feshbach clears the final hurdle well ahead of the rest of the heat.

Santa Barbara High’s Natasha Feshbach clears the final hurdle well ahead of the rest of her 100-meter heat.

“Every jump was a PR for me,” said an excited Feshbach.

On a couple of her jumps, she took off from behind the board.

“It’s taken me all season to really be able to groove my runway, and it’s just a matter of pushing out of the back and getting really fast, close to the board and having that pattern in transition. Over the season it’s gotten a lot better.”

On her hurdles win, she said she felt good after the first hurdle and was in a good rhythm through the whole race.

She was excited going sub-26 in the 200.

“It’s a nice day for her,” said Santa Barbara coach Olivia Perdices.

Addi Zerrener of Dos Pueblos and Adilene Aldapa of San Marcos battled each other in the distance races. Aldapa won the 1600 (5:19.69) and the Arizona-bound Zerrenner took the 3200 (11:01.03).

“The two mile is my baby,” said Zerrenner about her win. “I race the best when I’m mad and I was mad. I was going to let (Adilene) block the wind for a little bit, but ‘No, I’m mad. I want to got out.’ That’s what I did and it felt good.

“I love this track, just hearing everyone,” she added. “It’s really bittersweet having it be my last one, but it was really cool running with my two other teammates (Elaine McClure and Racquel Fygenson).”

Tatianna Schluep of DP was a convincing winner in the 800, finishing in 2:29.98.

On the boys side, DP’s Jon Dickinson was a double winner, taking the shot (50-11) and discus (153-10). Joel Serugo of Cate captured the long jump at 21-3.5 and finished second in the triple jump at 42-9.5. Dionisio Brent of Pioneer Valley cleared 6-6 to take the high jump.

On the track, Jon Wilson of San Marcos looked strong in the hurdles, winning the 110 hurdles in 16.15, taking second in the 300 hurdles (41.80) and placing third in the long jump (20-5). Andrew Hawkes of St. Joseph held off Wilson in the 300 hurdles, winning in 41.65.

“He’s come on at a perfect time,” said Hantgin of Wilson.

Dos Pueblos' Tyler Bradford approaches the finish line in the boys 800.

Dos Pueblos’ Tyler Bradford approaches the finish line in the boys 800 with San Marcos’ Walker Odell and Santa Barbara’s Gustavo Bello close behind.

Tyler Bradford won a wild 800 in 2:06.80. A Santa Ynez runner went down on the second curve as the competitors jostled each other throughout the first lap.

“It got aggressive,” said Bradford.

Bradford got through the traffic and edged out Walker Odell of San Marcos and Gustavo Bello of Santa Barbara.

“It was windy and everyone knows they’re not going for a PR today,” Bradford said of the race. It’s run for a place, so just I waited and do what I usually do: try to pull strong at around 250 (meters to go). It worked today.”

Eric Salas of San Marcos stayed on the heels of DP’s Christian Wasjutin before making his move on the last lap to win the 3200. His time was 9:56.77.

In the frosh-soph competition, San Marcos freshman Erica Schroeder set a meet record in the 1600, winning in 5:15.79. She also won the 800. Carmen Villarruel of Dos Pueblos won the pole vault in a meet record of 10-3. Santa Barbara’s Carolyn Weisman set a record in the triple jump at 35-7.

San Marcos captured the varsity boys and frosh-soph girls titles, while Dos Pueblos took the varsity girls and frosh-soph boys crowns.

The Royals edged out the Chargers for the Grand Sweepstakes, 485-465.