Woodbridge passes test at Trabuco Hills Invitational


MISSION VIEJO – With the arrival of April, the track and field season is transitioning to a series of showcases.

The first of those came Saturday. Even with the deepest field they have faced this season, the Woodbridge boys proved that they are a force to be reckoned with at the Trabuco Hills Invitational.

Scott Patton took over two county-best times, blazing through the 100 meters in 10.85 seconds and completing the 200 in 22.02.

The senior also anchored the Warriors’ 400 relay team, which set a meet record with a time of 41.70. Gabe Warner, Alex Young, and Nehemiah Nash ran the other legs for the Warriors, whose relay team is fourth in the state.

“It’s always an incredible experience to have a team like this,” Patton said. “We’re all really good runners. I don’t really have to worry about how I run because I know that if I don’t run well, they’ll be there for me and pick up the slack.”

Three county standouts made the hurdles a must-see event. Trabuco Hills’ Cameron Hurd held off Cole Paton (Mission Viejo) and Connor Meech (San Juan Hills) in the 110 hurdles with a time of 14.86.

Meech used the morning loss as motivation for his 300 hurdles run. The Stallions’ senior burst out of the starting blocks to beat the field to the first two hurdles. He continued to seamlessly clear the hurdles en route to a state-leading time of 37.84.

Paton (38.53) finished second, and Hurd (38.83) placed third. Meech, Paton, and Hurd own the top three times in the county for the 300 hurdles. They also own three of the top five spots in the state.

“This race definitely motivated me to run really well,” Meech said. “You come to a meet like this and you’re running against the No.2 and No.3 guys in the (county) now. It motivates you and it pushes you. We’re all out their pushing each other, and it’s really fun.”

San Clemente’s Connor Dunne (1:54.70) made a strong move in the final turn to win the 800.

Stanford-bound pole vaulter Kaitlyn Merritt cleared 13 feet, 7 inches to add to her state lead.

The senior, who holds a lifetime-best mark of 13 feet, 9 inches, has her sights set on greater heights.

“I’m more focused on 14-1. It was really cool to get on a big pole today,” said Merritt, who went after that mark at the end of her run. “That’s definitely a step in the right direction.”

Hayley Herberg of Capistrano Valley set a school record with a 5:02.47 in the 1,600.


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