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Stellar performances abound at Viking Classic

By JIM CROWHURST
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Saturday’s Viking Classic Track meet at Montgomery High had everything you could hope for, from meet records to great matchups.

Petaluma’s Danielle Steffen wowed the fans watching the pole vault as she soared to 11 feet 10 inches to establish a meet record and move to third All-Time in the Empire.

“It was great to get all the help from the other vaulters. I consider them all part of my team,” said Steffen.

To run a super fast 1,600 meters it usually takes an outstanding field of runners pushing each other. The other way is to put

Piner’s Luis Luna on the track. Running virtually alone for four laps, Luna put on a show, winning by almost 10 seconds ahead of some of the best runners in the area and moving to fifth all-time on the Empire list at 4:12.17. Luna came back later to win just as easily in the 3,200 at 9:30.14.

Tamalpais’ Lilla McMillan won for the fourth year in a row in the sprints. Her 100 time of 11.76 more than eclipsed the old meet record of 12.30 and moved her to third on the state list of wind legal races this year. Her 24.55 time in the 200 lowered her own meet record of 24.99. Piner’s Dezirae Johnson finished the closest to McMillan and lowered the Empire bests this year to 12.55 and 25.71 in the 100 and 200 respectively.

Santa Rosa’s Darci Whyte won the 400 in the second fastest time ever run by an Empire sophomore (57.45) to move to fifth all-time. Teammate Sadia Ibrahim was second at 58.46 but came back in the 800 to break Santa Rosa’s Julia Stamps’ meet record set in 1996 with a 2:14.96 time. Healdsburg’s Maria Barragan pushed her along with a 2:17.58.

Rancho Cotate’s David Forman was the boys sprint standout winning the 100 (11.08), 200 (22.48) and anchoring their 400 relay team to a prep best of 43.64, just ahead of Maria Carrillo’s 43.86.

“The heat got to me near the end but I felt great in the first half of my races,” said Foreman. Carrillo came back to win the 1600 relay in 3:28.67.

Casa Grande’s Adam Lundquist, as expected, dominated both the hurdle races, winning the highs by 6-tenths of a second in a season best 14.66. He came back to win the 300 meter hurdles by nearly a half-second in 39.73 tieing his fastest ever, even having run an open 400 between those races.

“In the highs I was very happy with the time considering I hit a couple of hurdles,” said Lundquist.

Ukiah’s Isaac Brown and Rancho Cotate’s Nick DeSoto have been trading off wins and the prep best in the discus all year but today was Brown’s day as he had the best mark of 2012 at 159-11 to DeSoto’s 152-5.

“My big goal this year is to break the school record held by my coach Bill Hook. Hook, who was a state champion, holds the record from 1958 at 166-8.

Other local girls winners included El Molino’s Nicole Lane 3200 (11:10.46), Piner’s Kyra Johnson 300LH (45.09), Santa Rosa ’s Morgan Bertsch HJ (5-4), Ukiah’s Allyson Milone SP (35-2¾), Maria Carrillo’s Kathleen Durand DT (120-0) and Santa Rosa ’s 400 (50.11) and 1600 relays (4:04.78).

Other local boys winners included Petaluma’s Schuyler Sladon HJ (6-2) and Windsor’s Vince Valdes SP (47-10½).
Although not winning performances new prep bests were established by Carrillo’s Laurel Shepperd in the LJ (17-4¾) and TJ (35-6½) and Santa Rosa’s Raya Llopis in the 100HH (16.53).