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Arcadia wrap-up: Dana Hills boys stand out in relays

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Late into the twilight hours of Saturday evening, the spectacle that is the Arcadia Invitational continued to captivate the crowded bleachers at Arcadia High.

The last dance belonged to the Dana Hills boys relay team, and they took it in stride. Mason Coppi, Diego Southard, Colin Stein and Jake Ogden formed the winning combination to help the Dolphins post the nation’s best time of 10:06.73 in the distance medley relay.

Coppi and Ogden were stars for Dana Hills during the cross country season, but without their best half-mile runner, the Dolphins had a decision to make to fill out the quartet. The coaches decided to go with Southard because of the determination and grit he had shown in previous races.

“Of all the guys that we could put in there, he had the most heart,” Dolphins coach Tim Butler said of Southard. “He has the most fight. He demonstrated that in his hurdles races. We needed the guy who was going to be the toughest.”

Dana Hills produced a second national-leading mark in the 6,400-meter relay on Friday night. Freshman Jack Landgraf joined Stein, Coppi, and Ogden to put up a 17:15.78 in the race.

The Dolphins now own three of the top-10 times for the event in meet history.

Los Alamitos made sure that the county brought home accolades on the girls’ side. The Griffins achieved national glory in the 1,600 sprint medley relay, with Anijah Green, Sara Limp, Ashley Willingham and Katherine Izzo making up the four legs.

Willingham also placed second in the seeded division 400. Her time of 55.93 has taken over the county lead in the event.

For Los Alamitos coach Nathan Howard, the meet served as a feather that he would put in his coaching hat.

“Across the board, it was the greatest meet in Los Alamitos history,” said Howard, who is in his 15th year with the school. “We were in 14 events. We set nine school records.”

“It was one of the greatest moments in my coaching career.”

With the Orange County Championships being held at Mission Viejo in two weeks, the Griffins see themselves as a favorite to contend for the girls’ title. Howard says it’s time for his team to get greedy.

“That’s the conversation that we start tomorrow,” the Griffins coach said following the meet. “It’s time to become a little selfish. It’s time to focus on your individual marks.”

Additional performances at Arcadia:

• Los Alamitos completed a sweep of the 1,600 sprint medley relay events by posting a nation-leading time of 3:27.64. Brandon Douglas, Andrew Carty, Thomas Heib and Manuel Gomez made up the four legs of the relay team.

• Woodbridge’s Gabe Warner established a new county-best time in the 200 with a 21.68-second race.

Warner improved his season-best mark in the 400, and he needed it to maintain his hold on the county’s top spot in the event. The senior produced a 48.24 to finish second in the seeded race, edging Los Alamitos’ Andrew Carty, who ran a 48.25 in the day session.

Chance Lamberth of Canyon won his mile race in 4:16.59. The converted time of 4:15.1 places the junior fourth among his county competition.

• Trabuco Hills’ Cameron Hurd looked impressive in placing second in the 110 hurdles. His time of 14.88 just missed a new personal record (14.86) on Saturday.

• Valencia’s Nick Coghill set a pair of personal records to place fourth in the shot put (58-7) and second in the discus (190-1).

• Capistrano Valley won the girls 6,400 relay in 21:08.12. Laguna Hills was the runner-up.

• The Mater Dei girls 400 relay team was the other county champion in the seeded events, matching their season-low of 47.74 to beat Carondelet of Concord.


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