Placer pours it on at Le Febvre

Prep Track & Field
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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DeVaughn Lofton and the Bear River High boys busted out of the gate Wednesday afternoon at Le Febvre Stadium. But slow (not literally) and steady won the race as Placer’s depth and talent prevailed. Football crossovers Isaac Brahce and Isaiah Pineiro won two events each as Placer overcame an impressive showing by speedster DeVaughn Lofton, who broke the Bear River record in the 400 meters. The Hillmen won 93-49. Lofton helped the Bruins win both relay events. In between, he clocked a time of 50.8 seconds in the quarter-mile to break Todd Giammona’s 19-year-old school record of 51.4. “I’ve been working to get that record since I started,” Lofton said. “The first time I ran this year I got 51.4. I’ve just worked hard in practice and learned how to use up all my energy completely in the race. Hopefully I can break 50 (seconds) and make it to Masters this year.” In a thrilling 4x100-meter relay, the Bruins needed a school record to hold off the Hillmen. Bear River’s Austin Dowling, Caleb Johnson, Brad Botsford and Lofton raced to a time of 45.21 to edge Placer by just .12 seconds. The Bear River team broke its own school record from earlier this season. Brahce, who has buffed up to close to 200 pounds, is using track season to work on his speed, which he plans to use at tailback and defensive back next fall on the football field. He raced to a time of 11.75 in the 100 and 24.38 in the 200 while Placer linebacker Tony Suverkropp was right on his heels in both races. “I do track mostly to get faster for football, but I come out and I really like the whole feel of the team,” Brahce said. “Last year I was injured and this year I’m healthy and feeling good.” Viktor Dorofeyev ran a strong 800 to finish in 2:17.78, beating out Bear River’ s Tyler Pool by less than half a second. In the 1,600, Placer’s Zach Stelzer ran a solid 4:44.72 to edge out teammate Gama Gomez for first place. Luke Cardelli led a sweep for the Hillmen in the 110 hurdles, winning in 16.50. Ryan Dawson took the 300 hurdles in 43.96 as Placer claimed the top three spots. Pineiro won the high jump with a leap of 5 feet, 8 inches while Cardelli was second. Pineiro’s clearance of 36-9.5 was good for a win in the triple jump as the Hillmen swept. Bear River scored big points with a 1-2 finish in the pole vault, led by winner Jacob Robinson at 11-9. The Bruins also went 1-2 in the long jump as Botsford cleared 19-0.5 to win it. But Placer dominated the throws. James Hubbard tossed the discus 148-0 to win easily. Lance Burton took the shot put with a mark of 43-0. The Placer squad has just one PVL dual remaining – next Wednesday at home against Foothill – before the league championships at Colfax May 9 and 11. The Hillmen are hoping to be fully healthy for the postseason. “When our team’s at full strength, we’re going to be hard to beat,” Brahce said. Placer coach Mark Chamberlin admitted Bear River’s girls squad presented a major challenge, but the Hillgals passed as Christina Winters kept running, and running, and running to lead the way to a 78-39 victory. The senior took the 800 in 2:41, leading a Placer sweep with help from sophomore Halle Ralls and freshman Alena Voss. Winters then held off Bear River challengers in the 1,600 (5:42) and the 3,200 (12:59) to give the Hillgals a big lift. Junior Becky Matthews doubled up for Placer, winning the 100 hurdles (17.20) and the high jump (4-8). Bear River star Kendall Nielsen did not compete in her top two events: the long jump and the triple jump. But she did cruise to victories in the 100 (12:59) and the 200 (26.15). Savannah Welz and Malone Pearson were the only other individual event winners for the Bruins. Welz took the 300 hurdles (50.91) and Pearson – a freshman – won the 400 (60.08). The Bruins were also outstanding in the 4x400 relay, taking home another school record. Breanna Gatto, Erica Higley, Pearson and Nielsen combined to run a 4:09.15, breaking the 2005 record previously held by Krissy Landre, Rachel Welz, Cori Eden and Nicole Jackson. The Hillgals dominated on the field. Meghan Tucker cleared 16-5.5 to win the long jump. Kerry McCullough leaped 31-9 to take the triple jump. Shelby Crider cleared 10-0 to win the pole vault and Danielle Fitts took the shot put with a toss of 34-3. Becky Feis had the performance of the day for the Placer girls, setting a new personal best with a discus throw of 105-5. Fitts finished second with a fine throw of 95-0.25. Adam Norcott led the Placer junior varsity boys to a big win with victories in the 100, 200 and 400.