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Girls win Palomares League title

Following not just an afternoon of close competition, but an entire season, Claremont’s hopes for an eighth straight Palomares league title came down to one vault.

If pole vaulter Lyling Irwin was anxious as she prepared to clear nine feet six inches, it sure didn’;t show. And she barely reacted when, just a few minutes later, she sailed right over the bar. Maybe Irwin simply didn’t realize that her first-place finish had just clinched the Pack’s important victory.

Now it’s in the record books as Claremont defeated Glendora Tuesday by the narrowest of margins, 69-67. With the victory, they can claim the girls track and field title for another year. Claremont boys did not fare as well, losing to the Tartans 75-57. However, in a fine twist, the boys will share a league title with both Ayala and Glendora as all three finished with a 4-1 record.

For the girls, their winning streak of eight straight league titles will not easily be equaled. There is also little indication the girls plan to slow down, as a very strong junior varsity squad is ready to take the helm.

Immediately following the event, head coach Veronica Amarasekara was brief and to the point, “Very well done, give yourself a hand,” she said as the team gathered midfield to recognize their graduating seniors.

“Hard work and determination came together. It’s beautiful,” she said. “The girls went 5-0, winning against a strong Ayala and a strong Glendora.”

The girls swept all three top spots in both the 1600- and 3200-meter events.

The boys had a combination of bad luck, with a couple of foot faults in the long and triple jump, and injuries with sprinters Duy Tran Sampson and Juan Diego Calvo sidelined. 

The regular season may be over but the competition continues as the Pack hosts the Palomares League Prelims Saturday at 8:30 a.m. .

Assistant Coach Bill Reeves, who specializes in the distance running events, believes three runners—Annie Boos, Owen Bishop and Ryan Renken—will be heading to the state meet.

—Steven Felschundneff

steven@claremont-courier.com