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Talented roster makes Mission Viejo formidable
The Mission Viejo boys track and field team appears to be poised for another strong season.
With a roster that features a blend of established standouts and emerging stars, the Diablos start the season with some big goals – trying to win a second consecutive South Coast League title and capture its first Orange County Championships team title since 2006.
"We're a veteran team, and the kids have come together and worked extremely hard," Diablos coach Mike Hoffman said. "We're balanced and have the depth this year, and I feel that everyone will contribute for us."
The Diablos' roster has been buoyed by the transfer of junior sprinter Alex Suchesk from Santa Margarita. Suchesk was the 100-meter Trinity League champion in 2012, and he advanced to the CIF-SS Division 3 finals. His season-best wind-legal time of 10.72 was the second fastest in county history among sophomores.
Suchesk said getting his time down to 10.50 is a goal for him this season.
"I looked at a lot of film from last year, and my form was bad, especially in the final 50 meters where I would start to lose speed," Suchesk said. "Getting the form down and strengthening the back half will be the key for me."
Suchesk joins senior Marcus Collins to form arguably the county's best sprinting duo. Collins is the defending South Coast League champion in the 100 and the 200.
"My goal is to retain my league titles this season, and he (Suchesk) has already pushed me to get faster," Collins said. "When I get on the start line, all I'm thinking about is running as fast I can and finishing my race."
Collins and Suchesk will help lead a 400 relay team that also includes senior Max Redfield and junior Josh Taylor
"I think our relay team will push to win league and CIF," Collins said. "We have a group that is really close this year."
The Diablos' field events are led by senior high jumper Sage Stone. The UCLA-bound Stone won individual titles at the O.C. Championships, South Coast League Finals and the CIF-SS Division 1 finals.
Stone is eagerly anticipating the opportunity to set a school record and a chance at winning a state title.
“I would absolutely love to leave my mark here at Mission Viejo as being the best high jumper in school history,” Stone said. “It’s an inspiration for me to try and jump my highest each time I go out there.”
Mission Viejo will also look to get solid contribution in the throws competition. Senior Jordan Dominguez is the reigning O.C.C. champion, while junior Michael Mathewes won the SCL shot put title last season and is poised to continue his development into an elite thrower in both the shot put and discus.
“Though I won league last year in the shot, it was my first year and I barely knew anything,” Mathewes said. “Technique plays a really big role in both shot and discus and I’m making a lot of improvements.”
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