Brian Cassriel had to show some moxie before getting to the MOXY Museum on Saturday for the San Marcos High prom.
He cleared 12 feet for the first time in his career to win the pole vault at the Santa Barbara County Track and Field Championships at Santa Ynez High and then had to hurry over the San Marcos Pass to make the dance on time.
“It was a little stressful for our seniors because they’re up there, and it was taking forever,” San Marcos coach Marilyn Hantgin said during Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table at Harry’s Plaza Café. “They had to get down for pictures … Girls are mad that they’re not there.
“Coming in, Brian wasn’t ranked first, but he got a huge PR and won the County Championships … It was just an impressive day. I think it was the mojo from the stress of the day that got him over.”
His victory, edging out Dos Pueblos High’s Colby Todd, helped the Royals win the varsity boys championship as well as the Grand Sweepstakes, which combines the point totals of both the boys and girls varsity and frosh-soph divisions.
San Marcos’ Justin Hess and Makenzie Fauver were named Round Table Male and Female Athletes of the Week for their performances at the County Championships.
Hess won both the boys 200 and 400 meters and anchored the winning 4×400 relay team. Fauver captured the girls 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles and took second to Carpinteria High star Ainslee Alexander in the triple jump.
“They both carry a lot of weight for us,” Hantgin said. “They’re really fast, but they also deal with pressure really well, and I think that’s the difference.
“When you win a lot at the beginning … you’re expected to win, and you can’t falter because people are looking at you to always win. And I think they’ve handled that really well. Knowing that we can rely on them to always be there, and be an example, is a great thing.”
They will return to Santa Ynez High on Wednesday for the Channel League Championships. Hantgin is counting on No. 2 sprinter Dylan Briner after he placed fourth in the 200 at the County Championships while joining Hess, Jonas Strand and Oscar Ramirez Flores on the winning 4×400 relay team.
“It’s hard to be second all the time, but when you’re second and pick up points, it makes a big difference,” Hantgin said. “We can put him in a lot of different races, and he’s consistent. He works really hard and he has great other people to run with, which is Justin over there.
“I don’t think he realizes how important he is to our program and how impressive he’s been.”
QUOTES OF THE DAY
Bishop Diego High girls softball coach MeLinda Matsumoto on the late arrivals of junior Mikayla Desjardins and freshman Madeline Ferries from the Cardinals’ CIF championship soccer team:
“They both made an impact when they got to softball …. I only had eight players before the soccer players came back, and they brought that championship mentality with them.”
San Marcos High boys volleyball coach Roger Kuntz on junior middle attacker Kyle Foley:
“He’s 6-3, but the curly hair probably gets him up another inch or so.”
Dos Pueblos High volleyball coach Mike Fitzgerald, noting that boys indoor star Finn Hastings and beach volleyball standout Portia Sherman are both headed to Cal next fall:
“Maybe (they can combine as) a coed team, if they have that down the road.”
Mickey Caughey, on having guided Carpinteria High to a No. 1 seeding in the CIF-Southern Section’s Division 5 boys volleyball playoffs in just his first season as coach:
“I got really lucky — I got a team that’s played together for four years, a team of just about all seniors, and that just doesn’t happen.”
San Marcos girls softball coach Jeff Swann on how junior Gracie Verdugo stirred “an eerie quiet” with the tape-measure home run she hit against Bakersfield’s Stockdale High at Saturday’s Best of the West Tournament:
“Everybody’s cheering, you hear lots of noise … but as the ball gets hit, a complete silence comes over the crowd. I’m hearing nothing as the ball is traveling and traveling, with everybody waiting to see it land … and then it lands 50 feet beyond the fence.”
San Marcos baseball coach Wes Ghan-Gibson on senior Lance Bermudes, a football star who plans to take the gridiron for SBCC next fall:
“As leadership goes, there are guys that you follow and then there are guys you’re kind of scared of — when he tells you to do something, we’re going to do it … He’s a great kid, and we all need that kind of leader on the team.”
Santa Barbara tennis coach Justin Howe on comeback kid Max King, a sophomore who went 3-0 at Santa Ynez last week after having missed much of the season with a hand injury:
“Their lineup is really good, top to bottom, 1-2-3 … And he was down 3-5 in two of the sets and won both — in the wind.”
All of the coaches’ presentations and student athlete introductions can be seen on video.
Here is a list of the coaches and the student athletes who attended and were mentioned at the presentations:
San Marcos: Coach Wes Ghan-Gibson, Lance Bermudes, Aidan Mandel.
GIRLS BEACH VOLLEYBALL
Dos Pueblos: Coach Mike Fitzgerald, Malia Brofferio, Chloe Hoffman, Portia Sherman.
Bishop Diego: Coach MeLinda Matsumoto, Mikayla Desjardins, Madeline Ferries.
San Marcos: Coach Jeff Swann, Caitlyn Early, Mackenzie Mendoza, Gracie Verdugo.
Santa Barbara: Coach Justin Howe, Max King.
BOYS TRACK AND FIELD
San Marcos: Coach Marilyn Hantgin, Dylan Briner, Brian Cassriel, Justin Hess.
GIRLS TRACK AND FIELD
San Marcos: Coach Hantgin, Makenzie Fauver.
Carpinteria: Coach Mickey Caughey, Sebastian McCurry, Diesel Slade, Zach Isaac.
Dos Pueblos: Coach Fitzgerald, Micah Goss, Finn Hastings.
San Marcos: Coach Roger Kuntz, Kyle Foley, Hansen Streeter, Luke Walker.