CIF Prelims-Track Edition

Allie Gurrola, Writer

After a successful season, the Downey High School track team is getting ready to end with CIF Prelims. The Downey track team, varsity boys, varsity girls, frosh/soph boys and frosh/soph girls, were titled San Gabriel Valley League Champions and multiple athletes qualified for League Prelims and League Finals, and are moving on to CIF Prelims, Saturday, May 13 at 12 p.m.


Junior, Mario Marsetti, was able to compete in the 400m and 4×400 relay at CIF Prelims.


“It was an amazing feeling competing at prelims, it was one of my biggest goals I set this year.” Marsetti said. “I looked around and saw the biggest crowd I’ve raced in front of, it really lite the fire inside me; I ran the fastest I ever ran this season and finished 3rd with a time of 49.37.”


The girls side of the track team performed at their best during CIF Prelims, and exactly where their coaches wanted them to be. Ngozi Okoroma, 12, ran the 800 meter and received a new personal best, 2 minutes and 22 seconds, Adriana Higuera, 11, ran the 1600 meter, placing better than she was ranked, and Morelia Venegas, 12, ran the 3200 meter. Chiamaka Ikejiofor, 10, jumped a new personal record in High Jump, 5 feet and 3 inches, her sister Kelechi Ikejiofor jumped 17 feet 5 inches in Long Jump, giving her a spot in CIF Finals, on Friday, May 19. Danise Herrington, 12, jumped 15 feet, 6 inches in Long Jump, and Maicah Raleigh, 12, competed in Triple Jump, jumping 35 feet, 4 inches.


On the boys side, Mario Marsetti, 11, ran a personal record in the 400 meter, 49 seconds and 37 milliseconds. Marsetti also competed in the boys relay 4×400, along with Jacob Guerrero, 10, Noah Skobis, 10, and Armando Padilla, 12, together the boys ran a 3:24, missing the mark to compete at Finals by .55 milliseconds. Jesus Marino, 12 jumped 41 feet, and 3 inches in triple jump.


“I believe this was our best season, because we all wanted to redeem ourselves and have fun at the same time,”  Venegas said. “We created so much competition within the league and at our invitationals it was amazing seeing all of that.”


At the track banquet on Monday, May 15, athletes were recognized for their accomplishments. Senior, Kelechi Ikejiofor received the award for Most Valuable Athlete and a plaque for holding the girls’ long jump record at DHS. John Guevara, 9, Freshman of the Year, and Laura Velasco, 10, received the Most Inspirational Award. Armando Padilla, 12, received the Coaches Award. Joshua Cooper, 12 received the Most Valuable Sprinter award.


“I’m really happy with my performance this year, jumping 5’10’’, getting 4th at League Finals, I wish I did better, jump 6 feet, go to CIF, but I’m happy,” Guevara said. “It was an honor to get Freshman of the Year; I can’t wait for next year, this was a great way to start high school.”
At CIF Finals, Kelechi Ikejiofor, 12, was the only Downey Athlete to compete, she finished her long jump season in seventh place, jumping 16 feet and 10 inches. Although most of the track athletes are underclassmen, the seniors who were also competing and finished their high school running career strong with a new personal best. After multiple years in a sport, you find yourself enjoying the sport more than you expected, creating more friendships and wanting to better yourself before it is too late. The underclassmen are excited for the new freshman to come in and are ready to bring more titles to the school.