By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN
EXETER – McKaylie Caesar’s run toward a return trip to the Track and Field State Championships took her through Exeter’s Monarch Invitational. The Division I signee continued her running success on the Monarchs’ track setting two personal season records in the process.
“I had a real good mindset today, so I wanted to go out there and get those season records, and I’m happy I did,” Caesar said.
Caesar entered the two individual events, the 800-meter and 1600-meter races. The two events which has brought much of her success on Exeter’s blue track.
First off was the longer of the two races, the 1600-meter. A distance Caesar usually is able to run away from the pack, but with the larger, more competitive field she was challenged early and throughout. Wasco’s Sayra Raya, McFarland’s Hilda Gonzalez, and Sunnyside’s Jessica Valles all took turns pushing the invitationals’ defending champion.
“It’s good to be pushed and we can push each other,” Caesar said. “I know if they weren’t there than I might not have gotten my best time.”
The field had dwindled by the third lap to just Caesar and Sayra, and by the third turn Sayra took a brief lead. Caesar did retake the lead down the final 100 meters, and on the fourth lap began to pull away to her winning time of 5:13.01, more than seven seconds over Sayra.
“I get a little burst of energy right at the last lap,” Caesar said.
Caesar’s ability to kick her speed into another gear has been a skill of hers ever since she won the Division II 800-meter race in 2017. Running in the middle of the pack on the final lap, she pulled to the outside and overtook everyone. It is a quality which will serve her well as she competes for the CSU Fullerton Titans next season.
Caesar won the 800-meter run later on in the night with a time of 2:22.12. She defeated Kylee Dismuke-Rodriguez from Redwood by four seconds.
After the 800-meter, Caesar decided to shake things up and enter with some of her teammates in the 4×400 relay. She ran the anchor leg as the Cardinals took eighth place with a time of 4:38.50.
“It’s an extra event my team and I want to be good at,” Caesar said. “It is more of a fun race where we can work on a little teamwork.”
Caesar might have been the only Cardinal to earn a win, but she for sure wasn’t the only one performing at the top of her game. One of Lindsay’s throwers Berenice Rangel took third in the discuss with a distance of 93-feet and 4-inches, and sixth in the shot put at 31-feet and 5-inches.
On the men’s side Eric Rangel brought home a couple third place finishes for Lindsay in the 100- and 200-meter races. In the 100-meter he set a seasons record in 11.75 seconds. The 200-meter saw him finish in 24.03.
Rangel ran in the anchor leg of Lindsay’s 4×100 relay team as well. They took sixth with a time of 47.11.