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Trabuco Hills' Hurd answers challenge, sweeps hurdles
MISSION VIEJO – The CIF Prelims aren’t until next week, but there was no shortage of top-end talent competing Friday in the South Coast League Finals at Trabuco Hills High.
Trabuco Hills’ Cameron Hurd knew what he was up against as he toed the starting block for the 110-meter hurdles. To his left was Dana Hills’ Grant Bayr. To his right was Cole Paton of Mission Viejo. Together, the trio holds three of the top six marks in the county this year.
Hurd fed off the talent in the field to propel himself to his greatest performance yet. The junior finished the race in 14.52, displacing San Juan Hills’ Connor Meech for the county lead in the event.
“I wouldn’t be this fast if it wasn’t for Grant and Cole,” said Hurd, who also won the 300 hurdles. “It’s confidence knowing that these are the guys that I’ll be seeing at OC Champs, at CIF Masters, at state finals. (The league) gives us a sense of who is going to come and challenge us.”
Trabuco Hills’ Sean Lee joined his teammate with a dominating win in the high jump. The freshman cleared 6 feet, 6 inches in his first action since suffering a hip injury at the Mt. SAC Relays.
The Mission Viejo girls captured their first league title in eight years, topping Dana Hills, 101-77. Kennedy Gillian took the 200 and the 400 to help the Diablos.
“We were second the last three years,” Diablos coach Chase Frazier said. “Finally, we were able to put together a team that qualified athletes in 14 of the 16 events to CIF, which shows our depth.”
Dana Hills won the boys title, 116-83, over Trabuco Hills. The Dolphins did it on the strength of their renowned distance program, led by Mason Coppi’s wins in the 1,600 and 3,200.
“We came out here with a purpose,” Dolphins coach Craig Dunn said. “It wasn’t about individual glory. It was about the team aspect. It was about pulling each other along to accomplish our goal.”
Sierra Medley, Maliyah Medley, Paula Pedrani and Kaiya McCullough helped El Toro set meet and school records in the 400 relay. The team finished in 47.82. The Chargers also won the 1,600 relay (3:56.21) in a photo finish over Mission Viejo (3:56.32).
Aliso Niguel’s Sean Damiano and John Galloway scored wins in the 100 and 200, respectively. Wolverines sophomore Kathryn Plummer posted a 41-4.75 in the shot put to win.