Varsity Girls 800M Final: Defending champ Tinoco heavy favorite to repeat, challenge championship record
The girls 800-meter final at this spring's Foothill League Track & Field Championship features one of the all-time greats in the event in Golden Valley's Bianca Tinoco, the defending league and CIF Southern Section Division 2 champion over two laps.
Tinoco deserves just as much praise as anyone for the high school career she's had with the Grizzlies over the past four years. The Arizona State University signee has a resume almost just as glorious as Tate and Heys. The only thing missing from her illustrious career is a state crown.
After winning last year's league and section championships, and breaking Shannon Murakami's Santa Clarita Valley all-time high school junior record (2:09.35), Tinoco will return as the heavy, heavy favorite to win these championships against the West Ranch trio of Bailey Pate, Siobhan Rubio, and Sophia Hoelzel, as well as Saugus' Emma Bahr. With a season best of 2:11.00, set at the Asusa Pacific University Distance Meet of Champions in March, Tinoco could threaten Jennifer Owen's 2011 championship record of 2:12.84 if the pace is quick.
Top 12 Foothill League 800m Varsity Girls Entries
The highlight of career is arguably her performance at the Foothill League Cross Country Championships, where she took down Heys and Kaylee Thompson to end Saugus' streak of 10 consecutive crowns. Saugus head coach Rene Paragas delivered a heart-felt speech before awarding Tinoco with the gold medal at last year's award ceremony. Three years earlier, Tinoco was also All-CIF and all-state as a freshman.
She's one of four freshman to break the 18-minute barrier at Mt. San Antonio College, as she ran 17:48 in 2012; she's one three high school females in SCV history to break the 2:10 barrier, joining former state champions Alysia Johnson of Canyon and Aly Drake of Valencia with that distinction; and she has a shot to become the runner to win back-to-back titles over two laps since Canyon's Johnson won four from 2002-04.
No one's future career shines brighter than Bianca Tinoco's, as she'll join Saugus graduate Samantha Ortega and former teammate Chelsey Totten at Arizona State University in the fall, but first, she has two more laps to run before her Foothill League running career comes to and end.
All-Time Foothill League 3,200m Varsity Girls List
Top 3 All-Time SCV HS Girls 800M Performers
Varsity Boys 1,600M Final: Bay looks to join Frick and Pearson as only repeat champions in last decade
Golden Valley's Johnathan Bay, a senior at Golden Valley and the defending 1,600-meter champion, is better than both for a variety of reasons. Bay - who will also run against Saugus' Ryan Tate in the 3,200-meter final tomorrow night - will toe the line with a personal best of 4:13.25, the seventh fastest mark by a high school runner in SCV history. Only Hart's Ron Bahara, Brett Strahan and Austin O'Neil, and Saugus' Joe Devine, Kirk Stonerock and Brian Zabilski, have run faster.
What makes Bay better than Frick, Pearson and most other milers in Foothill League history is the way he's dominated the Foothill League history. He's lost just one race to another Foothill League runner this year (against Saugus' Tate over 3,200 meters), and only has one loss to Foothill League runner over 1,600 meters in the last two years (barely lost to Saugus' Brian Zabilski at the 2015 GV vs. Saugus Dual).
Top 12 Foothill League Varsity Boys 1,600m Entries
All-Time Top 10 SCV HS Boys 1,600m List
Bay should breeze through this championship after running a solo 4:29 to win his heat easily at the prelims on Tuesday afternoon. His biggest competition comes in the form of West Ranch sophomores Timothy Sterkel (4:20.23) and Preston Pope (4:22.69). He'll battle Saugus' Ryan Tate, the top 3,200-meter runner and defending Foothill League cross country champion, two hours later in the eight lap event.
All-Time Foothill League Varsity Boys 1600 List