Golden West hopes to have found a home in El Dorado Hills

Prestigious meet runs smoothly
By: Matt Long of the Telegraph
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Bob Wright is determined to bring the Golden West Invitational back to what it was in its heyday.

Year one as the meet director went well for Wright, as Saturday’s meet at Oak Ridge High School was deemed a success.

“It went very well, and I’m very happy with the turnout,” Wright said. “We had an increase from 50 to 75 kids from last year and we almost doubled the entries from 350 to 620.”

Athletes as far away as Idaho and Washington competed in the meet with a bulk of the athletes from California and Nevada. The weather couldn’t have been better, as Wright said it was a good day for track and field.

“It was better than one of those 105 degree days,” he said.

The attendance was estimated to be around 1,000, which is what was expected. Wright said he hopes to grow both the number of athletes and the attendance in the years to come.

As for the meet, the athletes turned in several good performances to go along with some competitive races.

Reonna Collier from Vacaville won the 100-meter hurdles by almost two full seconds, posting a winning time of 13.82. In the 800 meters, Carolyn Wilson of Thousand Oaks won with a time of 2:12.17, just in front of runner up Rylee Bowen of Santa Rosa, who finished in 2:12.80. Katherine Jackson of Fairfield won the long jump with an outstanding leap of 18 feet, 9 ¼ inches. Lauren Wong of Vista del Lago took first in the triple jump with a leap of 37 1 ½, more than three inches better than the second-place finisher.

Crystal Diei of El Dorado Hills placed second in the hammer throw (129-5). Emily Costello of Vista del Lago also placed second in the 200 meters with a time of 25.15, and also ran fourth in the 100 meters (12.37). Kathryn Bingham of Oak Ridge placed third in the 300 hurdles in 48.46, while Ceonna Pipion of Folsom ran fourth in the 400 meters in 1:01.03.

On the boys’ side, Jack Root represented Oak Ridge and El Dorado Hills quite well, as he won the hammer throw with a distance of 185-4. Root also took second in the shot put (53-7 ¾) and fifth in the discus (148-1). Ian Schulz won the shot put with a throw of 56-4 ¾.

Roseville’s Isaiah Holmes won the high jump at 6-4, while Britt Ipsen of Idaho placed second at the same height. Ipsen returned the favor in the long jump, placing first in 23-8 ¼ to Holmes’ leap of 23-3 ½. The two also battled in the triple jump, where Holmes took first at 45-4 and Ipsen was second at 44-10 ¼.

Aaron Travis of Oak Ridge placed fourth in the pole vault at 14-0, while Folsom’s Matt Strangio won the freshman boys’ mile run in 4:42.12.

Wright also commended the event sponsors: New Balance and Gold Country.

“New Balance was a great sponsor that had banners and decorated the stadium and along with Gold Country gave free shoes to the winners,” Wright said.

All-in-all, it was a positive experience.

“It was really successful and I received a lot of positive feedback,” Wright said.