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Boys’ 4×800 Relay, Clark Lead DP at Easter Relays

By Tim Heiduk

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Scott Bieza (right), anchor for the boys' 4x800 relay, crosses the finish line in third place. (Photo/Tim Heiduk).

Scott Bieza (right), anchor for the boys’ 4×800 relay, crosses the finish line in third place (Photo / Tim Heiduk)

The DP boys’ 4×800 relay team qualified for the esteemed Arcadia Invitational, while sophomore Hunter Clark won the 1500 meters at the Santa Barbara Easter Relays on March 28 at Santa Barbara City College.

The 4×800 team, consisting of seniors Jacob Stucky, Chris Wasjutin, Ian Wasjutin and Scott Bieza, finished third in 8:13.80.

“We had a pretty good time overall,” said Ian Wasjutin. “We got five seconds better than the last time we did it as a team.”

Now the 4×800 team has a couple weeks to prepare for the Arcadia Invitational, Apr. 10-11.

“We’ve started to go into the CIF training routine, so our workouts have been getting a lot harder,” said Bieza. “And hopefully that will give us that extra push towards the end.”

According to the Arcadia Invitational website, the meet has hosted 24 national records and 152 U.S. Olympic athletes.

“Arcadia is like probably the number one or number two ranked high school meet in the nation,” said DP Head Coach Chris Mollkoy. “Like all the best athletes from California go to it, and then many from out of state come to compete.”

Clark, who won the 1500 meter with a time of 4:09.16, will also be running at Arcadia, in the up and comer’s mile. Mollkoy noted that Clark is “only a few seconds off Bryan Fernandez’s time as a sophomore,” referring to the legendary cross country alumni and 2012 Gatorade California Cross Country Runner of the Year, who is now running at the University of Oregon.

“We have two or three relays that we’ve submitted, and then we have another probably seven or eight individuals that might be competing,” said Mollkoy, DP’s third-year head coach. “That’s the most we’ve taken since I think I’ve been here as coach.”

Among these include the boys’ 800 sprint medley team (juniors D.J. Sharpe, Blayke Harrison, Aidan Gilkes and senior Caesar Flores), which qualified after last weekend’s San Marcos Invitational, and senior Joshua Fry in the decathlon.

Top individual finishers for DP at the Santa Barbara Easter Relays were Sofia Janotti (second in long jump, third in triple jump), high jumper Daniel Nofrey (third), pole vaulter Carmen Villarruel (third) and Fry (second in pole vault, sixth in both 110 meter hurdles and high jump). Senior pole vaulter Ella Stimson finished sixth in the pole vault, while Sharpe, a junior, finished seventh in the long jump.

Five DP relays placed highly also, led by the girls’ D.M.R. (Distance Medley Relay) team of Elaine McClure, Natalie McClure, Kalina Burns and Tatianna Schluep, who finished second.

The girls’ 4×400 (Gabriella Craviotto, Sophia Martinez, Kiki Pickett, Schluep) and boys’ 800 sprint medley both finished fourth. The girls’ 4×400 set a personal team record of 4:12.38.

The girls’ 4×100 relay team (Jade Day, Martinez, Villarruel, Janotti) placed sixth, while the boys’ 4×100 team (Caesar Flores, D.J. Sharpe, Aidan Gilkes, Blayke Harrison) finished seventh.

The Chargers competed against 37 other high schools, “the biggest it’s [the meet] been in a long time,” said Mollkoy.

Mollkoy was happy with the performance of his team, noting “some PR’s [personal records].”

The Chargers’ head coach praised high jumper Chris Jones for his performance in the frosh/soph meet, placing third.

“Chris Jones, he’s a sophomore, he hasn’t jumped all year because he’s been injured. And in his first meet back, he had a ten-inch PR,” said Mollkoy.

Mollkoy also applauded Alana Ochoa, for her discus throw.

“In the throws, Alana Ochoa had a PR,” said Mollkoy. “She threw, for the first time, over 100 feet in the discus. So, that’s really good. We haven’t had a 100-foot thrower that hasn’t been named Stamatia [Scarvelis] in four years. So, it’s really good to have another female thrower doing well.” Scarvelis, who graduated from DP last year and is now competing for the UCLA Bruins, won three CIF State shot put titles and last year’s CIF State discus title.

The next dual meet for the Chargers is Wednesday, Apr. 8 at San Marcos.

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Boys’ 4×800 Relay, Clark Lead DP at Easter Relays