It was another exciting year of track and field competitions throughout 2009, as some of the top athletes in nation graced country track and field fans with memorable accomplishments and unforgettable moments.
Having the fortune of seeing so many wonderful efforts, picking five special moments was not easy, but here were the moments that stood out to me.
Throughout the season, no other county sprinter enjoyed the success that Kyle Middlebrooks did, and at the county's midseason championship meet, he enjoyed a spectacular day. In the 100 meter dash, Middlebrooks exploded out of the blocks and won in a time of 10.48. Though the time was wind-aided, it tied the fastest 100 time ever ran by a county athlete under any conditions. Later, Middlebrooks capped his day by claiming the 200 title by clocking a 21.54, the second best time posted by a county runner this season.
4. Saturday, March 28th, 2009: Koressel's vaults into county history at Surf City
For three seasons, the UCLA bound vaulter had given glimpses of her extraordinary potential. Finally, 2009 saw her put everything together. That became apparent at the Surf City Invitational in March, where Allison Koressel emerged from a competitive quartet of county vaulters to win the competition at 12 feet, seven inches. However, Koressel turned a great performance into a historical one, as she cleared 13 feet, one inch. That mark made her only the third county female vaulter to ever scale 13 feet. Koressel would go on to equal that mark in winning the competition at the Arcadia Invitational.
3. Friday, May 29th, 2009: Krinik Charges Back to win at Masters Meet
Throughout the 2009 season, Valencia's Sean Krinik thrilled fans with his displays of mental toughness and a devastating final kick in the 800 that left many in awe. Both of those characteristics were on full display in 800 race at the Masters Meet. Amid a group of tightly bunched runners midway through the final lap of the race, Krinik's legs tangled, causing him to trip so hard that he nearly fell. With less than 200 meters remaining in the state meet qualifier and nearly the entire field ahead of him, Krinik steadied himself and put forth one of the season's most incredible rallies, sprinting past the field to win the race in a time of 1:53.79. With the momentum of the win leading the way, Krinik ended the season by winning the 800 state title.
Entering the 2009 season, Mater Dei's Michael Woepse was shooting for more than just a great season. Looking to climb up the county all-time pole vault list, he put forth a personal best effort 16 feet, four inches to win the competition at the Surf City Invitational. Though that effort left him tied for sixth all time in county, Woepse was determined to push the bar higher. On the big stage of the Arcadia Invitational, Woepse cleared 16-1 and 16-6 on his first attempt. With the bar at 16-9 and a family, school, and county record within reach, Woepse sprinted down the runway on his first attempt and vaulted himself over the bar. Though he nicked the bar on his way down, it stayed aloft, moving Woepse past his brother Greg (16-7) for the family and school record and past former St. Margaret standout Johnny Quinn (16-8) to become the county all-time leader. Woepse continued to excel throughout the rest of the season, achieving another one of his season long goals: a state championship.
In a season that saw Orange Lutheran's Staci Foster further her reputation as one of the best runners in the state, no moment better defined all the attributes that made her successful in 2009 than the 1600 race at the O.C.C. Foster was engaged in a close battle with three other runners for the lead entering the final lap of the race when with 300 meter to go, Foster and Corona del Mar's Melanie Powers inadvertently tangled feet, causing Foster and a couple of other runners to lose their balance. As Foster hit the ground and was hit by passing runners, cuts opened up that would later require 32 stitches. Undaunted by the pain and blood that followed, Foster got off the track , caught Dana Hills' Heather Balbier at the midway point of the final lap and held her off for an inspiring win.