Hundreds of shivering and soaked athletes from as far away as Hawaii battled each other and the elements Saturday, March 17, at Laguna Beach High, hoping to salvage the 44th running of the Trophy Invitational.
It wasn’t long before standing water reigned victorious, as runners splashed their way around Eric Hulst track until organizers halted the day-long event less than two hours in with only a third of the 66 events completed.
Rain also interrupted all or parts of the 1958, ’65 and ’78 editions of this local classic, started in 1937 by legendary LBHS track coach Red Guyer and revived by current coaches Steve Lalim and Scott Wittkop in 2010 after a 27-year hiatus.
The combination of gale force winds, sideways rain and 40-degree temperatures made it difficult for meet officials to communicate and athletes to stay focused. The turning point came after the girls varsity 4×100 meter race ended with a downpour of disappointment for the Breakers.
Unaware that the first two heats in that event were combined due to late scratches and no shows, several competitors scrambled in a driving rain at the last moment to get into position for the baton handoff. Laguna’s anchor runner didn’t make it in time and her team was disqualified. Soon after, Lalim and Wittkop decided enough was enough and called the meet.
While no team trophies were presented, individual medals were awarded to competitors in the 20 events that were completed. Some notable performances were turned in by several varsity and frosh/soph Breakers.
In the meet’s second event before the rains began, Grant Barton captured third in the frosh/soph 3200-meter race with an impressive time of 10:13.
One event later, sophomores Darby Winson (18.08) and Monica White (18.69) finished second and third respectively in the frosh/soph 100-meter hurdles.
Kailar Pike cleared 5’04” in soggy conditions to take second in the frosh/soph high jump.
Brielle Budroe finished ninth in the varsity 1600-meters with a time of 5.32, and Katie Grayden (12.50) finished eighth in the frosh/soph 3200-meters.
Spencer Anderson (16.63) and Christian Menes (17.32) took fourth and sixth in the varsity 110-meter hurdles, and the boys’ 4×100-meter varsity relay team came in fourth with a time of 47.16.
Photos by Robert Campbell.