April 26, 2022
(Nikki Merritt '18 sets the meet record in the girls 100H of 14.05)
SANTA ANA, CA. - This will be my first time not coaching at a Trinity League Finals since 2007. I was the sprint coach for Santa Margarita under my dad, Dave, who served as the head coach from 1989-2011 before I took over from 2012-2021. 2007 also marks the first year of the Trinity League after it was formally known as the Serra League from 1999/00-2005/06. Since then, the Trinity League has produced a remarkable Top 10 league meet performance list over those years and is one that would rival almost any league in the country. California breaks the postseason down by: League finals, section prelims, sections finals, all sections combined, and then a single division state championship meet with more than 1,500 schools vying for 9-12 spots, earned over a Friday qualifier and Saturday final. This Friday marks the first test of the postseason for the Trinity league before a long and grueling four-week post-season dubbed, the "Road to State." It's advance and move on week-to-week.
While I am in Idaho now, my heart will always be with the Trinity league, and I would be remiss not to take a look at the Top 10 Performance List for the Trinity League and see how many names will be added to the list and how many will fall as a result. With the talent on hand for the 2022 edition, you won't want to miss it, and I look forward to seeing it in person.
Boys 4x100m Relay
You can kiss the meet record of 41.67 (Bosco, 2018) goodbye as long as the baton gets around the track, but the record will remain in Bellflower. The Braves have a season best of 40.80 (#1 CA., #10 U.S.) and are the clear favorite in a talented field. The battle for second and third will be tightly contested with Servite (42.02), Mater Dei (42.07), Santa Margarita (42.54) and Orange Lutheran (42.58) waiting in the lurches. Anything can happen in the short relays.
With the league's top seed Ashlee Gallegos (4:55.41) not entered, her teammate Anastasia Snodgrass becomes the favorite with her 4:57.78. She leads a pride of Lions who also look to etch their names on the Top Performance list and move on to CIF prelims. 5:15.57 is the D3 At-Large, 5:12.30 for D2.
While Andrew Burkhardt's meet record of 4:10.80 should be in jeopardy, the question will remain, just how hard will Jared Stein of Servite want to work. With the Friars counting on his 800-1600-3200 triple the next couple of weeks, we will wait and see if it is simply "survive and move on" or if he wants to go for the meet record. Stein comes in with a best of 4:11.41 for the full mile and leads Chris Chavez (St. John Bosco) and Zach Gibson (Santa Margarita), who have the next two fastest 1600m times of 4:18.97 and 4:22.40.
Logan Lyght (Mater Dei) has had a breakthrough season, running a wind-legal 14.18 to go along with a flat 100m time of 10.81 (+2.5). He will have company to his outside in Roman Mendoza (SM), who has a 15.16 in a dual against Servite. The meet record of 14.38 by Sam Barkley (Mater Dei, Prelims '11) is ripe for the picking. Menodza and Isley Gutierrez (Mater Dei, 15.23) will make a run at the top 10, with the final two performances belonging to #9 Sean Zeitler (Santa Margarita, 15.00, Fin. '01) and #10 Austin Tinsley (Santa Margarita, 15.02, Pre. '14).
This will be an incredible race, with the top three athletes under 49-seconds and separated by just .22. The Bosco duo of Jaden Smith (48.65) and Camryn O'Bannon (48.87) sandwich OLu's Jaylen Lynch (48.84). The reality is this is anyone's race. Smith and O'Bannon are currently #8 and #9 and look to improve on that Friday. At-Large Standard for D3 is 50.87, D2 is 50.21.
You won't want to take your eyes off the track here. With a meet record that nobody thought would go, 2014 California State Champion Curtis Godin's 10.49 should be taken down by more than one person. Rayshon Luke comes in with a wind-legal 10.32 (#1 CA., #21 U.S.) and will do battle with Servite's Max Thomas, who has a wind-aided 10.37, but also has a wind-legal 10.40. While the excitement will be up front, there is going to be a heck of race in their wake, with Jabari Bates (SJB, 10.69), Jaxon Harley (SJB, 10.70), and Nate Frazier (10.76) all looking for the third and automatic qualifying spot. Don't count out Santa Margarita's Jalen Jones (10.87) who has gone up in training this year for the 400m. The At-Large for D3 is 11.02, D2 is 10.96. Out of the top 14 athletes competing, eight have broken 11-seconds and all 14 are 11.17 or faster. Needless to say, there could be a big shakeup in the Top 10.
A fresh Ashlee Gallegos means the Ashlyn Rambo's (Mater Dei) meet record of 2:10.51 (Fin. '14) could very well be on its last leg. Gallegos has a personal best of 2:10.18 at the Stanford Invitational. Her teammates, Georgia Jeanneret, Sydney Paulson, and Snodgrass are all entered as well and have all gone under 2:17 this season. The #10 league performance currently belongs to Gwyn George (SM, 2:16.10, Fin. '18). The Lions look to rewrite this performance list.