Usgaard rules South Coast League finals
MISSION VIEJO – In her final tune-up before the start of CIF competition, Dana Hills senior Tori Usgaard produced another strong display of why she has earned the reputation of being one of Southern California's top multi-event athletes.
Usgaard claimed titles in the long jump and the 100 and 300 hurdles at the South Coast League Finals on Friday night at Mission Viejo High.
"I was happy with my day overall," Usgaard said. "The key for me is to give it my all for each and every event and see what happens. When I do that, I do my best."
Usgaard's big day began with in the long jump, where she leaped a lifetime-best 17 feet, 9 inches.
She then repeated as league champion in the 100 hurdles, accelerating well over the middle hurdles to clock a winning time of 15.40.
Later, Usgaard and sophomore teammate Michaela King battled throughout the 300 hurdles before a small burst late allowed Usgaard (45.32) to edge King (45.66) at the finish line.
Usgaard closed her effort by tying for fourth place in the high jump.
Two of Aliso Niguel's top individual athletes enjoyed fine overall performances.
Senior Danica Wyson set a meet record in the 3200, pulling away early to win in a time of 10:48.35. Earlier in the meet, Wyson ran to a season-best time of 4:59.77 to win the 1600.
"I really wanted to break five minutes in the 1600," Wyson said. "My goal has been to stay injury free this season and I've been able to do that so far."
Despite running into a brisk headwind, Wolverines junior sprinter Danielle Darden took home victories in both the 100 (12.28) and the 200 (25.06).
"It (CIF) will be tough competition, and I'm going to go into it running hard and trying to stay humble," Darden said.
Mission Viejo produced four individual league champions. Junior Michelle Rivera won the 400 in a time of 58.59, while junior Sara Fleming (2:18.41) held off Dana Hills junior Aubrey Carr (2:19.32) to claim the 800 title.
In the throwing events, junior Jackie Chasteler (36-2) won the shot put for the second year in a row, with junior Hannah Ter Harr (113-4) edging Trabuco Hills senior Karen Ascencio (113-2) to take home first place in the discus.
The Diablos also won both the 400m relay (48.41) and the 1600m relay (4:01.65).
El Toro senior Mikaela Morris successfully defended her pole vault title with a clearance of 11-3. Chargers junior Claire Curie (5-2) finished tied for the top clearance in the high jump with sophomore teammate Michelle De Dmon and Dana Hills junior Brenna Barker.
Trabuco Hills senior Cassandra Smith took home the top spot in the triple jump with a winning mark of 37 feet, 9½ inches.
Dana Hills won the team competition with 99 points and clinched the overall South Coast League title. Mission Viejo (85) was second and El Toro (60) was third.
Contact the writer: email@example.com