Walsh victory helps Canyon top Brea Olinda


BREA – Brea Olinda’s standing as the top boys distance program in the county is probably enough to strike fear into the heart of most opponents.

Canyon was close to being the Wildcats’ equal in the cross country season, but that wasn't much comfort for Comanches coach Dreux Valenti going into Wednesday’s track and field dual meet.

Wesley Walsh scored a critical early victory in the 1,600 meters, and Canyon went on to defeat Brea Olinda, 76.5 to 49.5, in a Crestview League showdown at Brea Olinda High.

“I thought we were very fortunate to come out of there with a win,” Valenti said. “We were very nervous on the boys’ side.

“We just tried to come out blazing and jump on them early.”

Walsh made his move late in the third lap of the 1,600. He edged in front of the pack to become the pace leader, but he soon broke into a sprint to leave the competition in his dust.

“It was all about the smarts,” Walsh said. “I was hoping to breakaway so that I would not get drafted off of on the really windy stretch.”

Walsh’s move opened the door for Chance Lamberth to finish second ahead of Brea’s Austin Shellito.

The Comanches' early lead kept Austin Tamagno, who won the 3,200 in 9:09.26, from factoring into the team result.

Canyon’s James Phillips won the high jump with a mark of 6 feet, 2 inches, which was 6 inches better than the runner-up.

Rachel Baxter, Alexis Turley-Young and Philliz Tuavao combined to win seven events to help Canyon’s girls past Brea, 88-39.

The Crestview League does not compete in the pole vault, which is Baxter’s best event. She dominated the first leg of the 400 relay, spotting her teammates an 8-yard lead the rest of the way.

Kylee Grubbs won the 800 and 1,600 for Brea.

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