By Joe Naiman
During the 2011 track and field season, the only dual meet loss for Fallbrook High School’s boys was a 69-67 Ramona High School victory. Last Wednesday, Fallbrook took an 87-49 victory over the Bulldogs in a dual meet at Fallbrook High School.
“We had a pretty good day,” said Fallbrook Coach Troy Hamlin. “It was nice to get the victory over them this year.”
Last year the meet was decided on the triple jump in which 2011 Ramona graduate Trevor Dotson set a school record. Ramona’s 2011 seniors also included Zach Kovach, who won two individual races, and Chance Varnado-Richardson, who won the 3,200-meter event.
The Bulldogs won both relay races last year, but none of those participants were on the 2012 team. Dylan Blankenbaker, who qualified for the state meet’s 1,600-meter race last year, underwent arthroscopic knee surgery March 9.
Preston Johnson won two field events against the Warriors in 2011 but injured his knee during the 2011 football season and did not receive medical clearance to participate in track and field prior to the week of the Ramona-Fallbrook meet. Johnson’s two wins in 2011 accounted for 10 of the 19 points earned by Ramona athletes who participated in the 2012 meet.
“This may be a building year for us,” said Ramona Coach Sherri Edwards. “I’m just going with what I have. I was hoping that we’d make a better showing against them, but they’re a strong team.”
The Bulldogs had opened their season with a 65-62 home loss against Escondido.
“I was pleased with how close we were with Escondido,” Edwards said.
Fallbrook took first-place points in all six field events, including a sweep of the pole vault scoring positions. Fallbrook’s Chris Bernal won all three jumping events. Ramona’s Connor Guasti was second in all three events at 19’4” in the long jump, 5’6” in the high jump, and 40’1” in the triple jump.
Colton Jansen earned Ramona third place with a high jump of 5’4” and a triple jump of 30’10”. Guasti won the long jump and triple jump against Escondido.
In the shot put event, Johnson placed second at 46’8” with Paul Mehaffie’s throw of 40’8” taking third. Johnson threw the shot put 49’2” in the 2011 meet against Fallbrook.
“He’s well off his best throw, but hopefully he’ll come back to that,” Edwards said.
Mehaffie gave Ramona second-place points in the discus with a distance of 114’6”.
Ramona junior Forrest Riley won the 1,600-meter race with a time of 4:36.0 with Fallbrook senior Enrique Rivera finishing second at 4:36.4.
“It was a great race,” Hamlin said. “It went back and forth the whole last lap.”
Fallbrook junior Connor Froboese spent 4:45.0 racing to beat out Ramona’s Tristan Stidham for third place.
Riley, Rivera, and Froboese had identical finishes in the 3,200-meter race which took Riley 10:02.5, Rivera 10:03.3, and Froboese 10:07.7.
“Enrique hung on as long as he could,” Hamlin said.
Riley didn’t run the 3,200-meter race against Escondido but took first place in the 1,600-meter event that day.
“He’s looking real strong this year,” Edwards said.
Fallbrook posted the two fastest 800-meter run times with Rivera’s 2:06.8 and Froboese’s 2:08.2. Ramona’s Jose Pilar was third at 2:09.8.
“We did better than I thought we would do against their distance team,” Hamlin said.
Ramona’s Dustin Hager won the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 46.1 seconds and was second in the 110-meter hurdles at 18.4 seconds. Ramona’s Ben Barnat had a time of 48.2 seconds to place third in the 300-meter hurdles. Hagar won the 300-meter hurdles in the 2011 competition against Fallbrook.
Fallbrook’s James Pease completed the 400-meter race in 53.7 seconds to edge the 53.8-second lap posted by Ramona’s Francisco Corona. Javier Dominguez ran the 200-meter dash in 23.0 seconds to place second. Colton Wood took third in the 100-meter dash with an 11.8-second performance.
Ramona won both relay events against Escondido but only the 4x400 against Fallbrook when Dominguez, Jose Pilar, Guasti, and Corona covered the four laps in 3:41.9.