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July 24, 2021

Aptos’ Elizabeth Churchill readies for three events | CCS Track and field

Watsonville’s Layla Ruiz looks for gold in 3,200

Aptos High junior Elizabeth Churchill will compete in three events—100-meter hurdles, high jump and long jump—at Saturday’s Central Coast Section finals at Soquel High School.  

Churchill qualified for the 100 hurdles with the seventh-fastest time of 16.62 seconds at the CCS semifinals last week. She jumped 16-feet, 1.5-inches in the long jump and 5-2 in the high jump event to advance. 

CCS finals are slated for Saturday at 10am at the same location.

Aptos coach Zach Hewett called Churchill a special athlete.

“Elizabeth is fabulously talented as evidenced by her moving on in three different events,” he said.

Hewett said the coaching staff is proud of her accomplishments and impressed with her dedication and work ethic. She has not missed a practice in seven weeks, Hewett said.

“She’s been very consistent all year,” Hewett said. “She never had a bad day, really.”

Churchill will have one last chance to battle against Monte Vista Christian senior Shayna Lebovitz, who also qualified for the high jump with a mark of 5 feet.

Hewett recalls some epic battles between both athletes earlier this season and he has no doubts that another one is set for this Saturday.

Lebovitz was named a second alternate for the 300 hurdles.

Aptos senior Susana Estrada qualified for the 1,600 as she finished 10th in 5:15.11. She will be racing alongside Scotts Valley High’s Boothby sisters, sophomore Amber and freshman Ashlyn.

Amber finished with the third-fastest time in 5:07.41 and Ashlyn nabbed the fourth-fastest mark in 5:10.09.

Watsonville High senior Layla Ruiz qualified for the 3,200, as she finished in 11:33.27.

Wildcatz coach Rob Cornett said he believes her game plan is not so much to please the coaches, parents or her fans. Saturday will be Ruiz’s final race in a Wildcatz uniform.

“I think she’s got something to prove to herself,” he said. “In my mind, I’d like to see her drop below 11 [minutes] but that’s my goal, not hers.”

Cornett couldn’t share what her goals are for this weekend’s finals because she’s not sharing that with anyone. It’s probably nothing personal but he believes that Ruiz just wants to run a good race.

“I think what’ll make her happy is just leaving it all out on that course,” Cornett said. “Leaving it out on that run and seeing how well she does.” 

North Monterey County High senior Lorraine Mankins qualified for the pole vault final with a jump of 9 feet. She’ll be competing against Soquel High senior Jade Waddell and junior Mikah Dexel, who also had a mark of 9 feet. 

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