By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN
CORCORAN – It was a different journey, but the results were still the same for Lindsay’s McKaylie Caesar as she swept her individual events for the second straight year at the East Sequoia League Championship on Thursday, May 2.
“It was really good to run strong during my last league event,” Caesar said. “I just wanted to finish strong and leave Lindsay proud.”
Caesar’s first event of the evening, the 1600-meter run, was her closest result. She led a group of three girls through the halfway point. Then on the third lap, which in previous events had been her slowest, she began to pull away. She shaved about five seconds off her split time on her way to clocking a winning time of 5:26.94.
In the other two individual events, Caesar was only up against the clock. In the 800-meter she ran a time of 2:22.58. Although, she won by 11 seconds her most dominating performance came in the longest race of the evening, the 3200-meter.
Caesar was out in front in a hurry, but did no settle into an even pace once she had a lead. Instead she began to lap some of the tail end runners. Then she began to pass the middle of the pack, and with two laps left it looked as if she was going to surpass every other runner in the race. She came within two runners of doing so as she ran 11:33.13. Brandi Valdez of Corcoran finished in second at 12:54.87.
Caesar ran the anchor leg on Lindsay’s 4×400-meter relay team which took fourth at 4:32.49. She was able to gain them a position, but was too far off pace to make a challenge for the lead.
The dominance in the individual events by Caesar is proof that this year’s strategy of managing her millage, and not running a full league event until the end has paid off.
“I didn’t go all out in all of my races, so my legs feel pretty good right now,” Caesar said.
In the boys races came a title four years in the making. Eric Rangel has competed for the Cardinals all four years, but had always been second best behind former teammate Richie Hernandez. Now with Hernandez having graduated it was Rangel’s time to finally get that ESL title in the 100-meter.
However, it would prove a more difficult task as the race came down to a photo finish. It was Rangel who leaned at the line before Corcoran’s Christian Hernandez. That simple move gave Rangel a winning margin of one-thousand-of-a-second as he set a season record at 11.36 seconds.
“Richie and I had been fighting for the 100-meter title,” Rangel said. “Now to become a champion it is incredible. It was Richie that really pushed me throughout the years, and it is him that I dedicate this medal to.”