Rio Mesa relay betters meet record

Boys are racing.
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© Chuck Kirman/The Star
Cameron Roach runs the final leg of the 4x100 relay for Rio Mesa to win the event at Camarillo High School in the Pacific View League Track & Field Finals. © Chuck Kirman/The Star

The way high school track athletes look at things is not necessarily the way their coaches look at them. But for the Rio Mesa High boys 4×100-meter relay team, it’s still all good.

Rio Mesa’s 4×100 relay team of Marcus Alford, LaDarrin Roach, Blake Selig and Cameron Roach set a Pacific View League Championships meet record with a victory of 42.44 seconds Friday night at Camarillo High. However, it was well off the team’s best of 41.13 recorded at the Mount SAC Relays or last week’s winning time of 41.18 at the Ventura County Championships.

“We had a few problems today,” said Rio Mesa coach Brian FitzGerald. “Looks like we left early on one pass and left late on another. You know, it’s funny with them. Like today they’ll run 42.44, but they rise to the occasion. That’s why I think we’ll run a second slower sometimes than we (can) run. I’d like them to run fast all the time, but they don’t, so maybe they save it for big races. Anyway, it was good enough for the record and we’re happy with that.”

Selig, who also won the 100 (10.73), 200 (21.93) and long jump (22 feet, 2 inches), didn’t feel nearly as critical about the team’s performance.

“I’m feeling great,” Selig said after winning the 200. “We’re just trying to qualify and everyone’s doing well so far.”

Selig said the relay squad consistently does what it needs to do in order to win.

“We don’t think about it too much,” he said. “We’re just trying to make sure everyone got the handoffs, but when there is competition, we step up to it.”

Elsewhere in the boys competition, Camarillo’s Erik Pinuelas set a meet record in the 800 (1:57.06) and also won the 1,600 (4:29.65). Heyden Wooff of Camarillo won his fourth straight league championship in the 3,200 (9:26.03).

Senior Raquel Lambdin of Camarillo, who won the girls 1,600 at last week’s Ventura County Championships, was a double winner Friday night, taking the 1,600 in a meet record 5:14.44 and the 800 in 2:26.66.

“I’m really happy with the mile,” said Lambdin, who is headed to UC Davis. “That’s been a goal of mine my entire high school career since I’ve been running track. Our team has improved so much since we first started with them, especially with this competition. It just feels like our league has improved so much.”

Lambdin said everything came together at the league meet, which gave her confidence for the CIF competition that lies ahead starting with the prelims next week.

“Going into it, I had just completely visualized what I wanted,” she said. “I needed to come in at 3:45. That day it just felt like it was so within my possibilities and so I just went all out.”

Other individual double winners were Jazzelena Black of Pacifica, winning the triple jump, beating her own meet record of 36-10, and the long jump in 17-0, and Tara Johnson of Oxnard in the 200 (26.08) and the 400 (1:00.12).

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