Prep Boys Track and Field: Hard work pays off for Poway High’s Lucas at league championships; Broncos’ Grigoriev breaks school record
By Michael Bower
Poway High’s Brandon Lucas trailed Mt. Carmel’s Scott Pater by a few strides heading into the final straightaway of the 200-meter Palomar League championships Friday at Poway High School.
With 50 meters to go, all Lucas could think about was all the hard work he put in during the football season and all the training he did to come back from a broken leg suffered during the soccer season.
“We work hard conditioning all year long for that last 50-meter stretch,” said Lucas, who played some running back for the Titans’ football team in the fall. “I was hungry. I had to catch him.”
He did … at the last possible moment.
Lucas edged Pater right at the finish line by one one-hundredths of a second to capture the 200 title in a personal-best 22.02 and advance to next week’s CIF San Diego Section championships along with the rest of first and second-place finishers on the day.
The win was Lucas’ third first-place medal of the meet, as he also captured the 100 title (11.09) and was part of the Titans’ 4×100-relay team, which took first in a school record time of 42.05.
“I have great teammates and a great coach to push me in practice, because you cannot run without technique,” Lucas said. “I got out two or three weeks late because I broke my leg, but I was determined to be on top.”
Lucas wasn’t the only one to put together an outstanding performance at the Palomar League finals. Rancho Bernardo’s Alex Grigoriev broke the 1998 school record in the 800, finishing in a blazing 1:52.35, and Poway’s Charlie Bush cleared a personal-best 6-feet, 7-inches to win the high jump title.
The UC Davis-bound Grigoriev showed off his strong kick in the final 200 to pull away from the field and eclipse the 14-year-old school record of 1:52.69 set by Sean Ricketts.
“The race played out exactly how I wanted it to happen,” said Grigoriev, whose time in the 800 ranks him fourth in the state. “As I was going around the corner, I didn’t see any shadows closing up on me so I looked up at the clock and hoped I could get the school record.”
Meanwhile, Bush already had the high jump title in the bag before attempting to clear 6-7. It was a height the junior had never soared over before – not even at practice. But after scratching on his first two tries, he achieved the feat and let out a celebratory scream as he bounced up off the mat.
“I am super excited and super stoked, and at the same time it is almost a relief because now I am sitting in a spot I want to be in going into CIF,” Bush said. “I was always hoping I would be able to jump that high or higher.”
Other locals winning titles were Poway’s Sam Ozenbaugh (400), Chris French (300 hurdles) and the 4×100-relay team (French, Will James, Lucas, Nehemiah Gross).
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