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Track & Field

Isaiah Veal Makes Statement in Winning County Titles in 100, 200

Allie Jones of San Marcos is a triple champion; Righetti girls 4x100 relay breaks 1983 county mark

Isaiah Veal wins 100 Click to view larger
Isaiah Veal of Bishop Diego won the 100 meters county championship in 10.92. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

Isaiah Veal has emerged as a serious CIF contender in the sprints.

Veal ran 10.92 in the 100 meters and 22.14 in the 200 to capture titles in both events at Saturday’s Santa Barbara County Track & Field Championships at Carpinteria Valley Memorial Stadium.

A wide receiver and defensive back on Bishop Diego’s section and state championship football team and starter on the basketball team, Veal looked strong in winning both sprints rather handily on a near-perfect day for a track meet.

“At the beginning of the season, I was not in shape at all, so I put a lot of work in and I’m feeling good,” he said after winning the 200.

Veal’s times are faster than Bishop’s 2015 county sprint champion AV Bennett, who ran 10.94 and 22.55 that year. He went on to win CIF-SS Division 4 titles in both events.

“I’m going to try to win it all,” said Veal of CIF. “That’s the goal, man.”

Beau Allen clears 6-8 Click to view larger
Beau Allen of San Marcos clears 6-8 to win the high jump title (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

He was excited to go under 11 seconds in the 100. A week earlier in ran 11.02 and finished second at the Russell Cup.

“I was happy because in practice I kept getting under 11,” he said. “In a meet, I couldn’t do it. I said, ‘Oh, man this has got to change.’ I was relaxed in the 100 today and I did it.”

Jenny Nnoli of San Marcos was another happy sprinter. She tied Righetti freshman Rayann Booker for first in the 100 and beat Rayann and her twin sister Reann Booker in the 200 in an impressive performance.

Nnoli ran the 200 with purpose, winning in 25.36. Rayann Booker was second in 25.68 and Reann Booker took third in 26.22.

“I was really trying to come (hard) off the curve because the girls on either side of me were really fast,” said the UCLA signee. “I feel like when I’m running with no one pushing me I don’t really push. In the 100, I was chasing that girl the whole time, so it pushed me to run a faster time.”

Jenny Nnoli wins a close 100 race against Booker Twins of Righetti Click to view larger
Jenny Nnoli of San Marcos leans at the finish line to tie Righetti’s Rayann Booker for first place in the 100 meters. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

Nnoli’s height advantage helped her pull even with Rayann Booker at the finish. They were clocked at 12.429, with Reann Booker taking third in 12.53.

Nnoli was familiar with one of the Booker twins. 

“I ran against (Rayann) at the Easter Relays,” she said. “I was just coming off my injury and she beat me by five meters (in the 100). Now I’m back and I’ve recovered. I’m trying to get my speed back.”

The Booker sisters made their mark in the meet by running on a Righetti 4x100 relay team that set a county record of 49.18. The time beat the oldest meet record of 49.34 (converted from a hand-timed mile relay), run by Dos Pueblos in 1983.

Allie Jones of San Marcos fell short of the county record in the girls long jump, winning with a leap of 18-2.50. The record is 18-4.50, set last year by Haleigh Batty of Cabrillo.

“I wanted the county record, but that’s OK. It was close,” said an upbeat Jones, who is headed to Stanford.

The Royals multi-event star had a good day competing in the nice weather. In addition to the long jump, she won the high jump at 5-2, the 100 hurdles in 14.16 and ran on the winning 4x400 relay team (4:06.62).

She was having a fun time running back and forth to compete in the long jump and high jump at the same time.

Allie Jones runs away to first place in 100 hurdles Click to view larger
Allie Jones of San Marcos blows away the field in the 100 hurdles at the County Championships (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

“I’d run (from one event) and put different shoes on, jump and run back and put different shoes on and jump. It all worked out,” she said with a big smile.

A state finalist last year in the 100 hurdles, Jones is looking forward to the bigger meets ahead.

“I’m excited to run against girls that are a lot faster than me and chase them down.”

Competing against Jones in the jumps was Bishop Diego senior Laura Henderson. She finished second in the high jump at 5 feet and came in fourth in the long jump at 16-2 while dealing with an injured ankle.

“I hurt it on the triple jump and opted out on my last two jumps to save it for these events,” said Henderson, who’s gone 16-6 in the long jump and 5-3 in the high jump this season.

