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Channel League Track and Field Finals Raises The Bar

Jake Knecht, Josephine Morales and Beau Allen Shine at Channel League Finals

Photo: Paul Wellman Men's 100 meter San Marcos High School track meet (April 24, 2019)

Warkentin Stadium was buzzing with the top Track & Field athletes in the Channel League vying for individual and team championships on Wednesday.

Among the elite competitors was Santa Barbara sophomore sprinter Jake Knecht, who claimed the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.44, just ahead of Santa Ynez’s Jasper Kadlec, despite a stiff head wind and followed that up with a first-place finish in the 200-meters at 22.76 (PR).

Knecht’s performance left no doubt that he was the fastest man in the Channel League.

“It means a lot. I came back from last year getting second to last almost all the time,” Knecht said. “It feels to good to finally be the top dog of the entire Channel League.”

Dos Pueblos’ Josephine Morales backed up her trifecta of victories at the County Championships with first-place finishes in the 1600 meters with a time of 5:30.00 and the high jump with a leap of 5-4.

The Chargers also received an outstanding performance from Molly Gans, who won the 3200 meters in 12:18.49

As for San Marcos, Duke-bound Beau Allen added to his historic high jumping career with a first place jump of 6-10. Allen’s teammate Jaydn Mata took second-place with a jump of 6-8. Both have an opportunity to be among the best in the state when it’s all said and done.

“Jaydn pushing me is amazing. He was s o close to getting 6’10” today and just seeing that motivates me and I try my best to motivate him. It’s just a great chemistry going.”

In the 400 meters, San Marcos’ Connor Hess took first-place by a razor thin margin with a time of 51.28. Second-place finisher Miles Snow of Dos Pueblos was edged at the finish line and finished with a time of 51.79. Hess’ teammate Jay Hannah finished third with a time of 52.00.

Photo: Paul WellmanConnor Hess wins the Men’s 400 meter San Marcos High School track meet (April 24, 2019)

Hess later anchored San Marcos’ 4×400 team that edged out Santa Barbara with a time of 3:28.66

On the girl’s side, Neta Ofiaeli of Santa Ynez won the 100 meters and 200 meters with times of 12.80 and 27.08 respectively. Ofiaeli also won the triple jump (36-01.50).

Lompoc’s Cailin Daniels took home the boy’s varsity long jump and triple jump with leaps of 20-11.5 and 41-03.25

For the Santa Barbara girls, Katherine Hedrick won 300-meter hurdles in 46.44 followed closely by Anabelle Tiller who ran a personal best of 47.17 for San Marcos.

As for Dos Pueblos boys, Nathaniel Getachew showed tremendous endurance in winning the 800 meters and 1600 meters with times of 1:58.36 and 4:30.81 respectively.

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