‘Baler boys end streak at 7, Lady ‘Balers earn 3rd straight TCAL title

San Benito's Ryan Shorey leads the way in the 400-meter run during the TCAL Championships Friday.

Salinas edged San Benito 114-104 Friday at the TCAL
Championships in Gilroy, while the Lady ‘Balers topped North
Salinas 114-100.5 for its third straight league championship

Hopefully, San Benito’s Courtney Allen still has something left in the tank for this Saturday’s Central Coast Section Semifinals.

The UNLV-bound senior had a flare for the dramatic last Friday in Gilroy, where she helped propel her Lady ‘Baler team to its third straight Tri-County Athletic League title by topping North Salinas 114 to 100.5.

“We only had 13 varsity girls competing today. So, they brought it,” San Benito girls coach Laurie Cottrell said. “We came in with six extra points (for being undefeated during the TCAL season), which was a nice benefit for our girls, but at the same time, our girls knew what they had to do.

“We knew we were gonna be small in numbers, so we had to dominate in the individual events, and they did that.”

Allen, who took first in the 400 (58.52), the 800 (2:19.84) and the 1,600 (5:16.99), compiled 30 points for San Benito all by herself, and along with teammates Kelsey Russell, Chelsea Emilio and Melisah Cortez, took home another first-place finish in the 4×400 relay event in 49.99, edging North Salinas (50.08) in a come-from-behind victory by a mere nine one-hundredths of a second.

“I just wanted to win and get TCAL champs,” said Allen, following her final leg of the 4×400 event in which she erased a 20-meter gap on the last lap.

“It’s the Haybalers, you know. It’s who we are and it’s what we try to do all the time.”

The news wasn’t as sweet for the ‘Baler boys, though. After winning a league title for seven straight years, including five in the TCAL and two in the Monterey Bay League, San Benito’s dominance finally ran out, albeit just barely.

Despite strong performances from Ryan Shorey and Frankie Martinez, each of whom earned individual TCAL titles, the ‘Balers lost to Salinas 114-104.

“Anytime we’ve ever lost, it’s always been so close,” San Benito boys coach Iran White said. “It’s almost within grasp, and it’s always some little, little thing.

“The majority of my boys, about 99 percent of my boys, they brought it today. They did what was expected of them, they did more than what was expected of them, and if we had the full 100 percent on the same page, we would have won.”

“We knew Salinas was gonna be tough,” said Shorey, who took first in the 200 (22.64) and in the 400 (50.48) on Friday. “Seven years in a row as league champs; we had to lose eventually.

“But we did our best and we can’t complain about it.”

That’s because the CCS Semifinals are already approaching and looming large once again at the Garcia-Elder Sports Complex in Gilroy on Saturday.

San Benito will send all four of its relay teams, including the boys’ 4×400 team of Shorey, Nik Soza, Jason Roascio and Justin Williams, which set a TCAL meet record with a 3:24.00, easily shattering the previous 3:26.16 set just last year by Everett Alvarez.

The 4×100 team of Williams, Shorey, Roascio and Mitchell Cook, meanwhile, almost out of nowhere improved upon its seed time of 44.34 on Friday by recording a 43.16, said to be an SBHS record.

Not to be outdone, though, the girls 4×100 team of Sophie Coelho, Kelsey Russell, Meghan De La Torre and Melisah Cortez took first with a 49.99, easily an improvement over its 51.30 seed time, and perhaps setting the tone for the rest of the day’s events.

“We finally took first,” said Cortez, who also advanced to CCS in the 400 meters with a third-place finish of 63.58. “We set the tone for our whole team. That right there just set the bar for us.”

Furthermore, 13 individuals qualified toward CCS as well, including Frankie Martinez, who finished first in the discus on Friday with a toss of 147-06, easily defeating Palma’s Sam Dozier by approximately five feet.

Throws partner Sam Stephens, meanwhile, who had the fourth best throw in the discus this year but narrowly missed the cut at TCAL Trials, instead qualified in the shot put and tossed a personal record of 47-04 1/4 to take third place on Friday.

“When you know the throw is right, it’s right,” said Stephens, who PR’ed by approximately two feet. “It clicked.

“I kind of had to make up for it, for not making the discus.”

