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Brea Olinda hires Canyon's Dreux Valenti to coach track team
BREA – The future of Brea Olinda’s track program was in question after its longtime distance coach, Jeremy Mattern, left.
Just three weeks after Mattern vacated the position to take a job at Granada High of Livermore, the Wildcats found a well-established replacement in their backyard.
Dreux Valenti, who spent nine years as a coach for Canyon track and field, will be the new coach of Brea Olinda’s program.
The Brea resident said his decision was made with his family in mind. Valenti and his wife, Pam, have three children that are matriculating through the Brea Unified School District. Their eldest son, Tommy, participated in track as a freshman for the Wildcats this year.
“A math position opened up last week (at Brea Olinda),” Valenti said. “If there is one place I would leave Canyon for, it was Brea. It just so happened that all the stars aligned, and everything was perfect for me to go.”
Valenti will work with Matt Rainwater, who will serve as head coach for Brea Olinda’s boys and girls cross country teams. The two have already started setting goals, which includes contesting all 16 CIF events in Crestview League meets. The league did not compete in pole vault last year.
In his time at Canyon, Valenti helped the Comanches become a formidable force in the track and field landscape. He leaves behind two of the county’s premier returners for next season in rising junior Rachel Baxter and senior Alexis Turley-Young.
“It really tore me up because most of my kids were underclassmen this year. Leaving them was really hard,” Valenti said of the move. “There were a lot of great memories. I’m very proud of the things that we accomplished in the nine years that I was there.”
The Wildcats offer a wealth of talented distance runners for Valenti to work with on the track. Led by senior Austin Tamagno, Brea Olinda captured its first CIF State cross country title last year. Tamagno will also enter the track season as the defending state champion in the 1,600 meters.