Rio Mesa boys track down section crown

Rio Mesa Spartans team.
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© Acorn Newspapers
Members of the Rio Mesa High boys’ track and field CIF-Southern Section Division 3 championship team, from left, Geno Arthur, Blake Selig, Cameron Roach, Anthony Teart, Roderick White, Darion Zimmerman and Christian McNair bask in the glow of last weekend’s record-setting accomplishments at Mount San Antonio College. © Acorn Newspapers
The goal in track and field is to continue accelerating.

In the robotic voices of Daft Punk, it’s time go harder, better, faster, stronger.

Area student-athletes starred at the CIF-Southern Section Divisional Finals last weekend at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut.

Rio Mesa High’s boys won the Division 3 championship, the program’s first section crown in school history.

The Simi Valley girls secured the Division 2 title with a strong comeback.

Oaks Christian’s boys nabbed second in Division 4 while the Lion girls sealed third place.

Many local competitors advanced to Friday’s CIF-SS Masters meet at Cerritos College.

The top five finishers in each event at Masters—not including individuals with qualifying marks—will advance to the June 1 and 2 State Track Meet at Buchanan High in Clovis.

The Spartan boys, who were divisional final runners-up twice, relished their victory.

“They’re on cloud nine,” Rio Mesa head coach Brian FitzGerald said. “Winning a CIF championship isn’t even something I think we thought about at the beginning of the year.”

FitzGerald credited balance and sprinting depth with edging runner-up Notre Dame of Sherman Oak, 63 points to 59.

“The kids really wanted it,” FitzGerald said. “It came down to the last event (4×400-meter relay). Every kid played a crucial role and every kid scored.”

Geno Arthur, Christian Mc- Nair, Anthony Teart and Roderick White are the unsung Spartan heroes of this title.

Arthur was fourth in the 3,200 (9:19.74).

McNair sealed fifth in the discus (151-4).

Teart filled in for an injured Drew Weisenberger in the 4×400 relay. Teart, Darion Zimmerman, Blake Selig and Cameron Roach won the 4×400 in 3:16.02.

White, an alternate, led off the victorious 4×100 relay (41.05) that also featured Zimmerman, Selig and Roach.

“Without having those kids score,” FitzGerald said, “we don’t win.”

The Spartan boys own the fastest times in the 4×100, 4×400 and 4×200 relays in California this season, FitzGerald said.

Selig won the long jump (22-3.75) and was second in the 100 dash (10.5).

Roach placed third in the 200 (21.59) and sixth in the 100 (10.79).

Zimmerman snagged third in the 400 (48.18).

Spartan junior Raegan Nizdil advanced to Masters after securing third in the girls’ high jump (5-5).

Camarillo’s Dynn Leaupepe captured the girls’ Division 2 discuss crown with a toss of 129 feet, 10 inches. She was eighth in the shot put (37-3.25).

Lynn Leaupepe of Camarillo was fourth in the shot put (39-0).

Scorpion standout sprinter Ahmed Obed took second in the Division 2 boys’ 200-meter dash, finishing the race in 21.88 seconds.

Camarillo’s Joel Gonzalez was fifth in the boys’1,600 (4:18.85).

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