By Charlie Warner, Special to the Independent
Frank Harris, a stand out senior from Basic High School in Henderson, Nev., cleared 7 feet in the high jump at the Laguna Beach High School Trophy Invitational Track Meet on Saturday, March 18, a new meet record set by the top high school jumper in the nation, according to athletic.net.
He also was second place in the 100-meter dash and second place in the long jump.
Some 50 LBHS athletes competed alongside 1,600 rivals from 50 different schools at the newly refurbished Eric Hulst track.
With such a huge meet, organizers enlist non-competing LBHS athletes and parents to assist with events taking place simultaneously on the field. A thrown discus injured one of the volunteers helping with the discus competition. Athletic trainers rendered first aid until the arrival of paramedics, who ultimately did not transport the parent for treatment.
The medical emergency was the second in as many weeks for LBHS trainer Tim Crilly, who on March 7 rushed to resuscitate a student in cardiac arrest by applying a defibrillator alongside the CPR efforts of teacher Jose Luis Gonzalez.
The meet is one of the most competitive in the nation, according to the LBHS boys coach, Mark Harris. His assertion seemed credible as several meet records were shredded. For a full list of results, visit https://trophyinvite.com/results/.
The majority of LBHS athletes competing were either freshmen or sophomores. “Despite the team’s youth, it is a very talented team,” said Harris. He pointed to Jessica Berk, a freshman competing in the 300-meter hurdles, who ran the race in 50.52 seconds, earning third place.
Other local standouts include Evelyn Kilburg, who placed fifth out of 19 in the girls’ shot put. Sidney Williams-Goldberg also performed well, placing eighth out of 26 in a competitive heat for the girls’ 100-meter hurdles. Shanai Auguis placed fourth out of 33 in the 200-meter dash. All three girls are sophomores.
On the varsity level, junior Evie Cant ran an impressive 5:29 mile, placing a respectable 18th. In the 3200 meter run, or two mile, junior Charlie Hoffs placed eighth out of a pool of 31.
The boys of Laguna Beach also performed well. In the frosh/soph 4×400 meter relay, the boys placed fifth with a tight finish at the end. In one of the most competitive races, the 100-meter dash, sophomore Chris Hynson placed 12th overall at the frosh/soph level, out of a field of 37 athletes. The varsity 4×100 meter relay also finished 13th against some of the fastest competition in the state.
“No other invitational track meet in California has five schools from Nevada come all this way to race,” said Harris, who credited volunteers for helping the meet run on schedule.
“In my opinion, the 2017 Trophy Invite was the most successful since we brought it back eight years ago,” echoed girls coach, Steve Lalim, who helped revive the Trophy Invitational, a meet started by Laguna’s first track coach, the legendary Red Guyer, in 1937 – just three years after the school’s inception. The meet was held nearly every year until 1983.
Last week’s meet marks the 48th year of the invitational held on the namesake Guyer Field and the Eric Hulst Oval. The oval is named after LBHS alumn Eric Hulst, an exceptional runner who broke state records in his prime. Hulst went on to race for UC Irvine, being eventually held up by injury. Tragically, Hulst died at 34 due to a brain tumor. The trophy invitational now starts exactly at 8:41 a.m. in reference to Hulst’s two-mile state record.