FELTON—The Aptos High boys’ track and field had a strong outing at the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League Championships on May 7.
But, there were some shocking upsets and surprises on the day that helped the Mariners cruise to a league title.
Aptos junior Trent Nosky had a dramatic photo finish, beating Scotts Valley senior Jeremy Kain in the 1,600-meters by one hundredth of a second.
Nosky won the race in 4 minutes, 20.45 seconds, edging Kain (4:20.46) who came in as the defending league champion.
“I’ve been thinking about beating [Kain] for a long time.” Nosky said, adding that he was excited for the result albeit slightly surprised. “I knew based on my speed, and if the race went just right, I could do it, and it just went exactly how I wanted it to go today.”
Nosky, whose qualifying time was about seven seconds slower than Kain’s, seized on the opportunity when Kain collided with another runner in the final lap.
Nosky made a final push in the last 100 meters to pull ahead of Kain, who is committed to compete next year at Duke University, in the last possible moment.
Nosky placed eighth in 4:36.93 in last year’s SCCAL finals. He said with the support of his coach Dan Gruber and confidence he’s gained since the start of the season helped make this result possible.
“If I had raced Jeremy at the beginning of the season I wouldn’t have been confident enough to go up with him,” Nosky said.
Nosky earned the Bob Enzweiler Outstanding Athlete Award as the highest scorer with 24 of the Mariners’ 177 championship-winning points.
Scotts Valley took second with a score of 117, followed by Santa Cruz (93), Soquel (42), San Lorenzo Valley (36), Mount Madonna (7) and Harbor (6).
Athletes who earned a top-two finish qualified to compete in the Central Coast Section semifinals at Gilroy High on Saturday starting with the field events at 10am.
A crowd of exhausted yet lively Aptos athletes crowded around the result tent as the SCCAL championships came to a close on a blustery Saturday afternoon at SLV High School.
As a flood of first place scores came rolling in with cheers from the Aptos heavy crowd, it soon became clear that the Mariners had completely swept the Championship.
They earned all the highest team scores while also nabbing every individual high scorer award in each division.
With an SCCAL championship banner hoisted above their heads, the rowdy group, chanting their school name, set off for a victory lap.
For some, it would be a final lap wearing the blue and white of the Mariners.
Aptos Senior Wade Watson won the discus event, getting a 133 foot, 7 inch throw while wearing a hinged knee brace to protect his healing meniscus.
“I was really just trying to throw well, but stay safe at the same time,” he said.
Following a recent surgery, Watson said he hadn’t thrown in so long that he wasn’t sure how things would go. After watching his first throw clear the 130 mark he knew he would have a good chance of competing with the others.
“It’s a big mental battle, especially coming off last season where I scratched all my throws,” Watson said.
Aptos junior Rylan Sampson won the triple jump (41-00.50), qualifying him for a CCS berth in his first attempt at the event.
Failing to clear a bar in the pole vault, Sampson decided to try the triple jump. It was an event he avoided in the past for fear of injury.
“I’m just shocked because I went into [triple jump] just doing it for some extra points for my team. I didn’t expect to get first,” Sampson said. “I kept getting better and better [scores] each jump because I was kind of learning it while I was going.”
Sampson said while he feels an intense amount of pressure pole vaulting, the triple jump lacked any stress as he was only competing for fun.
“It’s the end of the season, I’ll just try some new things. I guess I’m going to CCS in something else,” he said.
Sampson placed third (5-10.00) in the high jump behind Soquel sophomore Braylon Noble and Aptos senior Ronin Tidd, who won the pole vault (10-06.00).
“My big thing is to remember to have fun, cause if I take it too seriously and think about one thing too much, then I mess everything else up,” Tidd said.
Aptos junior Aidan Buckler won the 110 hurdles in a personal-best 16.62. He said that after a few disappointing recent results, finishing the season off strong was important to him.
“I just wanted to beat my best, that was all I wanted to do,” he said. “As long as I keep doing better, I’ll be proud of myself.”
Buckler also placed third in the 300 hurdles (42.65).
Aptos’ (Wade Ellis, Aidan Aruiza, Aidan Buckler and Caden Prichard) 4×100 relay team won in 45.56.
Aptos junior Caden Prichard placed second in the 100 (11.42).Aptos senior Raymond Barrios won the long jump (20-03.00) and took second in the triple jump (40-05.75), recording personal bests in both events.
He also placed fifth in the 200 (23.81)
Barrios said it feels great to see improved results, attributing it to the competitive atmosphere of the championship and the training he’s put in.
“That’s all we can ask for as athletes, to try and bring the best out of each other the best we can.” Barrios said.
Aptos senior Sawyer Jordan won the shot put (39-08.00)
Jordan, who’s very competitive by nature, thanked teammate Wade Watson, who helped him achieve his goal of a first place finish.
“He’s really helped me, he’s a great motivational guy,”Jordan said.