Track and Field: Richie Hernandez, McKaylie Caesar and Madison Bower all break records in their respective events
By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN
WOODLAKE – While both the Cardinals and Spartans failed to bring home a title during the East Sequoia League championships last Thursday three of their athletes set new records. Lindsay’s Richie Hernandez and McKaylie Caesar broke records in the 100 and 800-meter runs, respectively. Strathmore’s Madison Bower did the same in the 300-meter hurdles.
Hernandez has been one of the fastest sprinters in the ESL this season. In four league meets he has only taken second once in his combined events. That was to his teammate Christopher Orozco in the 200-meter during the first meet of the season.
His fourth win in Friday’s meet put him in the record books with a time of 11.07 seconds. That time is a full 20 seconds faster from the last ESL meet, and crushed the old record of 11.45 set in 2015.
“I am happy that I have a new record and it will be tough to beat,” Hernandez said.
While, Hernandez is pleased that future athletes will now be chasing his name there is still unfinished business to be done. All season he has been trying to break the 11 second barrier. Earlier in the season he battled his tendency of standing up too early in the race. Constant training on his form has given him another shot at breaking that mark. It possibly could come tonight at the D-II Valley Championships in Exeter.
Hernandez will be running the anchor leg in both of the Cardinals’ relay teams as well. Between the two the 4×400 team has the better shot at bringing home a title. Already, this season they have put their skills to the test against some of the best in the state. They have come away with wins over Buchanan and Central (Fresno).
In the women’s distance events Caesar is the unquestioned front runner. In the 800-, 1600-, and 3200-meter runs she has gone undefeated in all league meets. Her average margin of victory is 18 seconds depending on which event it is. Her dominance in the 800-meter continued when she set a new record at 2:24.66 minutes. She went on to three-peat winning the 1600- and 3200-meter runs with times of 5:36.57 and 12:23.99 minutes.
“It was exciting to hear my name and know that I was able to break a record,” Caesar said.
While Caesar is now ready to possibly three-peat at the valley meet tonight it was what happened behind her that really made last week special. Usually Caesar is the only Cardinal in the top five. However, in both of the two longest races the Cardinals snagged five total spots from Corcoran.
Bower almost outdid the other two athletes by breaking two records, but came up just a fraction of a second short. In the 300-meter hurdles she won by four seconds with a time of 46.77 seconds. She broke the old record of 48.75 set by Idalis Rubacava in 2012 by almost two seconds. In the 200-meter run her winning time of 26.65 was .02 of a second off the record.
“I am super happy,” Bower said. “I wish I could have ran faster, but who doesn’t wish that.”
As Bower looks to advance back to the state meet in the hurdles she has been focusing on her form. In order to help maximized her competition she reentered the 100-meter hurdles. An event she also won with a time of 15.97 seconds.
The Tigers were only able to gain one individual ESL champion. That came in the high jump when Henry Hagen cleared six feet.