Lady ‘Baler Chelsea Emilio had a similar situation. She missed the cut at TCAL Trials in the long jump when she finished 10th with a leap of 13-11. But granted a second chance at the TCAL Championships after one competitor dropped out, Emilio shined when she recorded a personal record of 15-08.

She finished in second place, and will advance to the CCS Semifinals as a result.

“Thinking about it, I knew I had a second chance and I just had to prove it to myself that I could do it,” said Emilio, who will make her first trip to CCS. “I knew I could jump it.”

Natalie Becker used to jump in the pole vault, and was actually last year’s TCAL champion in that event. But the senior thrower came full circle this season in the discus event instead.

Becker, who had the 10th best recorded throw this season – an 86-04 – set a personal record at the trials with a 93-02, then topped that at the finals with a 95-07 to grab third place and a CCS berth.

“I don’t know how. I honestly don’t,” said Becker, who competed in the discus event as a sophomore before making the leap to pole vault as a junior. “This is like coming back to the roots of my track career.”

Becker’s teammate, Sophie Coelho, will make the trip to CCS in the pole vault after she took second with a 9-02, while Melissa Castro qualified in the high jump with a second-place finish of 5-02.

Scott Medina will advance in the high jump as well after he finished in third place with a 6-0, and Nik Soza qualified in the 400 meters with Shorey, clocking a third-place time of 52.11.

The CCS Semifinals will be held Saturday in Gilroy at 2 p.m.

Evan McFadden got a good idea of what he’ll see at CCS at TCAL’s. Finishing third in the 110 hurdles with a 15.32, McFadden trailed Salinas’ John Prader (14.59) and Gilroy’s Peter Guenther (14.55), two of the top hurdlers in the section.

“It was a good race, the start could have been a little better, but that’s just them – they have those better starts than me,” McFadden said of Prader and Guenther. “But I PR’ed. I made CCS and I’m not disappointed.”

This will be McFadden’s third trip to the CCS Semifinals.

Kelsey Russell will return to the year-end meet as well, but in a different event. After qualifying in the 100 last year, Russell will compete this year in the 200 after she finished third with a 26.93.

“It made me want to win more,” Russell said after she failed to qualify in the 100. “It kind of [angered] me a little bit. I wanted to get in for the [200] if I didn’t get in for the [100].”

Said Cottrell, “”They had a goal to bring it on, and they did.”



1, San Benito, 114; 2, North Salinas, 100.5; 3, Gilroy, 95; 4, Salinas, 92; 5, Notre Dame, 58.5; 6, Alisal, 21; 7, Everett Alvarez, 13.


100 – 1, K. Wells, North Salinas, 12.90; 2, I. Boyd, Salinas, 12.91; 3, R. Davidson, Salinas, 12.91. 200 – 1, R. Davidson, Salinas, 26.31; 2, H. Servatius, Salinas, 26.50; 3, K. Russell, San Benito, 26.93. 400 – 1, C. Allen, San Benito, 58.52; 2, K. Medina, Notre Dame, 62.18; 3, M. Cortez, San Benito, 63.58. 800 – 1, C. Allen, San Benito, 2:19.84; 2, K. Palassou, Salinas, 2:20.07; 3, A. Alarcon, Gilroy, 2:27.96. 1,600 – 1, C. Allen, San Benito, 5:16.99; 2, D. Salvador, Alisal, 5:18.24; 3, A. Alarcon, Gilroy, 5:18.90. 3,200 – 1, K. Miller, Gilroy, 11:34.8; 2, N. Anderson, Notre Dame, 11:42.5; 3, A. Alarcon, Gilroy, 11:58.8. 100 Hurdles – 1, S. Unadia, Gilroy, 15.73; 2, N. Osborne, North Salinas, 16.64; 3, I. Grayson, North Salinas, 17.19. 300 Hurdles – 1, S. Unadia, Gilroy, 47.75; 2, N. Osborne, North Salinas, 47.89; 3, R. Perez, Everett Alvarez, 49.86. 4×100 – 1, San Benito, 49.99; 2, North Salinas, 50.08; 3, Salinas, 50.43. 4×400 – 1, San Benito, 4:07.29; 2, Salinas, 4:07.49; 3, Notre Dame, 4:12.72. High Jump – 1, S. Unadia, Gilroy, 5-04; 2, M. Castro, San Benito, 5-02; 3, A. Papazian, Salinas, 5-0. Pole Vault – 1, A. Rose, Notre Dame, 9-06; 2, S. Coelho, San Benito, 9-02; 3, S. Lewington, Salinas, 9-0. Long Jump – 1, C. Michels, Notre Dame, 16-02; 2, C. Emilio, San Benito, 15-08; 3, K. Nichols, Notre Dame, 15-06. Triple Jump – 1, M. Suarez, Alisal, 34-11 ½; 2, R. Ruiz, North Salinas, 34-01 ½; 3, A. Woo, North Salinas, 33-08 ½. Shot Put – 1, B. Sullen, North Salinas, 39-0; 2, A. Ponce, North Salinas, 37-01; 3, S. Sandoval, Gilroy, 35-02. Discus – 1, B. Sullen, North Salinas, 118-07; 2, K. Johnson, Gilroy, 100-08; 3, N. Becker, San Benito, 95-07.



