By Amy Luna Capelle, Special to the Independent
Laguna Beach youth athletes grabbed gold and broke a city record this past Sunday at the Southern California Municipal Athletic Federation (SCMAF) Track and Field Championships held at Downey’s Warren High School.
Competing amongst a field of more than 860 participants from the state’s 10 most southern counties, Calvin Capelle, Scotty Plowden, and sisters Reilyn and Blake Turner, represented Orange County and with outstanding performances.
Despite having never competed in a meet before April’s citywide event, Reilyn Turner won first place in the Girls 2002 Division 50-meter race and the long jump, with a blazing time of 8.5 seconds and a distance of 11 feet, respectively.
Calvin Capelle set a new city record in the Boys 2003 Division 200 meter race, breaking Michael Austin’s 1997 record of 34.6 seconds, with a third place, bronze-winning time of 34.34 seconds. The speedster also medaled in the 100-meter race, with a fourth place finish and a time of 16.75 seconds. Capelle holds the city record in the youngest boys division 100-meter race, which he set at last year’s SCMAF meet. For the past two track seasons, Capelle trained with long-time Laguna Beach track Coach Fred Pichay.
Scotty Plowden, the county and city 2002 boys division champion in the softball throw for the past three years, threw 100 feet and 8 inches to medal with a fifth place finish. This was Plowden’s fourth year qualifying and competing in the championship meet.
Blake Turner also qualified and competed, racing in the Girls 2001 Division 100 meters. Four other Laguna Beach athletes qualified, but did not compete in the event: Greer Jacobs and siblings Sabrina, Jordan, and Alexis Morris.
Considered the “state meet” and highest level of municipal competition for Southern California athletes in grades eight or lower, kids as young as 6 years old qualify to compete by winning or placing in the top four of their respective events in county and city meets. Event divisions are determined by birth year. Medals were awarded to the top five finishers in each event, with ribbons presented to finishers six through nine.
The writer is a track parent.