Laguna Beach High’s girls’ varsity track and field team turned in their best performance ever at the Trophy Invitational last Saturday at Guyer Field. Their second place score of 59 points put them three ahead of third place Corona del Mar but well behind the 148.5 tallied by Dana Hills. The boys’ varsity finished 10th.
The meet was revived in 2010 after a 17-year hiatus by coaches Steve Lalim and Scott Wittkop. The pair convinced school officials to dedicate the track in honor of Eric Hulst, Laguna’s legendary distance runner who died of brain cancer in 1992. The coaches also established a race in his honor. This year, 28 girls and 30 boys competed in the fifth annual Eric Hulst Memorial 3200, the meet’s signature event.
After offering a heart-felt tribute to his former runner, Hulst’s coach Len Miller fired the pistol to start the girls’ race.
But not until he told the competitors to “have fun,”something Miller said the easy going Hulst stressed above everything else. “Everybody that ever met him loved him,” Miller said.
Since its return, Laguna’s Trophy Invite has gained popularity both in the community and among schools from as far away as Pacifica, near San Francisco. This year more than 1,500 athletes from a record 38 schools turned out on the first full day of spring to put on a show for the near capacity crowd.
Two meet records fell, as Dana Hills’ Claire Kao pole vaulted 11’9” to smash the mark of 10’6” set last year by Sierra Hansen, also of Dana Hills. And the Dana Hills’ 4×400 girls relay team posted a 3:58.9, nearly a second better than the old mark of 3:59.6 set by Trabuco Hills.
Laguna varsity athletes turned in several top three performances. The girls 4×400 relay team of Janie Crawford, Coco Putnam, Natalie Kimball and Brielle Budroe finished second in a time of 4:08.01. The girls 4×100 relay team of Regan Caraher, Janie Crawford, Rose Niermeijer and Coco Putnam finished third with a time of 54:78.
Janie Crawford took second in the 800 with a time of 2:26.08. Coco Putnam finished second in the 300 hurdles with a time of 45.65. And Greer Jacobs took third in the varsity 3200 with a time of 12:20.84. Visit www.trophyinvite.com for a complete list of results.