For the first time in a long time, the Lompoc High School boys track and field team is the Santa Barbara County champion.
"I'm so excited. I'm REALLY happy," Lompoc coach Claudia Terrones said after the Braves edged second-place Dos Pueblos 82.5-75 at the Santa Barbara County Track and Field Championships at Santa Ynez High School Saturday.
"This will put us in a really good direction heading into the Channel League meet Wednesday," Terrones, who is also Lompoc's athletic director, said. Lompoc finished first in its inaugural Channel League dual meet season. Most of the other area schools moved from the CIF Southern Section to the Central Section last year. Lompoc, Cabrillo and Santa Ynez stayed in the Southern Section and switched from the Los Padres League to the Channel League.
Dos Pueblos won the girls title with 135 points to runner-up Righetti's 104.
The victorious Braves got a throws double from Jovany Lucatero, who won the boys discus (149 feet, 4 inches) and shot put (49-1.25).
"The discus went pretty well. That was my personal best," said Lucatero.
"The shot put didn't go so well. I'll take care of that at the league meet."
The Braves also got wins from their 4x100 relay team of Cameron Iribarren, Ryan Morgan, Aris Manahan and Oscar Tenorio, who combined for a victory in 44.87 seconds, and Tenorio in the triple jump. Tenorio went 41-10.
"The 44.87 wasn't our best time," said Tenorio after he gave Lompoc a big anchor leg for the win. "We've been trying different combinations, looking for the best one. I think this is the combination we'll run from now on."
The meet was missing some star power from the North County. Righetti sophomore Rayann Booker figured to threaten the girls meet record in the 100 (no meet records fell Saturday), but Righetti coach Mike Pope said it was a coach's decision not to run her Saturday.
St. Joseph standouts Joseph Domingues (1,600) and Darien Langley (sprints), along with a strong St. Joseph 4x100 boys relay team, were not at the meet either.
"We've been training pretty hard, and we decided to rest a lot of our athletes for the (upcoming) Mountain League Finals," St. Joseph co-coach Al Garcia said.
Still, besides the Lompoc boys' team win, there were plenty of North County highlights. Righetti's Reann Booker, Rayann's twin sister, doubled in the girls 100 (12.49) and 200 (26.67). Lompoc Valley athletes pulled off a hurdles sweep, with Kylie Yanez of Lompoc taking the girls 100 and 300 hurdles races and Ty Hernandez of Cabrillo winning in the boys 110 and 300 hurdles.
Reann Booker said she was happy with both results, though neither race went exactly perfectly for her.
"In the 100, my start wasn't good," she said. "My blocks weren't as far back as I wanted them to be. In the 200, my start was strong. I tightened up a little bit toward the finish."
Yanez pronounced herself "very excited," after winning for the first time in the County meet at the varsity level, and doubling at that. Yanez won a County frosh/soph title as a sophomore.
"I think I got my PR in the 300 hurdles," she said. "I was really starting to get tired toward the end. If someone had been close to me, I think I would have run faster." As it was, Yanez won going away, in 48.63 after winning the 110 hurdles in 15.75.
Hernandez took the 110 hurdles in 16.18 and the 300 hurdles in 42.75.
Quincy Valle of Santa Ynez became the first girls North County winner when she pulled a slight upset and won the girls shot put with a personal best 36-6.50.
"That was not expected," Valle said of her mark. "I'm very happy to win a County championship."
Other North County winners on the girls side included Stephanie Rodriguez of Cabrillo in the pole vault (10-0), Ayziah Simmons of Lompoc in the triple jump (35-2.75) and Tatianae Felemi of Righetti in the discus (114-11).
On the boys side, Fabricio De La Cruz of Righetti won the 400 in 51.61, Isaac Williams of Cabrillo won the pole vault at 13-6 and Max Daniels of Orcutt Academy won the long jump at 20-2.25.
Josephine Morales of Dos Pueblos won three girls titles, the 1,600 in 5:34.19, the 800 in 2:28.65 and the high jump at 5-0.
Santa Ynez hosted the meet this year after the meet had traditionally taken place at Carpinteria High School.