1, Notre Dame, 120; 2, North Salinas, 96.5; 3, Salinas, 87; 4, Alisal, 48; 5, San Benito, 41.5; 6, Gilroy, 40; 7, Everett Alvarez, 32.



1, Salinas, 114; 2, San Benito, 104; 3, Palma, 88; 4, Everett Alvarez, 71; 5, Alisal, 55; 6, North Salinas, 44; 7, Gilroy, 20.


100 – 1, M. Parola, Palma, 11.14; 2, M. Skinner, Everett Alvarez, 11.24; 3, A. Jelks, Salinas, 11.32. 200 – 1, R. Shorey, San Benito, 22.64; 2, A. Jelks, Salinas, 22.79; 3, M. Parola, Palma, 23.04. 400 – 1, R. Shorey, San Benito, 50.48; 2, D. Donate, Alisal, 51.94; 3, N. Soza, San Benito, 52.11. 800 – 1, D. Perez, Salinas, 1:58.75; 2, C. Ortega, Salinas, 1:59.35; 3, E. Ruana, Everett Alvarez, 2:00.44. 1,600 – 1, T. Johnson, Palma, 4:24.86; 2, D. Perez, Salinas, 4:34.26; 3, R. Anderson, Salinas, 4:34.60. 3,200 – 1, T. Johnson, Palma, 9:57.53; 2, M. Negrete, Alisal, 10:09.36; 3, M. Bell, Salinas, 10:16.73. 110 Hurdles – 1, P. Guenther, Gilroy, 14.55; 2, J. Prader, Salinas, 14.59; 3, E. McFadden, San Benito, 15.32. 300 Hurdles – 1, P. Guenther, Gilroy, 38.25; 2, M. Skinner, Everett Alvarez, 38.41; 3, J. Prader, Salinas, 40.50. 4×100 – 1, San Benito, 43.16; 2, Alisal, 43.62; 3, Palma, 43.71. 4×400 – 1, San Benito, 3:24.00; 2, Everett Alvarez, 3:27.65; 3, Alisal, 3:28.42. High Jump – 1, W. Welch, Everett Alvarez, 6-02; 2, C. Benavente, Palma, 6-0; 3, S. Medina, San Benito, 6-0. Pole Vault – 1, J. Prader, Salinas, 15-06; 2, A. Bassi, Palma, 13-06; 3, N. Napolitano, North Salinas, 12-0. Long Jump – 1, J. Jones, Everett Alvarez, 20-10 ½; 2, M. Calder, Palma, 20-05; 3, W. Welch, Everett Alvarez, 20-02 ½. Triple Jump – 1, D. Mosley, North Salinas, 43-04; 2, O. Pearson, Alisal, 43-03; 3, W. Welch, Everett Alvarez, 41-07 ½. Shot Put – 1, A. Zamora, North Salinas, 48-09; 2, P. Marcroft, Palma, 48-03; 3, S. Stephens, San Benito, 47-04 ¼. Discus – 1, F. Martinez, San Benito, 147-06; 2, S. Dozier, Palma, 142-04; 3, W. Hawkins, Salinas, 133-0.



1, Gilroy, 178; 2, North Salinas, 84; 3, Palma, 74; 4, Salinas, 70; 5, Alisal, 51; 6, San Benito, 24; 7, Everett Alvarez, 15.

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