By Joe Naiman
The fastest time of any Division II boy in the 200-meter dash during the CIF San Diego Section track and field preliminaries May 21 at Mount Carmel High School was posted by Ramona High School senior Zach Kovach.
Kovach’s time of 22.08 seconds placed him first among the 24 Division II runners who competed in the preliminaries. The top nine runners from Division I and Division II will compete in the “A” race during the CIF section finals May 28 at Mount Carmel, and Kovach earned a lane in that “A” race. If he finishes among the top three runners in Division I and Division II combined, he will advance to the state meet June 3-4 in Fresno.
“Zach ran well,” said Coach Allison Stang.
Kovach will also be in the “A” race for the 400-meter event during the finals, as his time of 49.55 seconds in the preliminaries placed sixth among the 25 Division II runners.
Two Ramona distance runners earned “A” race lanes in the finals while finishing second among Division II runners in their preliminary events.
In the 3,200-meter race, sophomore Forrest Riley’s time of 9:27.19 was a personal record by nearly seven seconds, and junior Dylan Blankenbaker had a time of 4:18.69 in the 1,600-meter event.
The “A” events will also see Ramona senior Trevor Dotson, who extended his own school record in the triple jump to 46’2”. During the league finals May 13, Dotson totaled 45’4” to replace the previous school record he set earlier in the year.
Dotson and Blankenbaker will also be in the “B” competition in the finals if neither scratches out to focus on his “A” event. Dotson had a long jump of 20’6” and Blankenbaker completed the 3,200-meter race in 9:58.68.
The 3,200-meter “B” race will also include Ramona runners Chance Varnado-Richardson and Alex Richardson. Varnado-Richardson ran the preliminaries in 9:38.08 to place fifth among Division II runners while Richardson’s time of 9:46.41 was seventh for Division II competitors. He also qualified for the “B” 1,600-meter race with a preliminaries time of 4:24.80.
The “B” shot put will include Preston Johnson, whose throw of 46’7” placed seventh among Division II hurlers. Both of Ramona’s boys relay teams will compete in the “B” races at the finals; during the preliminaries the 4x100 time of 43.50 seconds by Nathan Cherek, Kovach, Dotson and Bryan Kelly was fifth among Division II schools while the 4x400 team of Kelly, Kovach, William Wenberg and Matt Maple placed seventh in Division II with a time of 3:29.69.
Times and distances from the “B” events will be combined with their corresponding “A” marks to determine points for the team division championships.
Ramona was the Division II champion in 2010.
“We were aiming for our boys defending CIF,” Stang said. “Everybody was ready to go.”