For Annie Breger and Anthony Delgado, things couldn’t have turned out much better in the Monterey Bay League Masters Meet at Gilroy High School on May 12. Breger won the triple jump and long jump, nailing a personal-record (PR) in the latter event. Delgado blazed to a PR in the 110-meter hurdles, finishing first in 14.94 seconds.
Both of the Hollister Haybaler track and field athletes easily qualified for the Central Coast Section Semifinals on Saturday, also at Gilroy High School. Delgado produced a powerful performance, leading from the start to run sub 15 seconds for the first time in his burgeoning career. The sophomore, who also was a starting linebacker for the football team last fall, is a serious contender to take home a CCS title.
His time ranks fourth best in the section this season; however, a closer look at the numbers gives Delgado confidence that he can be atop the podium. Two of the three runners who have run faster times than Delgado had a tailwind of 6.2 miles, and Delgado believes he could’ve finished in the 14.5 to 14.6 range had he not hit the last two hurdles.
Delgado didn’t just nick the hurdles; rather, he hit both hard enough where at one point he felt like he was going to fall.
“I was scared that I was thinking, ‘Please don’t fall. Just stay up,’” he said. “And I managed to stay up and finish the race.”
Delgado was effusive in his praise for hurdles coach Ryan Bartylla, who couldn’t contain his excitement after Delgado won the race.
“He was so happy it’s hard to explain,” Delgado said. “He tried not to go overboard with his excitement, but he couldn’t keep it in. He was jumping and hopping, and I’m really happy to do that for him. I thank coach for knowing how to train me and putting workouts together so I can peak at the right moment.”
Delgado, who also finished second in the 300 hurdles in 41.03 seconds, hopes to repeat his start out of the blocks in Saturday’s CCS Semifinals.
“That was one of my best starts out of the blocks all season,” he said. “I’m excited for this Saturday.”
Delgado said he didn’t feel great in the week of practice leading up to the MBL Masters.
“I was so tired and sore I didn’t want to practice,” he said. “But coach Bartylla has me do sprint workouts at 150 meters, so when it comes time to the race, it’ll feel easy. And that really paid off because I felt good in the race.”
Haybaler senior Isaac Regalado took second in the 110 in a season-best time of 15.09. Nolan Sanchez won the 800 in 2:00.21, while brothers Adam and Robert Mendoza finished second and third, respectively, in the 400. Jack Breger took second in the 100 in a PR of 11 flat to go along with a runner-up finish in the long jump in a PR of 20 feet, 10 inches.
The Haybaler 4×400 relay team won in 3:26.93, and Richard Justo finished second in the shot put with a mark of 47-5. On the girls side, Breger led the way with a couple of impressive performances. The junior has been working on certain technical aspects all season, and it paid off in the long jump.
The hardest thing for an athlete to do is working on technique during the season with the goal of creating potential for a greater mark in the future. Breger had to stay mentally tough during the season as she worked through the kinks and didn’t have marks that showed she was improving.
But last Saturday, all of Breger’s hard work and determination paid off. From the moment Breger learned she had hit 17 feet, she was overjoyed with excitement.
“I started jumping up and down and high-fiving my coaches and teammates,” she said. “It was one of the best feelings to get a new PR after everything I’ve been working on.”
For the long jump, Breger has been working on her landing. For the triple jump, Breger has been focusing on the first phase of the jump, when she jumps off her left leg.
“I need my jumping left leg to do all the work, rotate and let my right leg hang there,” she said. “We’ve been working on that for quite a while now.”
Breger’s 35-8 mark was her best in six weeks, as she went 36 feet at the Arcadia Invitational on April 8. Now that Breger is feeling more comfortable technique-wise, she feels a couple of more PRs are looming in the weeks ahead. Breger finished ninth in the long jump and 10th in the triple jump in last year’s CCS Finals. This season she’s hoping to take things one step further.
“I feel Saturday could be the meet where it all builds up and I get that big PR,” she said. “I definitely think I’m getting really close to putting it all together.”
Breger’s good friend and teammate, Camille Finley, won the high jump in 5-4 and took second in the triple jump in 35-3. Elli Kliewer won the 3200-meter run in 11:49.85, and Marisa Villegas had a pair of second-place finishes in the 800 and 1600.