With a gimpy ankle, she was okay with her marks.

“I’m pretty satisfied with today,” she said.

Beau Allen of San Marcos showed how happy he was competing in good conditions by clearing 6-8 to win the county title in the boys high jump.

“It was a good jumping day for me. Everything was right: no wind, it was nice and warm,” said Allen.

Allen was pushed by teammate Jaydn Mata, who finished second at 6-6.

“Jaydn helps a lot just jumping with me at high heights and motivating me to go further. It’s great,” he said.

Allen has committed himself fully to the high jump this spring and it’s made a difference. He cleared 6-10 earlier in the season.

I’ve done it in the past but I’ve also been playing volleyball in the season, so I didn’t have time to fully commit myself. This is my first time fully committed to high jump and it’s taken off,” he said.

The results have surprised him a little bit.

“I didn’t think I’d be doing this well but I’m glad I am. I’m trying to get 7 foot at the end of the year. I feel good where I am right now.  There’s a few things to work out in form and approach. We get that worked out it will be great.”

Mata was a double winner in the long and triple jumps with leaps of 21-01.50 and 45-02.75, respectively.

Santa Barbara High’s Devon Cetti is still working things out in competition to reach the 60-foot mark in the shot put. He won the county title at 55-11 and also took the discus at 146-0.

“It’s not what I wanted but I’m happy,” the Cal Poly signee said of the shot put mark, which he threw on his second attempt.

“After that I’m chasing to get that 60, but I couldn’t get it past 60 without falling out (of the ring),” he said.

“I feel I’m progressing well, I just need to get it done in a meet. I’m hitting it in practice and in warmups,” he continued. “Today, in the warmups I hit the 60 line. I just can’t get it in competition. I get all hyped up and psyched out. It’s such a mental game. You have to wait 5-8 minutes until you can throw again. You think about what you did wrong and what you have to do.”

Kaela Cleary of San Marcos was a runaway double winner in the 1600 (5:10.50) and 800 (2:19.07).

“I felt pretty good. It’s really good conditions out here to do well, so I felt pretty solid,” said the BYU-bound Cleary. “It’s nice to have a nice day with no wind.”

Cleary said she’s leaning toward running the 1600 in the postseason. “It’s the perfect distance. My time wasn’t my best, there wasn’t a lot of competition out there for me. I’m looking forward to the meets later in the season.”

Jason Peterson is gearing up for another run at the CIF State Meet in the 800. He won a tight county race against Santa Barbara’s Thomas Everest, holding off Everest with a strong kick.

“I’m just trying to get in some decent races and strategy under my belt,” said the Westmont-bound Peterson. “(Everest) pushed me in the last 300, and it showed me what we can both do in the end. That was good.”

Peterson won in 2:01.06 and Everest came in at 2:01.62. David Dinklage of San Marcos was third in 2:02.15.

“I haven’t had a lot of finishes like that. It was more abrupt and I think that’s how most races are,” Peterson said. “He kept right up on me and I didn’t have enough time to match his speed. I was barely holding on to that. He was pushing me there, but it was good in the end.”

Peterson finished second to Joseph Dominguez of St. Joseph in the 1600. Dominguez ran 4:20.90 and Peterson 4:28.40. Joseph Pearlman of Dos Pueblos was third (4:29.990.

Dominguez also won the 3200 in 9:49.44 and Pearlman got second ion 9:56.45.

Ty Hernandez of Cabrillo won both hurdles races, taking the 110s in 16.03 and the 300 in 42.88.

Sarah Perkins of Santa Ynez was a double county champion on the girls side, winning the shot put with a throw of 42-04.50 and the discus at 124-08.

Other girls county champions include Kimberly Deming of Cabrillo ion the pole vault (11-00), Casidy Cunningham of Lompoc in the triple jump (35-11.75), Yvette Zamora of Carpinteria in the 300 hurdles (50.38), Breanna Arias of Pioneer Valley in the 400 (1:01.70) and Emily Donahue of Santa Ynez in the 3200 (11.00.70).

The other boys to win county titles were Jay Hannah of San Marcos in the 400 (51.65) and Giulio Giordani of Santa Ynez in the pole vault (13-06).

San Marcos won the boys and girls varsity titles, the frosh/soph girls title and the grand sweepstakes.

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