Nikko Hayes wasn’t thrilled with his form Saturday.
The Lompoc High School junior still had enough to dominate his hurdles races at the Los Padres League Track and Field Preliminaries.
Hayes won his boys 110-meter high hurdles heat in 15.31, close to his personal best of 15.2, at Santa Ynez High School. Hayes won his 300 hurdles heat in 40.39. His 110 hurdles time was the quickest of the day by 1.27 seconds. His 300 hurdles time was the fastest Saturday by 2.05.
After his shorter race, Hayes said, “My trail leg kept hitting (hurdles). I’ve been focusing on getting my lead leg to snap down (over the hurdles). Now my focus, between now and the finals, is to work on that trail leg.
“Maybe I can hit that PR, or maybe even a 14.5, at the finals. This is my first year running the 110, and it’s the toughest of the two hurdles races because so much of it comes down to (running) form. My goal is to make the CIF-Southern Section Finals, maybe beyond.”
Hayes will go after his first trip to the CIF sectional finals.
The LPL Finals will take place at Santa Ynez this Tuesday, with Santa Maria hosting. Field events are set to start at 1 p.m. Running events are scheduled to go off at 2 p.m.
Dual meet results, plus results at the league finals, will determine the final LPL standings. Santa Ynez’s boys and girls teams are sitting in first place, with Nipomo’s boys and girls second. Cabrillo’s boys and girls squads are both in third.
Cabrillo’s boys shared the LPL title with Santa Ynez last year. Santa Ynez and Nipomo were co-LPL girls champs last season.
As for Hayes, he was never pushed in either of his heats, though his trail leg grazed three of the last four hurdles in his 300 race.
Preliminaries were held in the varsity girls and boys 100, 200, 400, 800, 1,600 and both hurdles races Saturday. There were no prelims in the varsity field events. Junior varsity field event finals took place Saturday.
That meant Cabrillo junior Rebecka Miranda did not have to jump. Miranda will be the overwhelming girls favorite in the long jump and her best event, the triple jump, Tuesday.
She won her 100 and 200 heats easily, and her 200 time of 26.78 was the fastest overall time by .56.
“I hate the 200 with a passion,” Miranda said with a laugh shortly before her heat in that race. “It helps me get loose for my jumps, though. It’s just long for me.”
Miranda finished sixth in the invitational section, the toughest section, of the women’s triple jump at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut earlier this month.
“I was seeded 10th,” she said. “I hit 37-1, and I scratched on half my jumps. My coaches and I have figured it out, and I don’t think I’ll have the problem with fouling anymore.” Miranda’s best is the 37-6 she jumped at a dual meet at Santa Ynez earlier this season.
Lompoc senior Ify Agbodike was the fastest overall qualifier in the girls 100 hurdles, in 16.83. Alyssa Enos of Cabrillo was a tick behind, in 16.84. Agbodike turned a 49.41 in her 300 hurdles heat, the quickest time of the day by .84.
“My form’s been a little off,” she said after her 100 hurdles heat. “Working on my form’s going to be my mission between now and Tuesday.
“My personal best in the (100 hurdles) is 16.21, which I ran at Santa Maria earlier this season. I’d like to hit my PR, maybe even go 15.5, at the (league) finals.”
Agbodike was on a tight schedule Saturday.
“I have to leave right after the 300 to get back to Lompoc for a dance show,” she said. “I’m stressed.”
Edith Vargas of Lompoc was a double girls qualifier, in the 100 meters and 300 hurdles, for the league finals. Enos led three Cabrillo qualifiers in the girls 100 hurdles. Adriana Covarrubias paced a trio of Cabrillo qualifiers in the girls 300 hurdles.
At least one Cabrillo boy advanced in every running preliminary Saturday. Cabrillo’s Isaiah Montes qualified in the 100 and 200. He figures to be among the favorites in the boys long jump Tuesday.