By ERIC WITTMERSHAUS
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Behind strong performances from its runners, Casa Grande edged Petaluma and Windsor to take both the boys and girls team titles at Saturday’s Sonoma County League track and field championships at Windsor High.
With the wins, Casa claimed the SCL boys and girls titles on its last year in the league before switching to the North Bay League.
The Gauchos swept all four relays, and were led by strong individual performances from Adam Lundquist, JuJuan Lawson and Brycen Poarch on the boys side, and Courtney Accurso and Nicole Beecham for the girls.
Casa Grande coach Jamie Pugh gave credit to his stars, but with the Gauchos’ eking out a win by one point, every top-six finish was crucial.
Pugh singled out junior Eric Ziemer, who qualified for NCS last year as a pole vaulter but took sixth in the 110 meter hurdles Saturday to score one point. Ziemer had been expected to finish last in the hurdles.
“He ran clean, and two guys fell down,” Pugh said. “He came in sixth and scored a point for us, and we won by one point.”
Ziemer, who, along with teammate Taylor Falk, was struck by a pickup while running cross country in 2010, is a great comeback story, Pugh said.
“We didn’t know if he’d be able to compete (after the accident),” Pugh said. “They weren’t sure what kind of running he would ever do again.”
Ziemer didn’t have his best meet in the pole vault, so for him to qualify for this weekend’s NCS Redwood Empire meet in the hurdles “was nice for him to sneak in,” Pugh said.
Petaluma’s boys and girls teams both finished second. The Trojans received strong performances in the field events, particularly by the throwers, pole vaulter Danielle Steffen and high jumper Courtney Tuck.
Windsor, whose boys and girls teams finished third, was bolstered by a slew of second- and third-place finishes in the running events, and strong performances in the field events.
“We had a great balance,” said Windsor boys coach Doug Hastings. “We just didn’t quite have enough to take advantage of Casa’s weakness in the distances.”
Hastings said the 4×400 meter relay was the key to the boys meet, which Casa Grande won by just one point. The Gauchos’ foursome of Joe Cauich, Austin Eger, Ryan Girdler and Lawson won the event by a quarter of a second to take 10 points in the event, with Analy anchor Ben Stafford finishing a half-step behind Lawson for second place and eight points.
Had the Tigers’ relay team taken the 4×400, Casa would have finished a point behind Petaluma in the final standings.
GIRLS (Top 3)
Team Scores: Casa Grande 118.50, Petaluma 104.50, Windsor 99, Healdsburg 67, Analy 41, Sonoma Valley 41, El Molino 23
4×100 Meter Relay: Casa Grande 50.50; Petaluma 50.63; Analy 51.07
1600 Meters: Nicole Lane, EM 5:08.33; Ashley Moffett, CG 5:17.82; Amber Peirsol, W 5:20.51
100 Meter Hurdles: Courtney Accurso, CG 17.32; Amanda Morton, W 17.44; Jackie Farrington, Pet 17.96
400 Meters: Mackenzie Albrecht, SV 58.68; Maria Barragan, Heald 59.56; Katie Rivara, W 1:01.43
100 Meters: Nicole Beecham, CG 13.37; Jessica Rosen, A 13.41; Alica Lugo, Pet 13.50
800 Meters: Maria Barragan, Heald 2:22.67; Julianna Mendez, W 2:26.01; Ashley Moffett, CG 2:27.64
300 Meter Hurdles: Courtney Accurso, CG 49.18; McKenzie Schaffner, Heald 49.82; Makayla Chavez, CG 49.96
200 Meters: Nicole Beecham, CG 26.71; Alica Lugo, Pet 26.99; Michela Kinahan, CG 27.18
3200 Meters: Nicole Lane, EM 11:16.72; Andrea Gonzalez, CG 11:53.74; Victoria Tomasziewski, W 11:58.81
4×400 Meter Relay: Casa Grande 4:11.39; Healdsburg 4:21.40; Petaluma 4:21.42
Long Jump: Devyn Ruiz, Heald 16-9½; Devon Brook, W 16-7¼; Danielle Steffen, Pet 16-6½
Triple Jump: Allison McIntyre, A 34-6¾; Sarah Summers, SV 32-7; Danielle Steffen, Pet 32-6½
High Jump: Courtney Tuck, Pet 5-2; Devon Brook, W 5-0; Kelli Fitzpatrick, W 5-0
Pole Vault: Danielle Steffen, Pet 11-6; Helen-Ann Haun, Heald 10-0; Katie Rivara, W 8-0
Shot Put: Nicole Purter, W 35-8½; Allison Scranton, Pet 35-1; Alexis Long-Am, SV 29-7
Discus: Nicole Purter, W 114-1; Allison Scranton, Pet 99-9; Morgan Giraud, Pet 98-3
BOYS (Top 3)
Team Scores: Casa Grande 110, Petaluma 109, Windsor 105, Sonoma Valley 76, Analy 55, Healdsburg 23, El Molino 16
4×100 Meter Relay: Casa grande 44.11; Petaluma 44.78; Analy 44.82
1600 Meters: Ryan Douglas, Pet 4:20.69; Alex Conner, SV 4:22.27; Zac Price, W 4:31.37
110 Meter Hurdles: Adam Lundquist, CG 14.91; Nick Tracy, W 16.64; Andres Lund, Pet 17.71
400 Meters: Andrew Kozel, Heald 50.89; Ben Stafford, A 51.07; Joch Micallef, W 53.02
100 Meters: Jujuan Lawson, CG 11.51; Maurice Freeman, A 11.79; Chris Mello, Pet 11.80
800 Meters: Chris Tose, SV 1:59.94; Matthew Cogorno, W 2:00.07; Conor Johnston, SV 2:00.73
300 Meter Hurdles: Adam Lundquist, CG 39.55; Greg Maggioncalda, SV 41.21; Nick Tracy, W 42.19
200 Meters: Jujuan Lawson, CG 23.19; Chris Mello, Pet 23.72; Devin Walter, A 23.74
3200 Meters: Alex Conner, SV 9:54.07; Ben Schultz, EM 10:13.82; Ryan Douglas, Pet 10:26.52
4×400 Meter Relay: Casa Grande 3:31.23; Analy 3:31.48; Windsor 3:36.16
Long Jump: Brycen Poarch, CG 21-8¼; Schuyler Slaydon, Pet 21-4¼; Taylor Williams, A 20-¼
Triple Jump: Brycen Poarch, CG 43-11¾; Taylor Williams, A 42-5; Schuyler Slaydon, Pet 39-5½
High Jump: Nick Tracy, W 6-4; Schuyler Slaydon, Pet 6-2; Brycen Poarch, CG 6-0
Pole Vault: Andy Kotval, W 12-6; Daniel Dwyer, SV 11-0; Liam Duree Ferris, Heald 11-0
Shot Put: Vincent Valdes, W 46-7; Teddy Scranton, Pet 43-10; Joshua Heiser, SV 43-3
Discus: Teddy Scranton, Pet 150-5; Damian Salinas, W 136-1; Caleb Lundquist, CG 135-4